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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
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).


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 offers 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).


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]


  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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15 news items

The UConn Blog (blog)
Sat, 19 Jul 2014 07:26:15 -0700

Walt Dropo averaged 20.7 points per game on the court for the Huskies and later signed with the Boston Red Sox. After three years in the minors, Dropo hit .322 with 34 home runs and 144 RBI in 1950 to beat out Whitey Ford for the American League Rookie ...
Wed, 02 Jul 2014 21:19:41 -0700

His hometown in Connecticut can lay claim to one famous major leaguer, the Moosup Moose, Walt Dropo. At 27 years old, Dropo put together a rookie-of-the-year season for the Boston Red Sox in 1950. He batted .322 with 34 home runs and 144 RBIs as a ...

Washington Times

Washington Times
Thu, 10 Jul 2014 16:38:38 -0700

... and watching it was a more than fitting way to observe the birthday of the most exceptional nation in the history of the world. One evening in the '90s, I told my nine-year-old I had met Walt Dropo, Rookie of the Year with the Boston Red Sox back ...
Fri, 11 Jul 2014 08:22:30 -0700

Walt Dropo also went for 34 homers for the Red Sox in 1950, adding 144 RBIs. 33: Jose Canseco leads a list with his 1986 total for the A's that includes Earl Williams ('71 Braves) and Jimmie Hall ('63 Twins). 32: Chris Young broke out big time in 2007 ...
New Haven Register
Sat, 05 Jul 2014 15:07:30 -0700

The feat was also accomplished in 1961 (Walt Dropo, Moe Morhardt and Rollie Sheldon) and in 2003 (Jason Grabowski, Charles Nagy and Pete Walker). The current trio is the first to have played under current head coach Jim Penders. Ahmed certainly ...


Wed, 02 Jul 2014 13:08:35 -0700

... rank fifth (behind only Ryan Braun's 199, Joe DiMaggio's 192, Wally Berger's 178 and Willie McCovey's 176) and his 67 RBIs rank sixth (behind only Walt Dropo's 80, Williams' and Rudy York's 72 apiece, and Zeke Bonura's and Jim Bottomley's 69 apiece).
New Haven Register
Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:45:00 -0700

The feat was also accomplished in 1961 (Walt Dropo, Moe Morhardt and Rollie Sheldon) and 2003 (Jason Grabowski, Charles Nagy, Pete Walker). The current trio marks the first former Huskies who played for head coach Jim Penders to reach the majors.
Hartford Courant
Sun, 29 Jun 2014 09:03:05 -0700

According to UConn, only twice before, in 1961 and 2003, were there three ex-Huskies active in the big leagues at the same time. Walt Dropo (Orioles), Rollie Sheldon (Yankees) and Moe Morhardt (Cubs) were all in the majors in 1961; Charles Nagy (Padres ...

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