1951 Season News

During a March 26 exhibition game between the New York Yankees and the University of California, an up-and-coming nineteen year old rookie named Mickey Mantle hit a home run (estimated at six-hundred feet) out of U.S.C.'s Bovard Stadium. "The Mick" went on to finish the day with four hits and seven runs batted in (including two, two-run home runs and a bases-loaded triple) as the Major Leaguers prevailed 15-1. Mantle struggled at the plate over the next few months while striking out fifty-two times and was eventually sent back to the Minor League team in Kansas City.

St. Louis owner Bill Veek had everyone in stitches after substituting a midget to pinch-hit during the first inning in game two of a doubleheader. Eddie Gaedel, a three-foot, seven inch dwarf, emerged from a cake wearing the number 1/8 during pre-game festivities, then took the plate for center fielder Frank Saucer and walked on four balls. The Detroit Tigers had the last laugh however after posting a 6-2 victory over the comedic Browns.

The New York Giants literally snatched the National League pennant from the clutches of their rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers, after Bobby Thompson hit the infamous "shot heard 'round the world". It was a perfect ending to a career season in which Thompson hit .293 with thirty-two home runs and one-hundred one RBIs.

TOPPS debuted its first baseball cards (a five set series) that featured such favorites as Yogi Berra, Bob Feller, Ralph Kiner, Phil Rizzuto, Enos Slaughter, Duke Snider and Warren Spahn.
1951 American League
Team Record GB
New York Yankees 98-56 -
Cleveland Indians 93-61 5.0
Boston Red Sox 87-67 11.0
Chicago White Sox 81-73 17.0
Detroit Tigers 73-81 25.0
Philadelphia Athletics 70-84 28.0
Washington Senators 62-92 36.0
St. Louis Browns 52-102 46.0
1951 National League
Team Record GB
New York Giants 98-59 -
Brooklyn Dodgers 97-60 1.0
St. Louis Cardinals 81-73 15.5
Boston Braves 76-78 20.5
Philadelphia Phillies 93-81 23.5
Cincinnati Reds 68-86 28.5
Pittsburgh Pirates 64-90 32.5
Chicago Cubs 62-92 34.5
American League Team Stats
Team W L PCT RS RS/G RA RA/G HR HRA AVG OBP SLG ERA BBA SOA FPCT DP
New York Yankees 98 56 0.636 798 5.18 621 4.03 140 92 0.269 0.345 0.408 3.56 562 664 0.975 190
Cleveland Indians 93 61 0.604 696 4.52 594 3.86 140 86 0.254 0.333 0.389 3.38 577 642 0.978 151
Boston Red Sox 87 67 0.565 804 5.22 725 4.71 127 100 0.266 0.359 0.392 4.14 599 658 0.977 184
Chicago White Sox 81 73 0.526 714 4.64 644 4.18 86 109 0.270 0.343 0.385 3.50 549 572 0.975 176
Detroit Tigers 73 81 0.474 685 4.45 741 4.81 104 102 0.265 0.336 0.380 4.29 602 597 0.974 166
Philadelphia Athletics 70 84 0.455 736 4.78 745 4.84 102 109 0.262 0.346 0.386 4.47 569 437 0.978 204
Washington Senators 62 92 0.403 672 4.36 764 4.96 54 110 0.263 0.333 0.355 4.49 630 475 0.973 148
St. Louis Browns 52 102 0.338 611 3.97 882 5.73 86 131 0.247 0.315 0.357 5.18 801 550 0.971 179
National League Team Stats
Team W L PCT RS RS/G RA RA/G HR HRA AVG OBP SLG ERA BBA SOA FPCT DP
New York Giants 98 59 0.624 781 4.97 641 4.08 179 148 0.260 0.343 0.418 3.48 482 625 0.972 175
Brooklyn Dodgers 97 60 0.618 855 5.45 672 4.28 184 150 0.275 0.347 0.434 3.88 549 693 0.979 192
St. Louis Cardinals 81 73 0.526 683 4.44 671 4.36 95 119 0.264 0.335 0.382 3.95 568 546 0.980 187
Boston Braves 76 78 0.494 723 4.69 662 4.30 130 96 0.262 0.333 0.394 3.75 595 604 0.976 157
Philadelphia Phillies 73 81 0.474 648 4.21 644 4.18 108 110 0.260 0.324 0.375 3.81 497 570 0.977 146
Cincinnati Reds 68 86 0.442 559 3.63 667 4.33 88 119 0.248 0.302 0.351 3.70 490 584 0.977 141
Pittsburgh Pirates 64 90 0.416 689 4.47 845 5.49 137 157 0.258 0.328 0.397 4.79 609 580 0.972 178
Chicago Cubs 62 92 0.403 614 3.99 750 4.87 103 125 0.250 0.312 0.364 4.34 572 544 0.971 161