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Series Wrapup

Story

Buoyed by the return of Willie Mays from the military, the Giants prevented the Dodgers from winning their third straight National League pennant in 1954, finishing the season with a record of 97-57, five games ahead of the second-place Dodgers.  The Braves came in third, eight games back of the pennant-winners.

Mays ended up capturing N.L. MVP honors by leading the league with a .345 batting average, a .667 slugging percentage and 13 triples.  He also placed among the leaders with 41 home runs, 110 runs batted in, 119 runs scored, 195 hits, and a .411 on-base percentage.  Teammate Don Mueller finished second in the batting race with a mark of .342, and he also topped the circuit with 212 hits.  Hank Thompson added 26 homers and 86 runs batted in, while shortstop Alvin Dark batted .293, hit 20 home runs, and scored 98 runs.

The Giants’ greatest strength, though, lay in their pitching, which surrendered a league-low 550 runs to the opposition.  An off-season trade brought left-hander Johnny Antonelli, who finished 21-7 with a league-leading 2.30 ERA and six shutouts.  Ruben Gomez went 17-9 with a 2.88 ERA, and Sal Maglie added another 14 victories.  Meanwhile, relievers Hoyt Wilhelm and Marv Grissom pitched exceptionally well out of the bullpen, combining for 22 wins and 26 saves.  

The Giants entered the World Series as heavy underdogs against a Cleveland Indians team that won 111 games during the regular season.  Nevertheless, they shocked their American League counterparts, sweeping them in four straight games and outscoring them in the process by a combined margin of 21-9.  New York’s pitching staff held Cleveland’s lineup to a team batting average of just .190, with Vic Wertz being the only Indians regular to post a mark in excess of .250.  Antonelli was particularly effective, going 1-0, with a 0.84 ERA in his two appearances.  Willie Mays provided the Fall Classic’s most memorable moment, making an astonishing over-the-shoulder catch on a deep drive hit by Wertz with two men on base and the score tied in the top of the eighth inning of Game One.  Dusty Rhodes later brought the Giants victory by hitting a pinch-hit home run off Bob Lemon in the bottom of the 10th inning.  Rhodes turned out to be the hitting star of the Series, batting .667, with two home runs and seven RBIs in only six at-bats.

Although the Giants represented the National League in the World Series, the Cardinals and Dodgers boasted the senior circuit’s top two offenses.  Stan Musial led the St. Louis attack, placing among the league leaders with 35 home runs, 126 runs batted in, and a .330 batting average, while topping the circuit with 120 runs scored and 41 doubles.  Meanwhile, Duke Snider had a fabulous year for the Dodgers, tying Musial for the league lead with 120 runs scored, leading the league with 378 total bases, and finishing near the top of the league rankings with 40 home runs, 130 runs batted in, a .341 batting average, 199 hits, a .423 on-base percentage, and a .647 slugging percentage.  Gil Hodges also had a big year for Brooklyn, hitting 42 homers, knocking in 130 runs, scoring 106 others, and batting .304.  Only dismal pitching and a subpar performance turned in by Roy Campanella prevented the Dodgers from finishing atop the N.L.  standings once again.

Cincinnati’s powerful first baseman Ted Kluszewski established himself as arguably the league’s foremost slugger by topping the circuit with 49 home runs and 141 runs batted in.  He also batted .326 and scored 104 runs.

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:

• Philadelphia’s Robin Roberts led all National League pitchers with 23 wins, 185 strikeouts, 29 complete games, and 337 innings pitched.

• St. Louis' Wally Moon earned National League Rookie of the Year honors.

• Cardinals rookie Rip Repulski collected a major league record two-or-more hits in 10 consecutive games.

• Ted Kluszewski broke Johnny Mize's National League record by scoring at least one run in 17 straight games.

• Karl Spooner of the Dodgers hurled shutouts in his first two major league starts.

• Spooner set a major league record by fanning 15 batters in his big league debut.

• Jim Wilson of Milwaukee no-hit the Phillies on June 12.

• On May 2, Stan Musial became the first player to hit five homers in a doubleheader.

• Bobby Thomson's injury freed up a spot in the Braves outfield for rookie second baseman Hank Aaron, who batted .280.

• Ray Jablonski of the Cardinals became the second player in major league history to drive in 100 runs in each of his first two seasons.

• On August 1, Milwaukee's Joe Adcock hit four home runs and collected a major league record 18 total bases.

• Ernie Banks played his first full season for the Chicago Cubs.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BRO 1870 5251 778 1418 741 .179 246 56 186 46 39 2334 .311 .266 .603 137 59 79
CHN 1882 5359 700 1412 640 .201 229 45 159 46 31 2208 .328 .288 .652 119 40 56
CIN 1959 5234 729 1369 685 .193 221 46 147 47 30 2123 .388 .272 .705 103 51 101
ML1 1822 5261 670 1395 636 .196 217 41 139 54 31 2111 .306 .274 .626 115 44 110
NY1 1962 5245 732 1386 701 .155 194 42 186 30 23 2222 .340 .241 .660 110 52 84
PHI 1719 5184 659 1384 620 .174 243 58 102 30 27 2049 .328 .243 .618 143 55 84
PIT 1912 5088 557 1260 526 .188 181 57 76 21 13 1783 .332 .259 .625 125 58 99
SLN 2054 5405 799 1518 748 .174 285 58 119 63 46 2276 .329 .257 .642 127 66 44

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BRO 385 92 62 1394 762 533 6031 1399 164 73.970 667 740 39 8 36 28 0
CHN 364 64 90 1374 622 619 6021 1375 131 89.850 688 766 41 4 19 35 2
CIN 389 74 80 1368 537 547 5987 1491 169 81.470 684 763 34 8 27 24 1
ML1 347 89 65 1393 698 553 5881 1296 106 43.390 494 556 63 13 21 23 2
NY1 389 97 57 1390 692 613 5939 1258 113 66.280 478 550 45 17 33 21 4
PHI 292 74 79 1366 570 450 5775 1329 133 51.570 545 614 78 13 12 20 1
PIT 349 53 101 1346 525 564 6023 1510 128 79.100 736 845 37 4 15 37 5
SLN 415 72 81 1392 680 535 6099 1484 170 141.880 695 790 40 10 18 35 2

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BRO 2247 7043 5201 1688 154 .958 16728 28 32 2.00 4
CHN 2237 7120 5146 1789 185 .966 16491 50 29 0 14
CIN 2217 7046 5181 1701 164 .979 16414 24 34 3.00 9
ML1 2172 7097 5148 1803 146 .967 16734 33 28 1.00 10
NY1 2238 7177 5232 1770 175 .942 16678 28 30 2.00 17
PHI 2074 7027 5234 1617 176 .963 16385 32 23 0 9
PIT 2213 7093 5099 1792 202 .974 16152 48 33 2.00 9
SLN 2297 7194 5147 1878 169 .965 16683 20 21 1.00 8

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1954 World Series, Alvin Dark, Bob Lemon, Bobby Thomson, Don Mueller, Duke Snider, Dusty Rhodes, Ernie Banks, Gil Hodges, Hank Aaron, Hank Thompson, Hoyt Wilhelm, Jim Wilson, Joe Adcock, Johnny Antonelli, Karl Spooner, Marv Grissom, New York Giants, Ray Jablonski, Rip Repulski, Robin Roberts, Roy Campanella, Ruben Gomez, Sal Maglie, Stan Musial, Ted Kluszewski, Vic Wertz, Wally Moon, Willie Mays

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