On February 13, 1953, the Philadelphia Athletics renamed their stadium from Shibe Park to Connie Mack Stadium, in honor of the legendary manager. During his fifty-year career as manager for the A’s, Mack led the team to nine American League pennants, appearing in eight World Series and winning five World Championships.
The rule requiring National League batters to wear protective headgear went into effect in 1956, and the American League adopted a similar rule in 1958. However, a number of players began wearing various types of head protection prior to this. Athletics infielder Lamar Newsome, for example, wore a protective insert under his cap in 1939, as shown in the clipping below. Newsome’s insert was made of tape-reinforced felt, but subsequent versions of the insert would be made of lightweight plastic and would become popular with many players.
On November 27, 1947, Yankee Joe DiMaggio was awarded the American League Most Valuable Player award, beating out Boston’s Ted Williams by one point. Though Ted Williams won the Triple Crown that year, with a .343 average, 32 homers, and 114 RBIs, the vote for MVP was affected when a writer in the Midwest left Williams’s name completely off the ballot.
Here’s an interesting infographic released by MLB.com. We know now that the season MVP award winner for the American League was Jose Altuve (while Giancarlo Stanton won the National League honor). But as we know, in the world of baseball, it is difficult to remain the best of the best consistently over the course of the 162-game season (or more, if your team gets into the post-season). Here’s MLB.com’s take on who the AL MVP actually was on each individual day of the season.
Former Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Cal Hubbard became an American League umpire on November 4, 1935. Hubbard would go on to become the only person to be enshrined at both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Baseball Hall of Fame. He is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Tigers’ left fielder Hank Greenberg was named the American League’s Most Valuable player on October 26, 1940 for the second time in his career. He hit .340 for the year with 41 home runs and 150 RBIs. Having won the award in 1935 as a first baseman, Greenberg thus became the first player in major league history to win an MVP award at two different positions.
The Yankees really are a popular target. I’m no Red Sox fan, either, but somehow, I still struggle to feel bad for the Yankees.
‘I am a Yankees fan,’ a first-grade teacher explains to her class. ‘Who likes the Yankees?’
Everyone raises a hand except one little girl. ‘Janie,’ the teacher says, surprised. ‘Why didn’t you raise your hand?’
‘I’m not a Yankees fan.’
‘Well, if you are not a Yankees fan, then what team do you like?’
‘The Red Sox,’ Janie answers.
‘Why in the world are you a Red Sox fan?’
‘Because my mom and dad are Red Sox fans.’
‘That’s no reason to be a Red Sox fan,’ the teacher replies, annoyed. ‘You don’t always have to be just like your parents. What if your mom and dad were morons? What would you be then?’
‘A Yankees fan.’
The Red Sox get into the Series thanks to the fact that the Yankees – who were leading the American League championships three games to none, and have all-stars at every position, not to mention a payroll larger than the gross national product of Sweden – chose that particular time to execute the most spectacular choke in all of sports history, an unbelievable Gag-o-Rama, a noxious nosedive, a pathetic gut-check failure of such epic dimensions that every thinking human outside of the New York metropolitan area experiences a near-orgasmic level of happiness. But there is no need to rub it in.
~ Dave Barry (2004 year in review)