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Norm Zauchin

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Norbert Henry Zauchin

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Biographical Information[edit]

First baseman Norm Zauchin played six years in the majors and once drove in 10 runs in a game.

Zauchin began his pro career in 1948 with the Milford Red Sox, hitting .353 while leading the Eastern Shore League with 33 home runs. With the Birmingham Barons in 1950, he set a team record with 35 homers (eventually broken by Rondal Rollin 37 years later). After playing for the Louisville Colonels in 1951, he earned a major league call-up with the Boston Red Sox. He made his big league debut against the New York Yankees on September 23rd, and in 5 games with the Sox that fall, he was 2-for-12 with a double and 4 strikeouts.

After missing 1952 and 1953 due to military service at the tie of the Korean War, Zauchin was back with Louisville in 1954. With the Colonels, he re-established himself as a big league prospect, hitting .289 with 11 triples, 18 home runs, and 118 RBIs. He was back in the majors as the Red Sox's Opening Day first baseman in 1955 but initially struggled at the plate, hitting just .214 with 1 homer through May 26th. However, he had a career day at the plate against the Washington Senators on May 27th, going 4-for-5 with a double, 3 home runs, and 10 runs batted in. He ended the season with 27 homers but led the American League with 105 strikeouts and finished third, behind Herb Score and Billy Klaus in Rookie of the Year voting. Of course, the Red Sox had another very talented young first baseman playing for them that season, but tragically Harry Agganis fell ill early in the season and died in June.

The Red Sox acquired Mickey Vernon following the 1955 season, and Zauchin saw significantly reduced playing time in 1956, hitting .214 in just 44 games. Prior to the 1958 campaign, he was dealt to the Washington Senators. In his first year in DC, he was the club's regular first baseman and hit .228 with 15 home runs. However, he got into just 19 games in 1959, his final big league season. He continued in the minors for another year.

His grandson, Chad Smith, reached the major leagues in 2022.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1955)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bill Nowlin: "Norm Zauchin", in Mark Armour and Bill Nowlin, eds.: Red Sox Baseball in the Days of Ike and Elvis: The Red Sox of the 1950s, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2012, pp. 174-181. ISBN 978-1933599243

Related Sites[edit]