1952 Leaders & Numbers

Al Rosen gave up golf, took up carrots and emulated Ted Williams’ swing in a successful quest to become one of the AL’s premier sluggers. Stan Musial justified the $35,000 raise he gave himself when handed a blank check by the Cardinals. For the seventh straight year, no National Leaguer hit more homers than Ralph Kiner, though he was tied during three of those years—including in 1952 with Hank Sauer, whose MVP effort got the Cubs to .500 for the only time between 1946 and 1963. RBI machine Eddie Robinson and two-time defending AL batting champion Ferris Fain topped off their careers before they were swapped in a postseason trade that would do neither any good. The greatest of Robin Roberts’ great years accounted for the most wins by a NL pitcher since Dizzy Dean’s 30 in 1934. The Indians, who never suffered from a dearth of 20-game winners during the 1950s, had three of them on their roster for the second straight year: Bob Lemon, Mike Garcia and Early Wynn. Typically frustrated Cub starter Bob Rush could finally smile on a season where events went mostly his way—including a win at the All-Star Game. At 139 pounds, Bobby Shantz was certainly the majors’ lightest MVP but an 800-pound gorilla upon opposing hitters. Hoyt Wilhelm became the first rookie to lead the NL in both ERA and win percentage. Ken Raffensberger, Exhibit One in the debate to keep players’ names off uniform backs, got rare name recognition as a brief ace for the Reds.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1952
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Stan Musial St. Louis 154 .336 578 105 194 42 6 21 91 70 26 2 7 7 11
2. Hank Sauer Chicago 151 .270 567 89 153 31 3 37 121 68 9 4 1 2 14
3. Jackie Robinson Brooklyn 149 .308 510 104 157 17 3 19 75 98 8 14 24 7 15
4. Gil Hodges Brooklyn 153 .254 508 87 129 27 1 32 102 91 16 2 2 4 9
5. Ralph Kiner Pittsburgh 149 .244 516 90 126 17 2 37 87 97 13 7 3 0 6
6. Bobby Thomson New York 153 .270 608 89 164 29 14 24 108 50 2 4 5 2 16
7. Del Ennis Philadelphia 151 .289 592 90 171 30 10 20 107 39 8 0 6 4 17
8. Duke Snider Brooklyn 144 .303 534 80 162 25 7 21 92 46 9 0 7 4 17
9. Enos Slaughter St. Louis 140 .300 510 73 153 17 12 11 101 61 9 1 6 1 11
10. Solly Hemus St. Louis 151 .268 570 105 153 28 8 15 52 96 0 20 1 5 11
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1952
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Larry Doby Cleveland 140 .276 519 104 143 26 8 32 104 80 10 0 5 2 6
2. Al Rosen Cleveland 148 .302 567 101 171 32 5 28 105 66 9 4 8 6 18
3. Mickey Mantle New York 142 .311 549 94 171 37 7 23 87 66 9 0 4 1 5
4. Eddie Robinson Chicago 155 .296 594 79 176 33 1 22 104 54 16 12 2 0 8
5. Yogi Berra New York 142 .273 534 97 146 17 1 30 98 57 9 4 2 3 8
6. Luke Easter Cleveland 127 .263 437 63 115 10 3 31 97 37 9 5 1 1 5
7. Ferris Fain Philadelphia 145 .327 538 82 176 43 3 2 59 102 3 1 3 5 19
8. Vic Wertz Detroit-St. Louis 122 .277 415 68 115 20 3 23 70 63 6 1 1 0 8
9. Minnie Minoso Chicago 147 .281 569 96 160 24 9 13 61 66 5 14 22 16 15
10. Bobby Avila Cleveland 150 .300 597 102 179 26 11 7 45 66 1 1 12 10 16
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1952
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Robin Roberts Philadelphia 2.59 28 7 .800 2 39 37 330 414 95 41 4 3 5 0 7 3 19
2. Joe Black Brooklyn 2.15 15 4 .789 15 56 2 142.1 148 34 34 7 0 1 0 2 7 9
3. Hoyt Wilhelm New York 2.43 15 3 .833 11 71 0 159.1 190 43 53 4 3 5 0 6 10 14
4. Warren Spahn Boston 2.98 14 19 .424 3 40 35 290 370 96 63 10 5 6 0 4 10 17
5. Karl Drews Philadelphia 2.72 14 15 .483 0 33 30 228.2 296 69 47 5 4 4 0 8 12 30
6. Curt Simmons Philadelphia 2.82 14 8 .636 0 28 28 201.1 237 63 66 4 2 1 1 9 4 13
7. Bob Rush Chicago 2.70 17 13 .567 0 34 32 250.1 297 75 72 9 7 6 0 20 4 15
8. Ken Raffensberger Cincinnati 2.81 17 13 .567 1 38 33 247 363 77 40 5 1 2 0 5 7 19
9. Warren Hacker Chicago 2.58 15 9 .625 1 33 20 185 239 53 30 1 1 1 1 3 2 7
10. Sal Maglie New York 2.92 18 8 .692 1 35 31 216 285 70 70 5 2 6 1 3 4 25
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1952
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Bob Lemon Cleveland 2.50 22 11 .667 4 42 36 309.2 336 86 103 2 8 6 0 9 5 35
2. Allie Reynolds New York 2.06 20 8 .714 6 35 29 244.1 267 56 92 5 4 7 0 10 9 23
3. Mike Garcia Cleveland 2.37 22 11 .667 4 46 36 292.1 354 77 75 12 4 7 1 9 10 24
4. Bobby Shantz Philadelphia 2.48 24 7 .774 0 33 33 279.2 353 77 57 6 0 4 0 8 10 24
5. Joe Dobson Chicago 2.51 14 10 .583 1 29 25 200.2 219 56 55 5 4 0 0 6 5 20
6. Billy Pierce Chicago 2.57 15 12 .556 1 33 32 255.1 294 73 72 7 3 3 0 3 4 20
7. Vic Raschi New York 2.78 16 6 .727 0 31 31 223 247 69 89 2 5 6 0 7 6 23
8. Early Wynn Cleveland 2.90 23 12 .657 3 42 33 285.2 358 92 127 5 5 1 0 12 16 24
9. Bob Porterfield Washington 2.72 13 14 .481 0 31 29 231.1 292 70 76 9 2 4 0 4 4 23
10. Ed Lopat New York 2.53 10 5 .667 0 20 19 149.1 180 42 49 4 1 4 0 2 1 23

Brown type indicates league leader.
Notes: Walks (BB) do not include intentional walks (IB). For pitchers, caught stealing (CS) also includes pickoffs.
How does This Great Game determine the best hitters and pitchers? Find out here.


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1952 Awards


NL MVP
Hank Sauer, Chicago

AL MVP
Bobby Shantz, Philadelphia


NL Rookie of the Year
Joe Black, Brooklyn

AL Rookie of the Year
Harry Byrd, Philadelphia