1954 Leaders & Numbers

A busted collarbone was no help for Ted Williams in his quest to take his first batting title in six years, but neither were his 136 walks—which held him under the 400 at-bats needed to qualify for the title. In the thick of the “my center fielder’s better than yours” debate, no clear winner was to emerge for now between Duke Snider and Willie Mays. Minnie Minoso, the man who would play forever—if only he was allowed—put up some of the year’s most immortal numbers in the AL. Of Ted Kluszewski’s league-leading 49 homers, 34 of them came at home—a NL record until Mark McGwire in 1998. It was déjà vu all over again for Yogi Berra, who won his second of three AL MVPs. Nineteen of Gil Hodges’ RBIs came thanks to a record dose of sacrifice flies. Making up: Jackie Jensen led the league in grounding into double plays, but also led in steals. Robin Roberts never threw a no-hitter, but tossed three one-hitters—two of them in 1954. Mirroring the Indians’ monopoly upon the AL was their “Big Three”—Mike Garcia, Early Wynn and Bob Lemon—who dominated AL pitching. The early success of Lew Burdette—born in Nitro, West Virginia—had opponents blowing up over his alleged headhunting and use of the spitter. Bob Grim became the first (and only) pitcher to win 20 games in under 200 innings. Steve Gromek, who spent a decade failing to crack the stellar Indian rotation, got workhorse duty in Detroit and exclaimed, “It’s great to be a regular after 13 years as a rookie.”

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1954
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Duke Snider Brooklyn 149 .341 584 120 199 39 10 40 130 66 18 4 6 6 12
2. Willie Mays New York 151 .345 565 119 195 33 13 41 110 52 14 2 8 5 12
3. Ted Kluszewski Cincinnati 149 .326 573 104 187 28 3 49 141 63 15 3 0 2 12
4. Stan Musial St. Louis 153 .330 591 120 195 41 9 35 126 88 15 4 1 7 20
5. Eddie Mathews Milwaukee 138 .290 476 96 138 21 4 35 126 88 15 4 1 7 20
6. Gil Hodges Brooklyn 154 .304 579 106 176 23 5 42 130 70 4 1 3 3 13
7. Hank Sauer Chicago 142 .288 520 98 150 18 1 41 103 61 9 6 2 1 8
8. Wally Moon St. Louis 151 .304 635 106 193 29 9 12 76 68 3 1 18 10 10
9. Gus Bell Cincinnati 153 .299 619 104 185 38 7 17 101 47 1 4 5 3 13
10. Hank Thompson New York 136 .263 448 76 118 18 1 28 86 83 7 5 3 0 7
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1954
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Ted Williams Boston 117 .345 386 93 133 23 1 29 89 119 17 1 0 0 10
2. Minnie Minoso Chicago 153 .320 568 119 182 29 18 19 116 70 7 16 18 11 20
3. Mickey Mantle New York 146 .300 543 129 163 17 12 27 102 95 7 0 5 2 3
4. Larry Doby Cleveland 153 .272 577 94 157 18 4 32 126 79 6 3 3 1 7
5. Yogi Berra New York 151 .307 584 88 179 28 6 22 125 50 6 4 0 1 9
6. Al Rosen Cleveland 137 .300 466 76 140 20 2 24 102 72 13 3 6 2 14
7. Bobby Avila Cleveland 143 .341 555 112 189 27 2 15 67 58 1 1 9 7 9
8. Jackie Jensen Boston 152 .276 580 92 160 25 7 25 117 75 4 2 22 7 32
9. Mickey Vernon Washington 151 .290 597 90 173 33 14 20 97 52 9 5 1 4 10
10. Nellie Fox Chicago 155 .319 631 111 201 24 8 2 47 50 1 5 16 9 13
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1954
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Johnny Antonelli New York 2.30 21 7 .750 2 39 37 258.2 301 66 89 5 2 5 0 2 5 18
2. Lew Burdette Milwaukee 2.76 15 14 .517 0 38 32 238 308 73 55 7 2 4 0 3 4 29
3. Warren Spahn Milwaukee 3.14 21 12 .636 3 39 34 283.1 378 99 78 8 3 1 1 3 7 14
4. Robin Roberts Philadelphia 2.97 23 15 .605 4 45 38 336.2 473 111 49 7 2 5 0 10 5 17
5. Curt Simmons Philadelphia 2.81 14 15 .483 1 34 33 253 311 79 91 7 2 5 0 6 4 14
6. Harvey Haddix St. Louis 3.57 18 13 .581 4 43 35 259.2 354 103 74 3 7 3 0 2 6 12
7. Ruben Gomez New York 2.88 17 9 .654 0 37 32 221.2 286 71 95 14 4 7 1 2 7 20
8. Gene Conley Milwaukee 2.96 14 9 .609 0 28 27 194.1 248 64 72 7 4 7 0 8 7 17
9. Carl Erskine Brooklyn 4.15 18 15 .545 1 38 37 260.1 392 120 91 1 6 4 0 4 7 19
10. Marv Grissom New York 2.35 10 7 .588 19 56 3 122.1 154 32 39 11 1 7 1 2 3 7
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1954
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Mike Garcia Cleveland 2.64 19 8 .704 5 45 34 258.2 277 76 68 3 1 2 0 12 5 16
2. Early Wynn Cleveland 2.73 23 11 .676 2 40 36 270.2 325 82 81 2 2 0 0 9 13 14
3. Bob Lemon Cleveland 2.72 23 7 .767 0 36 33 258.1 308 78 85 7 6 4 1 4 7 22
4. Virgil Trucks Chicago 2.79 19 12 .613 3 40 33 264.2 313 82 89 6 4 1 0 7 4 22
5. Ned Garver Detroit 2.81 14 11 .560 1 35 32 246.1 317 77 59 3 2 4 0 5 9 23
6. Bob Grim New York 3.26 20 6 .769 0 37 20 199 234 72 80 5 4 3 0 5 6 26
7. Sandy Consuegra Chicago 2.69 16 3 .842 3 39 17 154 205 46 31 4 2 0 0 4 4 16
8. Steve Gromek Detroit 2.74 18 16 .529 1 36 32 252.2 363 77 50 7 1 12 0 8 8 12
9. Johnny Schmitz Washington 2.91 11 8 .579 1 29 23 185.1 238 60 57 7 3 3 1 7 4 29
10. Whitey Ford New York 2.82 16 8 .667 1 34 28 210.2 237 66 99 2 1 1 0 2 9 25

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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1954 Awards


NL MVP
Willie Mays, New York

AL MVP
Yogi Berra, New York


NL Rookie of the Year
Wally Moon, St. Louis

AL Rookie of the Year
Bob Grim, New York