1953 Leaders & Numbers

Whether it was because he stung lefties more, or because he was protected by a gang of right-handed slugging stars—or that he was just simply getting better—Duke Snider emerged into a monster force with the first of five straight years with 40-plus homers. Al Rosen was just one batting point away from winning the triple crown. Mickey Vernon, who was that one point better, grouped with one-year pitching sensation Bob Porterfield to give Washington its last winning season before the Expos came to town over 50 years later. All biceps and no sleeves, muscular Ted Kluszewski took advantage of a moved-in right-field wall in Cincinnati to become the first Red (er, Redleg) to reach 40 homers. Struggling at shortstop, misdiagnosed as a leadoff hitter and booed by Indian fans, Ray Boone got a welcome trade to Detroit and immensely raised his comfort level at third base while averaging nearly a RBI per game. Robin Roberts’ continued excellence included a streak of 28 straight complete games going back to 1952. Lack of support was a problem for Billy Pierce, but it was a much bigger problem for the pitchers he faced; opponents hit just .218 against him. Rookie Harvey Haddix started out strong in St. Louis, setting a career high in wins and leading the NL with six shutouts. A year after his bizarre odyssey of going 5-19 with two no-hitters, Virgil Trucks received overdue satisfaction with his first and only 20-win campaign. Mel Parnell, riding the comeback trail, threw five shutouts—four against the rival Yankees.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1953
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Duke Snider Brooklyn 153 .336 590 132 198 38 4 42 126 70 12 3 16 7 10
2. Stan Musial St. Louis 157 .337 593 127 200 53 9 30 113 97 8 0 3 4 10
3. Eddie Mathews Milwaukee 157 .302 579 110 175 31 8 47 135 83 16 2 1 3 6
4. Roy Campanella Brooklyn 144 .312 519 103 162 26 3 41 142 54 13 4 4 2 13
5. Gil Hodges Brooklyn 141 .302 520 101 157 22 7 31 122 70 5 3 1 4 4
6. Jackie Robinson Brooklyn 136 .329 484 109 159 34 7 12 95 69 5 7 17 4 12
7. Ted Kluszewski Cincinnati 149 .316 570 97 180 25 0 40 108 49 6 4 2 0 13
8. Carl Furillo Brooklyn 132 .344 479 82 165 38 6 21 92 27 7 4 1 1 15
9. Ralph Kiner Pittsburgh-Chicago 158 .279 562 100 157 20 3 35 116 92 8 3 2 1 11
10. Hank Thompson New York 114 .302 388 80 117 15 8 24 74 56 4 4 6 5 5
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1953
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Al Rosen Cleveland 155 .336 599 115 201 27 5 43 145 81 4 4 8 7 19
2. Mickey Vernon Washington 152 .337 608 101 205 43 11 15 115 59 4 4 4 6 15
3. Ray Boone Cleveland-Detroit 135 .296 497 94 147 17 8 26 114 68 4 5 3 9 9
4. Mickey Mantle New York 127 .295 461 105 136 24 3 21 92 76 3 0 8 4 2
5. Minnie Minoso Chicago 151 .313 556 104 174 24 8 15 104 67 7 17 25 16 23
6. Gus Zernial Philadelphia 147 .284 556 85 158 21 3 42 108 46 11 4 4 0 12
7. Yogi Berra New York 137 .296 503 80 149 23 5 27 108 44 6 3 0 3 7
8. Larry Doby Cleveland 149 .263 513 92 135 18 5 29 102 90 6 6 3 2 7
9. George Kell Boston 134 .307 460 68 141 41 2 12 73 51 1 5 5 2 10
10. Eddie Yost Washington 152 .277 577 107 157 30 7 9 45 121 2 4 7 4 12
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1953
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Warren Spahn Milwaukee 2.10 23 7 .767 3 35 32 265.2 280 62 64 6 3 1 2 2 4 17
2. Harvey Haddix St. Louis 3.06 20 9 .690 1 36 33 253 310 86 69 0 9 4 0 2 6 21
3. Robin Roberts Philadelphia 2.75 23 16 .590 2 44 41 346.2 475 106 52 9 3 2 0 7 3 31
4. Lew Burdette Milwaukee 3.24 15 5 .750 8 46 13 175 221 63 50 6 1 5 0 3 3 17
5. Carl Erskine Brooklyn 3.54 20 6 .769 3 39 33 246.2 334 97 89 6 4 3 0 2 9 18
6. Curt Simmons Philadelphia 3.21 16 13 .552 0 32 30 238 322 85 78 4 0 3 0 4 2 16
7. Bob Buhl Milwaukee 2.97 13 8 .619 0 30 18 154.1 186 51 68 5 1 3 1 3 6 15
8. Ruben Gomez New York 3.40 13 11 .542 0 29 26 204 247 77 93 8 3 4 0 4 2 12
9. Vinegar Bend Mizell St. Louis 3.49 13 11 .542 0 33 33 224.1 247 87 110 4 4 4 2 6 2 6
10. Gerry Staley St. Louis 3.99 18 9 .667 4 40 32 230 361 102 49 5 1 17 1 6 2 14
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1953
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Billy Pierce Chicago 2.72 18 12 .600 3 40 33 271.1 332 82 92 10 5 3 0 2 11 12
2. Bob Porterfield Washington 3.35 22 10 .688 0 34 32 255 345 95 72 1 2 1 0 2 7 31
3. Mickey McDermott Boston 3.01 18 10 .643 0 32 30 206.1 221 69 106 3 5 2 1 3 8 20
4. Ed Lopat New York 2.42 16 4 .800 0 25 24 178.1 238 48 32 0 1 4 1 5 6 19
5. Bob Lemon Cleveland 3.36 21 15 .583 1 41 36 286.2 368 107 108 2 9 11 0 9 10 39
6. Whitey Ford New York 3.00 18 6 .750 0 32 30 207 253 69 107 3 3 4 0 4 15 26
7. Mike Garcia Cleveland 3.25 18 9 .667 0 38 35 271.2 357 98 79 2 3 3 0 16 4 32
8. Vic Raschi New York 3.33 13 6 .684 1 28 26 181 217 67 54 1 1 1 0 6 4 13
9. Mel Parnell Boston 3.06 21 8 .724 0 38 34 241 298 82 107 9 7 4 0 10 7 30
10. Virgil Trucks St. Louis-Chicago 2.93 20 10 .667 3 40 33 264.1 349 86 96 3 7 7 1 6 11 20

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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1953 Awards


NL MVP
Roy Campanella, Brooklyn

AL MVP
Al Rosen, Cleveland


NL Rookie of the Year
Jim Gilliam, Brooklyn

AL Rookie of the Year
Harvey Kuenn, Detroit