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1950 in Baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1950 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
MLB statistical leaders
Major league baseball final standings
American League final standings
National League final standings
- January 23 - The Associated Press picks the 1914 Miracle Braves as the greatest sports upset of the 20th Century.
- January 24 - Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers signs a contract for $35,000, reportedly making him the highest paid Brooklyn player in the team history.
- February 7 - Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox becomes the highest paid player in major league history, by signing a contract for $125,000.
- February 10 - The Cincinnati Reds sell pitcher Johnny Vander Meer to the Chicago Cubs for an undisclosed amount of cash. In 1938, Vander Meer became the first pitcher in major league history to pitch two consecutive no-hitters, displaying his mastery over the Boston Braves (June 11) and the Brooklyn Dodgers (June 15), setting a record that still stands today.
- February 16 - The BBWAA fail to name anyone to the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown. Mel Ott and Bill Terry top the list for enshrinement.
- February 27 - In a tie-breaking game, Carta Vieja pitcher Chet Brewer defeated Puerto Rico's Caguas, 9-3, to give Panama the champion title in the 1950 Caribbean Series. Panama's third baseman Joe Tuminelli, who hit two home runs and drove in six runs, was named Most Valuable Player.
- April 1 - The Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League open their season against the Portland Beavers, scantily clad in shorts, rayon shirts, and knee socks. "These suits will give us more speed," predicts Stars manager Fred Haney. But the outfits are used only occasionally during the season.
- April 11 - The Texas League Opening Day between the Dallas Eagles and Tulsa Oilers is staged at the Cotton Bowl. The Dallas starters taking the field include Hall of Fame members Frank Baker, Ty Cobb, Mickey Cochrane, Dizzy Dean, Charlie Gehringer, Travis Jackson and Tris Speaker, as well as Duffy Lewis and Dallas manager, Charlie Grimm, two non-Hall of Famers. After Dean throws one pitch, the squad is replaced by the regular Dallas Eagles team. 53,578 fans, by then the largest paid crowd in minor-league history, enthusiastically enjoy the exhibition.
- April 16 - In Los Angeles, Steve Souchock of Sacramento (PCL) belt home runs in the 7th, 8th and 9th innings in a 19-6 win. The last homer is a grand slam as Souchock drives in nine runs. The veteran will hit 30 homers this year and be back in the majors in 1951 with the Detroit Tigers.
- April 18:
- President Harry Truman throws out two balls at the Washington Senators' opener at Griffith Stadium - one left-handed and the other right-handed - and then watches the Senators beat the Philadelphia A's 8-7. When rain starts falling in the 6th inning, he puts on a raincoat and remains to the end.
- Billy Martin, later to become one of baseball's most controversial figures as a player and eventual manager, makes his major league debut, getting hits in both of his at bats, and scoring a run for the New York Yankees in a 15-10 win over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.
- Vin Scully makes his debut as a broadcaster for the Brooklyn Dodgers, calling two innings of the team's 9-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies at Shibe Park. As of 2015, Scully has had a continuous tenure with the Dodgers of 65 years and counting.
- At the Polo Grounds, Sam Jethroe becomes the first African American to play for the Boston Braves. In his major league debut. Jethroe goes 2-for-4, including a home run to lead the Braves to an 11-4 beating of the New York Giants. Warren Spahn is the winning pitcher. Jethroe will go on to become National League Rookie of the Year.
- The first night Opening Day game in major league history is played at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, with the Cardinals defeating the Pirates 4-2, behind the six-hit pitching of Gerry Staley. Stan Musial and Red Schoendienst contribute with a home run each for the winners.
- April 19 - Sid Gordon of the Boston Braves hits the first National League grand slam of the season, as Boston beats the New York Giants, 10-6, at the Polo Grounds. There will be 35 grand slams in the league this year, a NL single-season record, later topped. Giants first baseman Jack Harshman hits his first homer, off Johnny Sain, but it's not enough.
- April 21 - Vern Stephens of the Boston Red Sox slugs a 9th-inning grand slam off Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Harry Byrd, to lead the Red Sox to an 8-2 romp. It is the first of 33 American League grand slams in 1950. The major league season total of 68 is a record up to this point. In 1995, the number will exceed 100 slams for the first time.
