Best player 1950s. Who was the best player during the decade of the 1950s? Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays? Let’s look at the numbers.
First of all we are just going to look at everyday players. No pitchers. And, this is based mostly on batting. The Gold Glove award was not created until 1957. Besides, all of the players that will be mentioned here were outstanding defensive players, too.
Who do you think hit the most home runs during the 1950s? Mantle hit 280 round trippers and Mays hit 250. But they are not even in the top three. Eddie Matthews nailed 299 homers and Gil Hodges smacked 310.
But the homerun king of the fifties was Dodger Hall of Fame center fielder Duke Snider with 326.
Which player was Mister Clutch and drove in the most runs? Gil Hodges drove in 1001 runs during the 1950s. Yankee great Yogi Berra makes the list with 997. Stan Musial knocked in 972 and Mantle 841.
But once again, the runs batted in champ of the fifties was Duke Snider who drove home 1,031 runs in the decade.
The Phillies’ Richie Ashburn had more base hits in the 1950s than anyone with 1,875. Nellie Fox was second with 1,837 and Musial was third at 1,771. But Duke Snider is there again at number four with 1,605 hits for the decade.
The player with the most total bases during the fifties is Stan Musial with 3,047. But guess who is second? Duke Snider had 2,971 total bases followed by Gil Hodges with 2,733 and Berra at 2,555.
Willie Mays tops the list with the highest slugging average for the fifties at .590. And there is Duke Snider at number two with a .569 slugging average. Third was Mantle at .569 and then Musial at .568.
Richie Ashburn played the most games in the fifties with 1,523. Followed by Hodges at 1,477, Musial with 1,456 and Snider with 1,418.
Stan the Man batted .330 for the decade to lead the way. Mays at .317 was second followed by Ashburn at .313, Mantle at .311 and Snider at .308.
Mickey Mantle scored 994 runs during the fifties followed by Snider with 970. Ashburn scored 952 and Musial crossed the plate 948 times.
Wille Mays had 179 stolen bases in the fifties and Ashburn was second with 158.
Roll up all those offensive numbers and see what we come up with. Duke Snider placed in the top three in six of these categories. He was close behind in the others. Add to this the fact that the Duke of Flatbush was an outstanding centerfielder and I think the choice is clear.
I realize it is difficult to pick one player and say he was the best of any decade. And if he had one small flaw, it was a lack of stolen bases. But based strictly on the numbers, best player 1950s? Duke Snider was the best player during the decade of the 1950s.
I’m sure the Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays fans will disagree.
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