Become a digitalPLUS subscriber. 99¢ for 4 weeks.
Sports

1954-1959: Year-by-year capsules

BaseballMajor League BaseballBaltimore OriolesHistoryNew York Yankees

1954

Record: 54-100

Place: Seventh in American League

Manager: Jimmy Dykes

Most Valuable Oriole: Chuck Diering

Batting leader: Cal Abrams (.293)

Home run leader: Vern Stephens (8)

RBI leader: Vern Stephens (46)

Wins leader: Bob Turley (14)

ERA leader: Duane Pillette (3.12)

Notable: After 52 years as the St. Louis Browns, the Orioles played their first home game in Memorial Stadium on April 15, a 3-1 win over the Chicago White Sox. After the season, new manager-general manager Paul Richards completed a 17-player swap — the largest in Major League Baseball history — that brought catcher Gus Triandos, outfielder Gene Woodling and eight other players to the Orioles.

1955

Record: 57-97

Place: Seventh in AL

Manager: Paul Richards

Most Valuable Oriole: Dave Philley

Batting leader: Gus Triandos (.277)

Home run leader: Gus Triandos (12)

RBI leader: Gus Triandos (65)

Wins leader: Jim Wilson (12)

ERA leader: Jim Wilson (3.45)

Notable: The Orioles signed Brooks Robinson, an 18-year-old amateur free agent from Little Rock, Ark., before the season. Robinson, who made his major league debut Sept. 17, batted .091 (2-for-22) in six games. He eventually became the club's everyday third baseman and won 16 straight Gold Glove awards from 1960 to 1975.

1956

Record: 69-85

Place: Sixth in AL

Manager: Paul Richards

Most Valuable Oriole: Bob Nieman

Batting leader: Bob Nieman (.322)

Home run leader: Gus Triandos (21)

RBI leader: Gus Triandos (88)

Wins leader: Ray Moore (12)

ERA leader: Connie Johnson (3.42)

Notable: In his second season with the Orioles, Triandos became the club's first player to hit 20 home runs in a season. On May 12, left-hander Don Ferrarese had a no-hit bid through eight innings against the New York Yankees before giving up two singles in the ninth. The Orioles won, 1-0. On Sept. 20, backup catcher Tom Gastall, 24, died after crashing his airplane into the Chesapeake Bay.

1957

Record: 76-76

Place: Fifth in AL

Manager: Paul Richards

Most Valuable Oriole: Billy Gardner

Batting leader: Bob Boyd (.318)

Home run leader: Gus Triandos (19)

RBI leader: Gus Triandos (72)

Wins leader: Connie Johnson (14)

ERA leader: Connie Johnson (3.20)

Notable: The Orioles avoided having a losing record for the first time since coming to Baltimore, but they still finished 21 games behind the AL champion New York Yankees (98-56). In June, the club signed 18-year-old right-hander Milt Pappas as an amateur free agent. After nine years and 110 wins for the Orioles, Pappas would head to the Cincinnati Reds as part of the trade for right fielder Frank Robinson in December 1965.

1958

Record: 74-79

Place: Sixth in AL

Manager: Paul Richards

Most Valuable Oriole: Gus Triandos

Batting leader: Gene Woodling (.276)

Home run leader: Gus Triandos (30)

RBI leader: Gus Triandos (79)

Wins leader: Arnie Portocarrero (15)

ERA leader: Jack Harshman (2.89)

Notable: In an otherwise disappointing season, the Orioles made franchise history by hosting the only All-Star Game ever played at Memorial Stadium. Orioles left-hander Billy O'Dell retired the final nine batters to preserve the AL's 4-3 win. On Sept. 20, knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm pitched the first no-hitter in franchise history, giving the Orioles a 1-0 victory over the New York Yankees.

1959

Record: 74-80

Place: Sixth in AL

Manager: Paul Richards

Most Valuable Oriole: Gene Woodling

Batting leader: Gene Woodling (.300)

Home run leader: Gus Triandos (25)

RBI leader: Gene Woodling (77)

Wins leader: Milt Pappas/Hoyt Wilhelm (15)

ERA leader: Hoyt Wilhelm (2.19)

Notable: Wilhelm led the major leagues in ERA, and two other Orioles pitchers — right-hander Jerry Walker (eighth, 2.92) and Billy O'Dell (ninth, 2.93) — finished in the top 10. Five Orioles pitchers (Wilhelm, Walker, O'Dell, and right-handers Hal Brown and Pappas) won at least 10 games. In his second season as an everyday player, Brooks Robinson began to develop into a star, hitting .284 as a 22-year-old.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
BaseballMajor League BaseballBaltimore OriolesHistoryNew York Yankees
Comments
Loading