RECORDS & AWARDS
BASEBALL'S ALL-TIME BEST TEAMS
July 7, 2012Richmond High School
BASEBALL’S ALL-TIME BEST TEAMS by Troy Derengowski, EIHSS Sports
#23 THE 1950 NEW YORK YANKEES
This was in baseball terms an “old” baseball team. Joe DiMaggio was 35, Phil Rizzuto was 32, Johnny Mize 37, Vic Raschi 31, Ed Lopat was 32 and Allie Reynolds was 35. Despite the age, this Yankee squad won the second of five straight world series titles. Manager Casey Stengel proved that his success in 1949 was no fluke. Stengel was considered a National League “clown” when hired by the Yankees, but soon proved he was building a Hall of Fame record.
The 1950 Yankees had to battle hard to win their 17th American League pennant. They moved in and out of first place several times but remained in contention all season long in the four team race with Detroit, Boston and Cleveland.
This was DiMaggio’s last big season. He hit .301 with 32 HR’s and 122 RBI but he was getting old. The injuries that plagued him in 1949 almost caused him to retire before the 1950 season. DiMaggio smacked hit 2,000th hit and played in 139 games but he admitted he didn’t have the feeling he had in previous years where he could step to the plate and hit any pitcher who ever lived. No bad numbers for a player in severe decline. Shortstop Phil Rizzuto was the AL MVP. Rizzuto hit .324 and led the AL in fielding percentage (982). He also collected 200 hits, 125 runs, 91 walks and stole 12 bases. Ty Cobb called Rizutto the best player in baseball. Johnny Mize was the aging part time Yankee first baseman but still managed to hit 25 homeruns in only 274 at bats. He also drove in 72 runs. The Yankees also had some young stars including catcher Yogi Berra who hit .322 with 28 HR’s and 124 RBI, Hank Bauer hit .320. The pitching staff was also beginning to age but had plenty of energy to put together another excellent season. Vic Raschi went 21-8 with a 3.99 ERA, Eddie Lopat was 18-8 with a 3.47 ERA and Allie Rreynolds was 16-12 with an ERA of 3.73. Youngster Eddie Ford was called up from the minors at mid-season and went 9-1 with an ERA of 2.81.
New York got off to a slow start in 1950 but had a hot May (20-6) to take over 1st place. In June, the Yankees struggled playing just under the .500 mark. The Yanks then put things together the rest of the season going 19-8 in July, 20-11 in August and 18-9 in September. DiMaggio was a huge part of New York’s success late in the season as he batted .376 after August 18th. In September, DiMaggio hit 9 HR’s and drove in 30. New York clinched the pennant September 29th with a win over Washington.
The World Series was a complete mismatch. New York beat Philadelphia 4-0, holding their opponents to only 5 total runs, 3 earned.
FINAL RECORD: 98-56
BEAT PHILADELPHIA 4-0 IN WORLD SERIES
MANAGER: CASEY STENGEL