1956 in baseball

The following are the baseball events of the year 1956 throughout the world.

List of years in baseball

Champions

Major League Baseball

Other champions

Winter Leagues

Awards and honors

Major League Baseball statistical leaders

American League National League
AVG Mickey Mantle1 NYY .353 Hank Aaron MIL .324
HR Mickey Mantle1 NYY 52 Duke Snider BKN 43
RBI Mickey Mantle1 NYY 130 Stan Musial STL 109
Wins Frank Lary DET 21 Don Newcombe BKN 27
ERA Whitey Ford NYY 2.47   Lew Burdette MIL 2.70  
Ks Herb Score CLE 263 Sam Jones CHC 176

1 Major League Triple Crown Batting Winner

Major league baseball final standings

American League final standings

American League
Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
New York Yankees 97 57 .630 --
Cleveland Indians 88 66 .571 9
Chicago White Sox 85 69 .552 12
Boston Red Sox 84 70 .545 13
Detroit Tigers 82 72 .532 15
Baltimore Orioles 69 85 .448 28
Washington Senators 59 95 .383 38
Kansas City Athletics 52 102 .338 45

National League final standings

National League
Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
Brooklyn Dodgers 93 61 .604 --
Milwaukee Braves 92 62 .597 1
Cincinnati Reds 91 63 .591 2
St. Louis Cardinals 76 78 .494 17
Philadelphia Phillies 71 83 .461 22
New York Giants 67 87 .435 26
Pittsburgh Pirates 66 88 .429 27
Chicago Cubs 60 94 .390 33

Events

February

  • February   6 – Supporting the Wagner-Cashmore plan to build a $30-million downtown Brooklyn sports center, Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley promises to buy four million dollars worth of bonds.
  • February 27 – The Piedmont League disbands after 37 years in operation.

March

  • March 3 – In an effort to keep the New York Giants at home, Manhattan Borough president Hulan Jack makes plans for a new 110,000-seat stadium over the New York Central railroad tracks, on a 470,000-foot site stretching from 60th to 72nd streets on Manhattan's West Side. The estimated cost of $75 million for the ballpark eventually dooms the project and will be a major factor for Giants owner Horace Stoneham's decision to move the club to San Francisco in 1957.

April

May

  • May   2 – At Wrigley Field, the New York Giants defeat the Chicago Cubs, 6-5, in a 17-inning game in which 48 players see action–25 Giants and 23 Cubs. Chicago's Don Hoak sets a National League record by striking out six times in the game, which also features a record 11 intentional walks, including two each to the Giants' Willie Mays and Wes Westrum and the Cubs' Ernie Banks.
  • May 12 – Carl Erskine tosses the second no-hitter of his career as the Brooklyn Dodgers blank the New York Giants, 3–0, at Ebbets Field. His first no-hitter came on June 19, 1952 against the Chicago Cubs at Ebbets Field.
  • May 26 – Al Simmons died in Milwaukee, at the age of 54. A former Philadelphia Athletics outfielder as well as a three-time All-Star and two-time champion bat, Simmons posted a .334 average with 307 home runs and 1827 RBI in a 20-season major league career that included stints with six other teams besides the Athletics. Simmons was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 1953.
  • May 30 – Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees narrowly misses hitting the first home run ever hit completely out of Yankee Stadium. With Hank Bauer and Gil McDougald on base in the fifth inning of Game One of a doubleheader against the Washington Senators, Mantle, batting left-handed against Pedro Ramos, hits a towering drive above the level of the stadium roof. However, a stiff wind cuts down the ball, which strikes the right-field facade, 18 inches (460 mm) above the level of the roof. The home run gives the Yankees a 3-1 lead; they go on to win 4-3.

June

July

August

September

October

November

  • November 27:
    • Don Newcombe, who posted a 27-7 record with 139 strikeouts and a 3.06 ERA for the National League pennant-winning Brooklyn Dodgers, becomes the first MLB Cy Young Award winner. Only one pitcher will be selected each season for this prestigious pitching award until 1967, when each league will name a winner.
    • Outfielder Charlie Peete, given a good shot at being the first black starter on the St. Louis Cardinals, is killed in a plane crash in Caracas, Venezuela. Peete, who hit .192 in 23 games for St. Louis in 1956, was returning from playing winter ball.
  • November 28 – The Cleveland Indians name Kerby Farrell to replace Al López as the team manager. Farrell won the Junior World Series as the pilot of the Double-A Indianapolis Indians.

