Walt Dropo

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Walt Dropo.jpg

Walter Dropo

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

First baseman Walt Dropo had one terrific year (1950) that won him the American League Rookie of the Year Award but never again duplicated that level of success. He played 13 years in the big leagues, hitting 152 home runs with a .270 batting average. He still shares the major league record for the most consecutive hits.

Dropo was a three-sport athlete at the University of Connecticut, and was drafted by the Chicago Bears of the NFL in 1946 and the Providence Steam Rollers of the BAA (precursor of the NBA) in 1947 before signing with the Boston Red Sox on June 17, 1947.

After reaching the majors in 1949 with a lackluster .146 batting average in 11 games, he became the team's regular first baseman the next summer, putting up huge numbers in his rookie campaign. That year, he hit .322 with 34 home runs, drove in 144 runs to tie teammate Vern Stephens for the American League lead. He started in the All-Star Game and beat out the fabled Whitey Ford for the Rookie of the Year Award. However, in 1951 the so-called "sophomore jinx" struck and Dropo batted just .237 with only 11 homers.

In June 1952, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers as part of a nine-player deal which sent Tigers Hall of Famer George Kell to the Red Sox. The next month, he earned a spot in the record books by getting hits in 12 consecutive at-bats over the course of three games on July 14th and July 15th. He ended the year with a .276 average, 29 home runs and 97 RBIs.

Except for parts of 1958 and 1959, Dropo spent his entire major league career in the American League. He was with the Boston Red Sox for 3+ years, with the Detroit Tigers for close to three full years, with the Chicago White Sox for 3+ years, with the Cincinnati Redlegs for part of 1958 and part of 1959, and with the Baltimore Orioles for 2 1/2 years.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 1950 AL Rookie of the Year Award
  • AL All-Star (1950)
  • AL Total Bases Leader (1950)
  • AL RBI Leader (1950)
  • 20-Home Run Seasons: 2 (1950 & 1952)
  • 30-Home Run Seasons: 1 (1950)
  • 100 RBI Seasons: 1 (1950)
  • 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1950)

AL Rookie of the Year
1949 1950 1951
Roy Sievers Walt Dropo Gil McDougald

Records Held[edit]

  • Consecutive hits, 12 (no walks), 1952
  • Fastest player in MLB history to reach 100 career RBI (95 games)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bill Nowlin: "Walt Dropo", 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. 153-158. ISBN 978-1933599243

Related Sites[edit]