Jocelyn

Baseball in the 1950s

Sports had a big impact on the 1950s. For the first time, they were broadcast on television, and Americans were especially infatuated with baseball. Eight out of the ten world series were won by a New York team, either the Brooklyn Dodgers, the New York Giants, or the New York Yankees. Baseball helped Americans to forget about the prospect of a nuclear war.

A few important baseball players in the 1950s were Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, and Jackie Robinson. Hank Aaron made 3,771 total hits and 755 home runs in his baseball career. His primary team was the Milwaukee Brewers. Ernie Banks played for the Chicago Cubs, and, according to most, was the greatest Cub of all-time. He hit a grand total of 512 home runs in his career, and was voted MVP twice. Jackie Robinson was the first African-American major-leaguer. With his help, the Brooklyn Dodgers won 6 pennants in his ten seasons.
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Jackie Robinson

New York was the baseball capital of the world in the 1950s. It started in 1950 when the New York Yankees won the World series. They proceeded to win the next three World Series. The 1954 World Series was won by the New York Giants, and the 1955 World Series was won by the Brooklyn Dodgers. The 1956 and 1958 World Series were won by the New York Yankees.

In the 1950s, baseball changed more than it did in any other decade. Baseball was beginning to migrate west, and the Brooklyn Dodgers became the Los Angeles Dodgers. The teams began to use planes instead of trains, which lessened travel time. The installation of lights in almost every ballpark allowed for night games. The actual game changed, too. Home-runs and strike-outs per game increased, while triples decreased. Baseball began to be integrated, too. By the end of the 1950s, almost every team would have an African-American player.

Ernie Banks was nicknamed 'Mr. Cub'. He played shortstop and first base for nineteen years with the Chicago Cubs, and was in the All-Star Game eleven years. Twice, he was the Most Valuable Player (MVP). He won the Golden Glove Award. Famous for his cheerful personality and his amazing playing skills, Banks hit a total of 512 home-runs. With a total of 83.81%, he was voted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He was the first Cubs player to have his number, 14, retired. Currently, a pennant hangs at Wrigley Field with the number fourteen on it.

In his career, Mr. Banks he played 2528 games, had a batting average of .274, hit 512 home-runs, and hit 1636 runs batted in (RBI). He led the league in home runs in 1958 and 1960, and led the league in RBI in 1958-1959. On a sunny day, you could hear him say, "Let's play two!" Banks grew up in Dallas, and was more interested in softball than baseball. He was bribed by his father to play catch.
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Ernie Banks

Baseball in the 1950s was a way to lessen the tension Americans were feeling at the time. What with war in Korea and possible nuclear doom, Americans were stressed out. When Americans watched baseball, it was a chance to forget about all that was going on. Baseball gave Americans a break. Because of the invention of television, games could be broadcast all over America. More and more people were buying TV sets. That was good for TV shows, like I Love Lucy and The Ed Sullivan Show. All in all, baseball had a very positive impact on America in the 1950s.

Bibliography

Treder, Steve. “Dig the 1950s.” The Hardball Times. 23 March. 2003. The Hardball Times. 12 February. 2007 <http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/dig_the_1950s/>

“Baseball.” TIME Almanac 2000. 2000.

Wolpin, Stewart. “Ernie Banks.” BaseballLibrary.com. BaseballLibrary.com. 13 February. 2007 <http://www.baseballlibrary.com/baseballlibrary/ballplayers/B/Banks_Ernie.stm>