Presenting our latest classic baseball card set: the 1954 Pro Season for HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL, NOW AVAILABLE!
Few big league baseball seasons have been more memorable than the '54 season. In the AL, New York won 103 games—and finished eight games out of first place! That's because Cleveland's "Tribe" set a record with 111 wins in a 154 game season, a .721 winning percentage. It was the first time in five years that the Yanks were displaced as AL champions (they would return to their pennant-winning ways, '55-58), and it was the best-ever record for a team that didn't win the pennant. Cleveland was dominant all season, outscoring opponents by 242 runs!
In the NL, it was a three-team race that saw New York pull away at the end, winning 27 of its final 40 games, finishing five games ahead of Brooklyn and eight ahead of Milwaukee. New York then stunned the baseball world in the Fall Classic by not only defeating Cleveland, but sweeping the series in four games! The Tribe's big bats fell mostly silent in the championship series, generating only nine runs in four games.
The post-season awards were Gotham-centric, with most of them collected by players on the big leagues' New York teams. The NL MVP was the "Say Hey" kid, Willie Mays (.345 batting average and 41 homers) whose unbelievable catch of a Vic Wertz drive is still regarded as one of the most amazing moments in the history of the Fall Classic. In the AL, the Yanks indomitable Yogi Berra ("It ain’t over 'til it’s over") won his second MVP award, batting .307 with 125 RBI.
Six pitchers won 20 or more games in '54, including the Yanks' Rookie-of-the-Year Bob Grim. Grim remains the only pitcher in big league history ever to win 20 games with fewer than 200 innings pitched. Philadelphia's Robin Roberts logged almost 350 innings pitched, finishing 23-15 (for a losing team: the Phils finished 75-79!). Cleveland pitchers Garcia, Lemon and Wynn were 1-2-3 in ERA in the AL, while New York (NL)'s Johnny Antonelli (21-7) led all of baseball with a sparkling (2.30) ERA.
A pair of "Teds" dominated 1954 baseball headlines at the plate. Ted Kluzewski led all batters with 49 homers and 141 RBI, while Ted Williams returned from military duty and thrilled fans with his high-percentage stick-work: he ended up with a .345 batting average, although he was short of the necessary 400 at bats to qualify. (Smoky Burgess won the batting title, hitting .368 for the year.)
Also note-worthy: The AL had its first franchise shift in over 50 years, with the St. Louis club moving to Baltimore to became the O's. St. Louis rookie Rip Repulski set a record by collecting at least two hits in ten consecutive games. Stan "The Man" Musial became the first player ever to hit five homers in the same day (May 2nd, 1954, a doubleheader against the Giants). Umpire Bill McGowan set a big league record by officiating in his 2,541st consecutive game—of course, he's carded with your umpires in this set! And those are just a FEW of the '54 season highlights!
With the 1954 Pro Season for HMB, you can re-live this very special big league season on your very own tabletop! Conduct a full-season play-through of your favorite team, and quick-play the rest of the games with the "Instant Results" matrix (included). For a less time-intensive project, you can set up a single, double, or short-series elimination tournament. Or, skip the regular season entirely and get right to the Fall Classic! With HMB, anything's possible!
The 1954 Pro Season for HISTORY MAKER BASEBALL includes 24 players for each of the sixteen major league clubs, almost 400 players in all (an additional 40 "fringe" players are available as a free download). You also get 32 umpire cards, batting orders, a list of traded players, and an Instant Results matrix—all for just $24 postage-paid! Order YOUR copy TODAY, NOW AVAILABLE!