- May 6 - The Boston Braves hit five home runs in a 15-11 trouncing of the Cincinnati Reds. This gives the Braves a National League record of 13 home runs in three consecutive games, breaking the mark of 12 set by the New York Giants on July 1, 2, 3, 1947. Luis Rodríguez-Olmo, Earl Torgeson, Bob Elliott, Willard Marshall, and Sid Gordon hit the five today. Grady Hatton and Ron Northey hit consecutive homers for the Reds in a lost cause.
- May 9 - Ralph Kiner of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits his second grand slam in three days -and the 8th of his career-, and adds a three-run homer to drives in seven runs as the Pirates beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 10-5.
- May 11:
- May 17:
- May 18:
- St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Tommy Glaviano makes three errors on successive plays in the 9th inning that lets in four runs in a 9-8 loss. The Brooklyn Dodgers trail by an 8-0 score in the game, and close to 8-5 in the 9th while have the bases loaded, when Glaviano experiences his nightmare. Glaviano ties a major league record set most recently by Dodgers Billy Cox last year.
- At the Polo Grounds, Rube Walker of the Chicago Cubs belt a grand slam against the New York Giants in the 6th inning. In the bottom of the inning, Monte Irvin hits a grand slam for the Giants, the first time in major league history that each team has slammed in the same inning. The game is called on account of rain after six innings, and the Giants win, 10-4, behind pitcher Clint Hartung. Johnny Schmitz, the first of four Cubs pitchers, is the loser.
- June 20 - Willie Mays is signed by the New York Giants as an amateur free agent. He makes his minor league debut with the Trenton Giants on June 24 at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, Maryland against the Hagerstown Braves.
- June 24 - The Philadelphia Phillies top the Chicago Cubs, 5-4, on a pair of two-run home runs by SS Granny Hamner and C Andy Seminick. Jim Konstanty, in relief of starter Russ Meyer, hurls four hitless innings to save the win. The energetic Whiz Kids now trail the Brooklyn Dodgers by a game.
- July 1 - The first-place Philadelphia Phillies defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 6-4, behind unbeaten rookie pitcher Bob Miller. Jim Konstanty makes his 30th relief appearance to help Miller win his 7th straight game. 2B Mike Goliat and 3B Willie Jones add home runs to pace an 11-hit attack. By winning their second straight game from Brooklyn, the Whiz Kids move .002 ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals and a game and a half over the Dodgers.
- July 2 - Cleveland Indians great Bob Feller wins his 200th major league game, 5-3, over the Detroit Tigers in the second game of a doubleheader split. Detroit wins the opener 8-5 for their only win in the 4-game series.
- July 8 - At Forbes Field, pinch-hitter Jack Phillips hit a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a 7-6 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. Phillips hit his shot off Harry Brecheen, to become the first pinch-hitter to belt a walk-off grand slam in major league history. Ralph Kiner and Stan Rojek also homered for the Pirates, while Cliff Chambers was the winning pitcher. Red Schoendienst of the Cardinals went 5-for-5 in a lost cause.
- July 11 - Making a leaping, off-the-wall catch of a Ralph Kiner drive in the first inning, Ted Williams fractures his left elbow in the All-Star Game at Chicago's Comiskey Park. Remaining in the game, Williams puts the American League ahead, 3-2, with an RBI single. Kiner's 9th-inning homer ties the game, and Red Schoendienst's blast in the 14th inning wins it for the National League, 4-3. Williams will later state he was never the same after this injury.
- August 6 - At Comiskey Park, Boston Red Sox pitcher Ellis Kinder hits a grand slam off Chicago White Sox ace Billy Pierce. Kinder collects six RBI, and his slam comes after an intentional walk to Birdie Tebbetts. For Kinder, it is his first and only career homer, as Boston roll, 9-2. Kinder also stops White Sox rookie Chico Carrasquel, who sees his hitting streak stopped at 24 games. In the night cap, pitcher Joe Dobson allows seven hits and the Red Sox win, 4-3, to sweep Chicago.
- August 11 - At Braves Field, Vern Bickford of the Boston Braves pitches a 7-0 no-hitter over the Brooklyn Dodgers.
- August 13 - At Shibe Park, the New York Giants earn a split in their four-games series with the National League leaders Philadelphia Phillies. Jim Hearn shuts out the Whiz Kids, 2-0, but the Phils will win 11 of their next 14 games to hold a seven-game edge over the second-place Brooklyn Dodgers.
