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    Gil McDougald


    Mickey Mantle joined the Yankees to great fanfare in 1951, but teammate Gil McDougald, who batted .306 with 14 HR, was AL Rookie of the Year. He used an open batting stance with his feet far apart, and dangled the head of his bat below the plane of his hands. On May 3, McDougald tied a major league record with six RBI in one inning. He capped the year by becoming the first rookie to hit a grand slam in the World Series (Game Five). An All-Star in 1952, playing mostly third base, McDougald shifted to second in 1954 when Billy Martin was drafted. When Martin returned, McDougald replaced 37-year-old Phil Rizzuto in 1956 to become an All-Star shortstop. He was successful at whichever infield position the Yankees needed him to play. He batted a career-high .311 in 1956 and led the AL with nine triples in 1957. His pinch single won the 1958 All-Star Game. A member of eight Yankee pennant-winners, McDougald ranks among the leaders with 53 WS games and 190 WS at-bats. At age 33, though he may have had several good years left, he retired rather than join the Washington Senators, who selected him in the 1961 expansion draft. To this day, he is remembered as much for hitting the line drive that ruined Herb Score's career as he is for his own accomplishments. (MC)

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