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Walt Dropo
Walt Dropo 1953.jpg
Dropo in about 1953.
First baseman
Born: (1923-01-30)January 30, 1923
Moosup, Connecticut
Died: December 17, 2010(2010-12-17) (aged 87)
Peabody, Massachusetts
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 19, 1949 for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
May 17, 1961 for the Baltimore Orioles
Career statistics
Batting average .270
Home runs 152
Runs batted in 704
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Walter Dropo (Serbian: Валтер Дропо, Valter Dropo; January 30, 1923 – December 17, 2010), nicknamed "Moose", was an American college basketball standout and a professional baseball first baseman. During a 13-year career in Major League Baseball, he played for the Boston Red Sox (1949–1952), Detroit Tigers (1952–1954), Chicago White Sox (1955–1958), Cincinnati Redlegs (1958–1959) and Baltimore Orioles (1959–1961).

Youth[edit]

Dropo's Serbian parents emigrated from Mostar, then Kingdom of Yugoslavia (now Bosnia and Herzegovina), to start a new life. His father, Savo, worked at the local textile mill while also running their Connecticut family farm. Walter was raised in Moosup, Connecticut, where he played sandlot baseball with his brothers Milton and George, and attended Plainfield High School in the Central Village district of Plainfield, Connecticut, before attending the University of Connecticut.

College career[edit]

While at the University of Connecticut Dropo played for the football team, basketball team and baseball team. Dropo left UConn as the school's all time leading scorer in basketball. Dropo was drafted in the first round of the 1947 BAA Draft by the Providence Steamrollers with the fourth overall pick. Dropo was also drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 9th round of the 1946 NFL Draft.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Listed at 6'5", 220 lb (100 kg), Walter turned down from the Bears[1] and the Providence Steamrollers, in order to sign with the Red Sox as an amateur free agent in 1947.[2] He debuted on April 19, 1949, and in 11 games batted .146 (6-for-41).

In 1950, Dropo lead the league in RBIs (144) and total bases (326), while batting .322 and hitting 34 home runs, (second only to Al Rosen 37). In addition, his .583 slugging percentage and 70 extra bases were second only to the .585 - 75 of Joe DiMaggio, and his .961 OPS finished third in the league, after (Larry Doby .986 and DiMaggio .979). Dropo finished sixth in American League Most Valuable Player award, and earned AL Rookie of the Year honors, ahead of Whitey Ford. His efforts that season led to his only All-Star appearance.

In 1951, Dropo fractured his right wrist and never had another season the equal of his 1950 campaign. After another one-plus season, he was traded to Detroit on June 3, 1952. After being traded, he collected 12 consecutive hits to tie the MLB record. Included in the streak was a 5-for-5 game against the Yankees (July 14) and a 4-for-4 performance in the first game of a doubleheader against Washington (July 15). In the second game, he went 4-for-5, hitting on his first three at bats and popping out on his fourth at bat on the 7th inning, matching an American League record of 16 hits in three games. In that season, he hit a combined 29 home runs and 97 RBIs, but would never again hit over 19 homers (1955) or bat over .281 (1954).

In a 13-season career, Dropo batted .270 (1,113-for-4,124) with 152 home runs, 704 RBIs, 478 runs, 168 doubles, 22 triples and five stolen bases in 1,288 games.

Career highlights[edit]

  • Rookie of the Year (1950)
  • All-Star (1950)
  • Top 10 MVP (sixth, 1950)
  • Led league in RBIs (144, 1950)
  • Led league in total bases (326, 1950)
  • Tied an MLB record with 12 consecutive at-bats with a hit (July 15, 1952)
  • Tied an MLB record with 12 consecutive plate appearances with a hit (July 15, 1952)
  • Tied an AL record with 15 hits in four games (July 16, 1952)
  • Dropo was the first rookie to top 100 RBIs with more RBIs than games played (144 in 136 games, 1950)
  • The first Red Sox player to be named the American League Rookie of the Year, followed by Don Schwall (1961), Carlton Fisk (1972), Fred Lynn (1975), Nomar Garciaparra (1997), and Dustin Pedroia (2007).

