1956 in baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1956 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
Major League Baseball statistical leaders
1 Major League Triple Crown Batting Winner
Major league baseball final standings
American League final standings
National League final standings
- February 6 – Supporting the Wagner-Cashmore plan to build a $30-million downtown Brooklyn sports center, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley promises to buy four million dollars worth of bonds.
- April 22 – The Philadelphia Phillies manage just three hits, but one of them is a three-run home run by Ted Kazanski, as Robin Roberts wins, 3–1, over Johnny Antonelli and the New York Giants.
- April 26 – Chico Carrasquel batted 2-for-4, including two runs, a grand slam and a career-high seven runs batted in, to guide the Cleveland Indians to a crushing 14–2 victory over the Kansas City Athletics. Early Wynn pitched a nine-strikeout, four-hit, two-run complete game to earn the victory, while Lou Kretlow allowed seven runs in four-plus innings to get the loss.
- May 2 – At Wrigley Field, the New York Giants defeat the Chicago Cubs, 6-5, in a 17-inning game in which 48 players see action–25 Giants and 23 Cubs. Chicago's Don Hoak sets a National League record by striking out six times in the game, which also features a record 11 intentional walks, including two each to the Giants' Willie Mays and Wes Westrum and the Cubs' Ernie Banks.
- May 12 – Carl Erskine tosses the second no-hitter of his career as the Brooklyn Dodgers blank the New York Giants, 3–0, at Ebbets Field. His first no-hitter came on June 19, 1952 against the Chicago Cubs at Ebbets Field.
- May 26 – Al Simmons died in Milwaukee, at the age of 54. A former Philadelphia Athletics outfielder as well as a three-time All-Star and two-time champion bat, Simmons posted a .334 average with 307 home runs and 1827 RBI in a 20-season major league career that included stints with six other teams besides the Athletics. Simmons was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 1953.
- May 30 – Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees narrowly misses hitting the first home run ever hit completely out of Yankee Stadium. With Hank Bauer and Gil McDougald on base in the fifth inning of Game One of a doubleheader against the Washington Senators, Mantle, batting left-handed against Pedro Ramos, hits a towering drive above the level of the stadium roof. However, a stiff wind cuts down the ball, which strikes the right-field facade, 18 inches (460 mm) above the level of the roof. The home run gives the Yankees a 3-1 lead; they go on to win 4-3.
- June 21 – Jack Harshman of the Chicago White Sox defeats Connie Johnson of the Baltimore Orioles 1-0 in a game in which both pitchers throw a one-hitter.
- June 27 – Chico Carrasquel went 5-for-6, including two doubles, two runs, and a game-ending RBI single in the 11th inning off Don Mossi, as the Cleveland Indians edged the Baltimore Orioles 12–11. Hal Brown was the winning pitcher in a 6 1⁄3-inning relief effort.
- July 10 – At Griffith Stadium, home of the Washington Senators, the National League topped the American League, 7-3, in the All-Star Game. Willie Mays, Stan Musial, Ted Williams, and Mickey Mantle all hit home runs.
- July 14 – At Fenway Park, Mel Parnell of the Boston Red Sox no-hits the Chicago White Sox 4-0. The no-hitter is the Red Sox' first since Howard Ehmke in 1923, the first at Fenway since the Washington Senators' Walter Johnson no-hit the Red Sox in 1920, and the first by a Red Sox left-hander since Dutch Leonard in 1918.
- July 25 – Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits the first, and so far only, walk-off inside-the park grand slam in major league history in a 9-8 win over the Chicago Cubs.
- August 2 – Herb Score shuts out the visiting New York Yankees‚ 4–0‚ for the Cleveland Indians seventh shutout in their last 12 games. Bobby Ávila gets the Indians on board with an inside-the-park home run in the third inning. An inning later, Preston Ward and Rocky Colavito hit back-to-back home runs and one out later Chico Carrasquel homers. The four solo homers in a shutout victory sets a major league record. Yankees starter Tom Sturdivant, who gave up the four homers, is the losing pitcher.
- August 8 – Robin Roberts wins his eighth straight game and his fourth in 10 days‚ as the visiting Philadelphia Phillies defeat the New York Giants‚ 9–3. Phillies shortstop Ted Kazanski lines an inside-the-park grand slam off Jim Hearn‚ just the fourth in club history to pace the attack.
- September 25 – At Ebbets Field, Sal Maglie of the Brooklyn Dodgers no-hits the Philadelphia Phillies 5-0.
- September 30 – Chicago White Sox pitcher Jim Derrington becomes the youngest pitcher in modern history to start a game. He loses to the Kansas City Athletics, 7-6, at the age of 16 years and 10 months.