December

Births

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Deaths

January

  • January   4 – John Beckwith, 55, All-Star shortstop and manager in the Negro Leagues, who spent over 20 years in baseball, ranking among the Negro Leagues' career leaders in batting average, home runs, RBI and slugging percentage.[2]
  • January   7 – Davey Claire, 58, shortstop who appeared in three games for the Detroit Tigers in 1920.
  • January 10 – Algie McBride, 86, outfielder for the Chicago Colts, Cincinnati Reds, and New York Giants from 1896 to 1901.
  • January 22 − Ralph Mitterling, 65, outfielder for the Philadelphia Athletics during the 1916 season.
  • January 23 – Billy Evans, 71, American League umpire from 1906 to 1927, later the general manager of the Indians and Tigers.
  • January 26 – Dave Howard, 66, second baseman who played with the Washington Senators in the 1912 season and for the Brooklyn Tip-Tops in 1915.
  • January 31 – Buck Weaver, 65, shortstop and third baseman who played his entire career for the Chicago White Sox from 1912 to 1920, also a member of the 1917 World champion White Sox, then was one of the eight players banned from the Major Leagues for his connection to the 1919 Black Sox scandal.[3]

February

  • February   8 – Roy Hitt, 71, pitcher for the 1907 Cincinnati Reds.
  • February   8 – Tom Hughes, 77, pitcher for the Chicago Orphans at the turn of the 20th century as well as one of the first World Series pitchers ever, in 1903, with the Boston Americans champion team.
  • February   8 – Connie Mack, 93, whose 65 years in baseball began as a catcher with the Washington Nationals in 1886, later a manager and owner of the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 through 1950, retiring with nine American League pennants, five World Series titles and a record 3,731 victories – a feat that is unlikely to ever be matched, being inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1937.[4]
  • February 11 – Joseph Myers, 73, pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics during the 1905 season.
  • February 13 – Fred Holmes, 77, first baseman and catcher who played with the New York Highlanders in the 1904 season and for the Chicago Cubs in 1904.
  • February 14 – Bill Bishop, 55, pitcher who played for the Philadelphia Athletics during the 1921 season.
  • February 17 – Kip Selbach, 83, solid defensive outfielder who played for six different teams in a span of 13 seasons from 1894–1906, posting an overall batting line of .293/.377/.412 and 334 stolen bases, while leading the National League with 22 triples in 1895.[5]
  • February 19 – Ray Demmitt, 72, backup outfielder who played with five teams in part of seven seasons spanning 1909–1919.
  • February 23 – Pete Loos, 77, pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics of the American League in its 1901 season.
  • February 25 – Jack Lewis, 72, second baseman who played with the Boston Red Sox in 1911 and for the Pittsburgh Rebels of the outlaw Federal League from 1914 to 1915.

March

  • March   1 – Ed Heusser, 46, pitcher for four teams in nine seasons between 1935 and 1948, who led the National League pitchers with a 2.38 ERA in 1944.
  • March   1 – Walt Miller, 72, pitcher who appeared in three games for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1911 season.
  • March   2 – Fred Merkle, 67, slugging first baseman and part-time outfielder who was in the major leagues from 1907 through 1926, playing with the New York Giants, Brooklyn Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees, being best remembered for his famous and controversial baserunning blunder as a 19-year rookie in 1908 that likely cost the Giants the National League pennant.[6]
  • March   4 – Frank Kelliher, 56, pinch-hitter who appeared in just one game with the Washington Senators in 1919.
  • March   5 – Bruce Ogrodowski, 44, backup catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals in part of two seasons from 1936–1937.
  • March   6 – Joe Berger, 69, part-time infielder for the Chicago White Sox in the 1913 and 1914 seasons.
  • March   7 – Shorty Desjardien, 62, pitcher for the Cleveland indians in 1916, who is regarded as one of the best all-around athletes ever produced by the University of Chicago, while playing on Western Conference championship teams in both football and baseball, and competing also in basketball and track and field tournaments.
  • March 10 – Solly Hofman, 73, an above-average center fielder and one of the Deadball Era's finest utility men, who spent 14 seasons with five Major League teams between 1903 and 1916, while garnering attention as a timely hitter, his speed on the bases, and spectacular catches in outfield.[7]
  • March 14 – Lena Styles, 56, catcher who played with the Philadelphia Athletics and Cincinnati Reds over parts of five seasons from 1919–1931.
  • March 20 – Ed Smith, 77, pitcher for the St. Louis Browns during the 1906 season.

