1955 Leaders & Numbers

Al Kaline bucked the trend of “bonus baby” busts and became an immediate Detroit fixture with his most proficient of 22 seasons in the Motor City. Willie Mays was a sore sight for the eyes of Dodger fans, cranking out nine homers at Ebbets Field. Gotham catchers Yogi Berra and Roy Campanella each won their third MVP. Ted Kluszewski became an anomaly among NL sluggers of the time, wrapping up a three-year binge in which he collected more homers (136) than strikeouts (109). The flamboyant Vic Power, not Uncle Tom enough to be the Yankees’ first black player, received a more comforting welcome from the A’s and thanked them for it on the field. Ernie Banks became the first shortstop to hit 40 homers, which the popular Cub would make a habit of it. So would Robin Roberts—that is, at giving up over 40—but he also produced his sixth straight (and last) 20-win campaign. No one made winning look effortless like Whitey Ford, who emerged as the AL’s top hurler. The Pirates’ Bob Friend became the first ERA leader from a last-place team. Joe Nuxhall, who famously debuted (and bombed) in the majors at age 15, completed his long and winding road towards a worthy All-Star Game roster spot. Billy Pierce gave the majors their only sub-2.00 ERA of the 1950s, while Frank Sullivan gave Boston its decade’s sole sub-3.00 ERA—yet won three more games. Stan Musial could vouch for Clem Labine’s status as one of the game’s toughest relievers; Musial was once 0-for-49 against him.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1955
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Willie Mays New York 152 .319 580 123 185 18 13 51 127 66 13 4 24 4 12
2. Duke Snider Brooklyn 148 .309 538 126 166 34 6 42 136 85 19 1 9 7 9
3. Ted Kluszewski Cincinnati 153 .314 612 116 192 25 0 47 113 41 25 4 1 1 10
4. Eddie Mathews Milwaukee 141 .289 499 108 144 23 5 41 101 89 20 1 3 4 5
5. Wally Post Cincinnati 154 .309 601 116 186 33 3 40 109 55 5 2 7 4 15
6. Stan Musial St. Louis 154 .319 562 97 179 30 5 33 108 61 19 8 5 4 12
7. Ernie Banks Chicago 154 .295 596 98 176 29 9 44 117 39 6 2 9 3 16
8. Roy Campanella Brooklyn 123 .318 446 81 142 20 1 32 107 47 9 6 2 3 14
9. Hank Aaron Milwaukee 153 .314 602 105 189 37 9 27 106 44 5 3 3 1 20
10. Gus Bell Cincinnati 154 .308 610 88 188 30 6 27 104 52 2 0 4 4 6
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1955
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Mickey Mantle New York 147 .306 517 121 158 25 11 37 99 107 6 3 8 1 4
2. Al Kaline Detroit 152 .340 588 121 200 25 8 27 102 70 12 5 6 8 13
3. Ted Williams Boston 98 .356 320 77 114 21 3 28 83 74 17 2 2 0 8
4. Jackie Jensen Boston 152 .275 574 95 158 27 6 26 116 81 8 3 16 7 20
5. Al Smith Cleveland 154 .306 607 123 186 27 4 22 77 92 1 3 11 6 4
6. Larry Doby Cleveland 131 .291 491 91 143 17 5 26 75 53 8 2 2 0 6
7. Vic Power Kansas City 147 .319 596 91 190 34 10 19 76 29 6 0 0 2 12
8. Roy Sievers Washington 144 .271 509 74 138 20 8 25 106 70 3 4 1 2 17
9. Nellie Fox Chicago 154 .311 636 100 198 28 7 6 59 37 1 17 7 9 8
10. Yogi Berra New York 147 .272 541 84 147 20 3 27 108 54 6 7 1 0 13
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1955
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Bob Friend Pittsburgh 2.83 14 9 .609 2 44 20 200.1 262 63 48 4 0 2 0 9 4 22
2. Warren Spahn Milwaukee 3.26 17 14 .548 1 39 32 245.2 346 89 61 4 4 2 0 2 5 16
3. Don Newcombe Brooklyn 3.20 20 5 .800 0 34 31 233.2 366 83 37 1 0 1 0 5 5 22
4. Joe Nuxhall Cincinnati 3.47 17 12 .586 3 50 33 257 365 99 72 6 5 5 0 3 5 31
5. Bob Buhl Milwaukee 3.21 13 11 .542 1 38 27 201.2 237 72 104 5 2 1 0 3 5 14
6. Johnny Antonelli New York 3.33 14 16 .467 1 38 34 235.1 309 87 77 5 3 11 0 2 4 17
7. Robin Roberts Philadelphia 3.28 23 14 .622 3 41 38 305 503 111 50 3 3 2 0 8 3 15
8. Bob Rush Chicago 3.50 13 11 .542 0 33 33 234 302 91 69 4 4 2 0 23 4 12
9. Clem Labine Brooklyn 3.24 13 5 .722 11 60 8 144.1 181 52 51 4 5 0 0 3 6 16
10. Willard Schmidt St. Louis 2.78 7 6 .538 0 20 15 129.2 133 40 50 7 3 3 0 1 4 15
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1955
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Whitey Ford New York 2.63 18 7 .720 2 39 33 253.2 280 74 106 7 7 1 1 1 5 34
2. Billy Pierce Chicago 1.97 15 10 .600 1 33 26 205.2 238 45 59 5 4 3 1 6 7 9
3. Early Wynn Cleveland 2.82 17 11 .607 0 32 31 230 303 72 77 3 3 3 0 4 3 21
4. Billy Hoeft Detroit 2.99 16 7 .696 0 32 29 220 274 73 74 1 0 3 0 8 3 18
5. Frank Sullivan Boston 2.91 18 13 .581 0 35 35 260 345 84 95 5 1 2 1 6 8 21
6. Bob Turley New York 3.06 17 13 .567 1 36 34 246.2 246 84 173 4 7 7 0 7 6 21
7. Bill Wight Cleveland-Baltimore 2.48 6 8 .429 3 36 14 141.1 171 39 46 2 6 1 0 2 9 15
8. Frank Lary Detroit 3.10 14 15 .483 1 36 31 235 313 81 86 3 7 6 0 8 13 28
9. Herb Score Cleveland 2.85 16 10 .615 0 33 32 227.1 249 72 153 1 12 1 0 8 8 16
10. Dick Donovan Chicago 3.32 15 9 .625 0 29 24 187 267 69 43 5 0 3 1 2 3 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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1955 Awards


NL MVP
Roy Campanella, Brooklyn

AL MVP
Yogi Berra, New York


NL Rookie of the Year
Bill Virdon, St. Louis

AL Rookie of the Year
Herb Score, Cleveland