- August 31 - Gil Hodges of the Brooklyn Dodgers becomes the sixth Major Leaguer to belt four home runs in a single game. Hodges hits home runs off of four different Boston Braves pitchers and finishes the game with nine runs batted in. Brooklyn trounces Boston, 19-3.
- September 30 - The Brooklyn Dodgers pulls within one game of the National League lead, winning 7-3 over the Philadelphia Phillies in the first of a two-games series at Ebbets Field. Duke Snider and Roy Campanella hit home runs for the Dodgers, as Erv Palica (13-8) is the winning pitcher. Bob Miller (11-6) is the loser. It is the Phillies fifth loss in a row, their eighth in 10 games, while the Dodgers have now won 13 of their last 16 games. For the second year in a row, the NL pennant race will come down to the last game. If the Dodgers win tomorrow, the race will end in a tie with the Phillies' Whiz Kids.
- October 1
- October 7 - The New York Yankees defeat the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-2, in Game 4 of the World Series to win undefeated their thirteenth World Championship. The Phillies will not appear again in the postseason until 1976, and they will not appear again in the World Series until they won it for the very first time in 1980.
- November 26 - The Gillette Safety Razor Co. signs a six-year deal, worth an estimated $6 million, with Major League Baseball for the television and radio rights for the World Series.
- November 27 - The Boston Red Sox sign veteran shortstop Lou Boudreau to a two-year contract worth an estimated $150,000. Boudreau, a player-manager for the Cleveland Indians, had asked Cleveland to give him his unconditional release after 13 years with the club.
- November 28 - Having already relieved general manager Branch Rickey of his duties, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley continues his house cleaning as names PCL Oakland manager Chuck Dressen to replace Burt Shotton, who compiled a 326-215 record from 1947 to 1950 as the Dodgers skipper.
- January 26 - Chick Autry, 46, backup catcher for the Yankees, Indians and White Sox in the 1920s
- January 29 - Monroe Sweeney, 57, National League umpire from 1924 to 1926.
- February 11 - Kiki Cuyler, 51, outfielder for four NL teams, primarily the Cubs, who batted .321 in his career while leading the NL in runs twice and steals four times; hit a 2-run, 2-out double off Walter Johnson in the eighth inning of Game 7 of the 1925 World Series for a 9-7 lead, clinching the title for the Pirates
- March 25 - Pussy Tebeau, 80, a 19th-century outfielder who played for the Cleveland Spiders
- March 27 - Fred Frank, 77, Outfielder for the 1898 Cleveland Spiders
- April 11 - Dick McCabe, 54, pitched from 1918 to 1922 for the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox
- April 23 - Bill Hallman, 74, played four seasons including two seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1906 to 1907.
- April 30 - Tom Niland, 80, Outfielder for the 1896 St. Louis Browns
- May 4 - Vince Molyneaux, 61, pitcher for the St. Louis Browns (1917) and Boston Red Sox (1918)
- June 8 - Ledell Titcomb, 83, pitcher for four different clubs from 1886-90, who threw a no-hitter in the 1890 season
- June 30 - Joe Lake, 69, pitcher for the Highlanders, Browns and Cubs from 1908 to 1913
- July 23 - Bill Lange, 79, top Chicago Colts hitter during the 1890s. Played seven seasons before retiring to get married.
- September 23 - Sam Barry, 57, coach at USC since 1930 and one of the principal forces behind the creation of the College World Series, which his team won in 1948
- September 25 - Pep Deininger, 72, German pitcher/center fielder for the Boston Americans and Philadelphia Phillies between 1902 and 1908
- November 4 - Grover Cleveland Alexander, 63, Hall of Fame pitcher who won 373 games with the Phillies, Cubs and Cardinals and earned the pitching Triple Crown three times (1915, 1916, 1920)
- November 16 - Frank Hemphill, 72, outfielder for the Chicago White Sox and Washington Senators in the 1900
- December 5 - Bill Dahlen, 80, shortstop who owned the record for career assists at the position (7,500) and ended his career having played more games than anyone in major league history (2,443)
- ^ "Martin, Billy", in The Yankee Encyclopedia, Mark Gallagher, ed. (Sports Publishing LLC, 2003) p148