April

May

  • May   3 – Karl Kolseth, 63, first baseman who played in 1915 for the Baltimore Terrapins of the Federal League.
  • May   4 – Gus Dorner, 79, pitcher for the Boston Beaneaters, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Naps in a span of six seasons between 1902 and 1909.
  • May   5 – John Godwin, 79, infield/outfield utility man for the Boston Americans in the 1905 and 1906 seasons.
  • May   6 – Harry Ostdiek, 75, backup catcher who played with the Cleveland Naps in the 1904 season and for the Boston Red Sox in 1908.
  • May   7 – Tommy Atkins, 68, pitcher who played from 1909 to 1910 for the Philadelphia Athletics.
  • May 10 – Jimmy Slagle, 82, outfielder who played for four National League clubs in 10 seasons from 1899–1908, winning two World Series rings with the Chicago Cubs in 1907 and 1908.
  • May 22 – Harry Howell, 79, notorious spitballer who pitched with six teams from 1898 to 1910, helping the Brooklyn Superbas win the 1900 National League pennant and becoming the best pitcher of the St. Louis Browns (now Baltimore Orioles) during the Deadball Era, establishing a franchise record for career ERA (2.06) that has never been equaled.[8]
  • May 27 – Freddy Sale, 54, pitcher who appeared in just one game with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1924.
  • May 26 – Al Simmons, 54, slugging Hall of Fame left fielder for seven clubs from 1924–1944, most prominently for Connie Mack and his fearsome Philadelphia Athletics of the late 1920s and early 1930s, who topped the American League with a .387 batting average, 24 home runs and 129 runs batted in and 253 hits in 1925, expanding his production in the next three seasons with averages of .341, a league-best .392, and .351, driving in 109, 108 and 107 runs, respectively, while guiding the Athletics to the American League pennant from 1929 through 1931, and World Series titles the first two of those years, ending his career with a .334 batting average, 2,927 hits, 307 home runs and 1,827 RBI, all with an unconventional batting stance that earned him the nickname 'Bucketfoot Al' because his stride took him toward third base.[9]

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Sources

  1. ^ Conklin, William R. "Hoboken Fete Takes Baseball Back 110 Years; Cartwright Plaque Is Unveiled at Site of Elysian Fields Rudd Determined to Speak 300 Watch Ceremony Honored in Hall of Fame", The New York Times, June 20, 1956. Accessed March 9, 2018.
  2. ^ Negro League Featured Piece – John Beckwith. Article by Kyle McNary. Baseball History Comes Alive¡ website. Retrieved on March 5, 2018.
  3. ^ Buck Weaver. Article by David Fletcher. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on March 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Connie Mack article. Baseball Hall of Fame website. Retrieved on March 5, 2018.
  5. ^ Kip Selbach. Article by Bill Nowlin. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on March 6, 2018.
  6. ^ Fred Merkle. Article by Trey Strecker SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on March 6, 2018.
  7. ^ Solly Hofman. Article by Trey Strecker. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on March 6, 2018.
  8. ^ Harry Howell. Article by Eric Sallee.SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on March 7, 2018.
  9. ^ Al Simmons. Article by Fred Stein. SABR Biography Project. Retrieved on March 7, 2018.

External links

1956 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1956 followed a system that had been the object of criticism and reform in recent years, which would continue that summer.

The Veterans Committee was meeting only in odd-number years to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, and executives. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent players and elected two, Joe Cronin and Hank Greenberg.

1956 Caribbean Series

The eighth edition of the Caribbean Series (Serie del Caribe) was played in 1956. It was held from February 10 through February 15, featuring the champion baseball teams of Cuba, Elefantes de Cienfuegos; Panama, Chesterfield Smokers; Puerto Rico, Criollos de Caguas and Venezuela, Industriales de Valencia. The format consisted of 12 games, each team facing the other teams twice. The games were played at Estadio Olímpico de Panamá in Panama City, Panama.

1956 Claxton Shield

The 1956 Claxton Shield was the 17th annual Claxton Shield, it was held in Adelaide, South Australia. The participants were South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. The series was won by Victoria in due to a controversial decision in the final game. They claimed their fifth Shield title. The 1956 Olympic Baseball team was selected from the tournament.

1956 European Baseball Championship

The 1956 European Baseball Championship was held in Rome, Italy and was won by the Netherlands. Belgium finished as runner-up.

1956 Little League World Series

The 1956 Little League World Series was held from August 21 to August 24 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Lions Hondo Little League of Roswell, New Mexico, defeated the Delaware Township Little League of Delaware Township, New Jersey, in the championship game of the 10th Little League World Series. Delaware Township had also been runner-up in the 1955 tournament.

Baseball at the 1956 Summer Olympics

Baseball was again a demonstration sport at the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne. Though it was nominally the "foreign" demonstration sport of that Olympiad, Australia had a long history of baseball dating back to at least 1889. The Australians were the first to field a full team in an exhibition match against the United States, represented by a detachment from the United States Far East Command. Many Sheffield Shield cricket players – who were quite successful at baseball as a winter sport – were unable to be selected on the basis that they were professional players.

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