- October 8 – New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen pitches a perfect game in Game 5 of the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers, in a 2-0 victory. It is only the fourth perfect game since 1900 and sixth in the history of Major League Baseball. To date it remains the only perfect game in baseball post-season history, and also the only no-hitter in the World Series.
- October 9 – The Dodgers bounce back. Brooklyn's Clem Labine comes out of the bullpen to pitch a 1-0 victory for the Dodgers in Game 6 of the World Series. Yankee Enos Slaughter misjudges Jackie Robinson's fly ball, and Jim Gilliam scores from second base; it turned out to be Robinson's last major league hit. The series is tied at 3 games apiece.
- October 10 – The New York Yankees defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 9-0, in Game 7 of the World Series to win their seventeenth World Championship, four games to three. Johnny Kucks goes the distance in the victory, allowing only three hits. Yogi Berra hits a pair of 2-run home runs and Bill Skowron hits a grand slam. Don Newcombe takes the loss, his fourth in Series competition. It was the last World Series game being played at Brooklyn's Ebbets Field. Yankees pitcher Don Larsen is named Most Valuable Player.
- October 24 – Birdie Tebbetts of the Cincinnati Reds is named National League Manager of the Year.
- October 25 – Chicago White Sox manager Marty Marion resigns. Al López replaces him.
- November 27:
- Don Newcombe, who posted a 27-7 record with 139 strikeouts and a 3.06 ERA for the National League pennant-winning Brooklyn Dodgers, becomes the first MLB Cy Young Award winner. Only one pitcher will be selected each season for this prestigious pitching award until 1967, when each league will name a winner.
- Outfielder Charlie Peete, given a good shot at being the first black starter on the St. Louis Cardinals, is killed in a plane crash in Caracas, Venezuela. Peete, who hit .192 in 23 games for St. Louis in 1956, was returning from playing winter ball.
- November 28 – The Cleveland Indians name Kerby Farrell to replace Al López as the team manager. Farrell won the Junior World Series as the pilot of the Double-A Indianapolis Indians.
- December 1 – Outfielder Frank Robinson of the Cincinnati Reds is unanimously voted the National League Rookie of the Year. In the American League, Chicago White Sox shortstop Luis Aparicio is voted Rookie of the Year with 22 points, beating out outfielders Tito Francona of the Baltimore Orioles and Rocky Colavito of the Cleveland Indians.
- January 4 – John Beckwith, 55, star infielder of the Negro Leagues
- January 10 – Algie McBride, 86, outfielder for the Chicago Colts, Cincinnati Reds, and New York Giants from 1896 to 1901.
- January 23 – Billy Evans, 71, American League umpire from 1906 to 1927, later the general manager of the Indians and Tigers
- January 31 – Buck Weaver, 65, one of the eight Chicago White Sox players suspended for life in the Black Sox scandal
- February 8 – Long Tom Hughes, 77, pitcher for the Chicago Orphans at the turn of the 20th century and one of the first World Series pitchers ever, in 1903, with the Boston Americans
- February 8 – Connie Mack, 93, Hall of Fame manager of the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 to 1950, retiring with a record 3,731 victories
- February 25 – Jack Lewis, 72, second baseman for the Boston Red Sox and Pittsburgh Rebels between 1911 and 1915
- March 2 – Fred Merkle, 67, first baseman for the New York Giants who infamously committed a controversial baserunning blunder in 1908 that likely cost his team the National League pennant.
- April 18 – John Heydler, 86, National League president from 1918 to 1934
- May 6 – Harry Ostdiek, 75, catcher who played for the Cleveland Naps (1904) and Boston Red Sox (1908)
- May 26 – Al Simmons, 54, Hall of Fame outfielder who batted a career .334 and was named the AL's MVP in 1929 by The Sporting News
- June 2 – Denny Sullivan, 73, center fielder for the Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox/Americans and Cleveland Naps between 1905 and 1909
- September 22 – Jesse Tannehill, 82, 6-time winner of 20 games with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox
- October 13 – George Dumont, 60, pitcher for the Washington Senators and Boston Red Sox between 1915 and 1919
- October 30 – Dick Midkiff, 42, pitcher for the 1938 Boston Red Sox
- November 22 – Roy Carlyle, 55, outfielder for the Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in the 1920s
- November 27 – Charlie Peete, 27, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder, in a plane crash in Venezuela while playing winter baseball
- November 30 – John Shea, 59, pitcher for the 1928 Boston Red Sox
- December 27 – Hob Hiller, 63, infielder for the Boston Red Sox in the early 1920s