Death[edit]

Dropo died of natural causes on December 17, 2010, at the age of 87.[3] His funeral service was held at the Serbian Orthodox Church he helped found at 41 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, Mass., and he was laid to rest at Evergreen Cemetery in Plainfield, CT[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Mayer, Larry (April 25, 2013). "These Bears draft picks gained fame in other areas". Chicago Bears. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ Montville, Leigh (July 19, 1993). "What Ever Happened To...: Walt Dropo". Sports Illustrated. Time Inc. Retrieved September 10, 2009. 
  3. ^ Amore, Dom (December 18, 2010). "Walt Dropo Dies; 1950 AL Rookie Of Year With Red Sox, 3-Sport UConn Star". The Hartford Courant. Retrieved December 19, 2010. 
  4. ^ http://articles.courant.com/2010-12-23/sports/hc-jacobs-walt-dropo-column-1223-20101223_1_dropo-family-athletics-gampel-pavilion

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Walt_Dropo — Please support Wikipedia.
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7 videos found

Walt Dropo Tribute

This video was created in order to honor Walt Dropo, a famous Major League baseball player who has connection to our very own hometown of Plainfield Connecti...

Pack Opening: 1947-1966 Exhibits Cello Pack

This pack features the following players: Dick Donovan, Roy Sievers, Chico Carrasquel, Walt Dropo and Hall of Famer Ritchie Ashburn.

Enos Slaughter's Mad Dash.MOV

1946 World Series St. Louis Cardinals vs Boston Red Sox 8th Inning Game 7.

EXPOCIENCIA 2009 - Anibal Balera

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Homenatge a Vicent Andrés Estellés. Fotos de Ramon Tormo, menys el retrat final de l'Ovidi i la foto dels campaners del meu poble, Albaida.

Alice no País das Maravilhas

centópeia questionando alice, "QUEM ÉS TÚ?"

 
7 videos found

27 news items

 
Worcester Telegram
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 20:22:30 -0700

BOSTON -- Walt Dropo survived it, but that does not guarantee Daniel Nava will. The Red Sox optioned Nava to Pawtucket on Wednesday, replacing him on the roster with reliever Alex Wilson. The move made Nava the first Red Sox player since Dropo in ...
 
Hartford Courant
Sun, 20 Apr 2014 13:37:30 -0700

As a sophomore, he scored 450 points, breaking the school record held at that time by Walt Dropo. In 2006, Yokabaskas was among the first group to be inducted into the Huskies of Honor at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, and his No. 22 jersey was retired in ...
 
Chicago Sun-Times
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:50:01 -0700

Bob Nieman and Sherm Lollar each hit a pair of homers, and pitcher Jack Harshman, Minnie Minoso and Walt Dropo also homered. 9. More stats that make me crazy: Last season, the Sox started 4-5, scoring 35 runs. This season, they started 4-5, scoring 54 ...
 
Danbury News Times
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 23:05:18 -0700

Walt Dropo played for the Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox, Redlegs and Orioles from 1949-1961. The All-Star first baseman and 1950 Rookie of the Year was born in Moosup. Photo: Contributed Photo. Walt Dropo played for the Red Sox, Tigers, White Sox, ...
 
Daily Beast
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 19:23:02 -0700

On the cracked-plaster walls, needing a dusting, were the familiar faded photographs of the heroes of my youth: Fred Hatfield, Walt Dropo, Eddie Lyons, Red Mathis, Jimmy Piersall, Mickey Rutner, and, not the least, Ralph “Country” Brown. In contrast to ...
 
Colorado Rockies News
Sat, 05 Apr 2014 19:33:40 -0700

... plate appearances were three shy of the National League record of 10, accomplished four times and most recently by the Braves' Matt Diaz in 2006. The Major League record is 12 hits in 12 consecutive plate appearances by Detroit's Walt Dropo in 1952.

Boston Globe

Boston Globe
Sat, 29 Mar 2014 17:45:00 -0700

Walt Dropo. Lynn is the name that comes to mind when we talk about great Red Sox rookies. Freddie Ballgame hit .331 with 21 homers and 105 RBIs in his rookie season in 1975. Jim Rice was almost as good, but Rice got hurt in September and Lynn went ...
 
MLB.com
Thu, 27 Mar 2014 10:37:30 -0700

Facing a batting order that included Ted Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Johnny Pesky, defending batting champion Billy Goodman and reigning Rookie of the Year Walt Dropo, Byrne allowed one run in the first 12 innings before allowing two in the 13th.
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