1955 Kansas City Athletics
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s)Arnold Johnson
Manager(s)Lou Boudreau
Local televisionnone
Local radioKMBC
(Merle Harmon, Larry Ray)
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The 1955 Kansas City Athletics season was the 55th season for the franchise in MLB's American League, and the first in Kansas City after playing the previous 54 in Philadelphia. The team won 63 games – only the fifth time in 20 years that they won more than 60 games – and lost 91, finishing sixth in the American League, 33 games behind the AL Champion New York Yankees.

Offseason

In 1954, the Mack family decided to sell the Philadelphia Athletics. Charlie Finley made an offer to purchase the team, but was refused.[1] Clint Murchison also made an offer to purchase the team with plans to relocate to Southern California, but was also refused. On October 12, 1954, the owners approved the sale of the Athletics to Chicago businessman Arnold Johnson, who moved the team from Philadelphia to Kansas City for the 1955 season. Finley would later buy the A's from Johnson's estate in 1960. Murchison's son, Clint Jr., would later become one of the founders of the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys franchise in 1960.

In 1955, the new Kansas City Athletics drew 1,393,054 to Municipal Stadium.

Notable transactions

Spring training

The A's and Philadelphia Phillies had played a Philadelphia City Series since 1903. The Kansas City A's returned to Philadelphia at the end of spring training in 1955, and the teams played two games. The A's beat the Phillies in the second game, 10–2, at Wilmington Park, home of the original Wilmington Blue Rocks.[3] Both games were played at Wilmington Park, Wilmington, Delaware, on April 9 and April 10, 1955, immediately prior to the start of the regular season.

Regular season

Opening game

The first game in Kansas City's Major League history was played at home at Municipal Stadium on Tuesday, April 12, 1955, before 32,147 fans.[4] Facing the Detroit Tigers, the Athletics broke a 2–2 deadlock in the sixth inning with a three-run rally keyed by pinch hitter Don Bollweg's two-run single, and went on to win, 6–2. The A's other batting star was center fielder Bill Wilson, who collected three hits and a base on balls, scoring three runs, in four plate appearances; one of his hits was the first home run in Kansas City MLB annals, a solo blast in the eighth inning. Left-hander Alex Kellner got the victory, while former Cincinnati Reds star Ewell Blackwell pitched three scoreless innings in relief for the save.[4]

Starting lineup

  7 Vic Power 1B
12 Pete Suder 2B
  4 Jim Finigan    3B
30 Gus Zernial LF
34 Bill Renna RF
32 Bill Wilson CF
  2 Joe DeMaestri    SS
11 Joe Astroth C
20 Alex Kellner P[4]

Season standings

American League W L Pct. GB Home Road
New York Yankees 96 58 0.623 52–25 44–33
Cleveland Indians 93 61 0.604 3 49–28 44–33
Chicago White Sox 91 63 0.591 5 49–28 42–35
Boston Red Sox 84 70 0.545 12 47–31 37–39
Detroit Tigers 79 75 0.513 17 46–31 33–44
Kansas City Athletics 63 91 0.409 33 33–43 30–48
Baltimore Orioles 57 97 0.370 39 30–47 27–50
Washington Senators 53 101 0.344 43 28–49 25–52


Record vs. opponents

1955 American League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]
Team BAL BOS CWS CLE DET KC NYY WSH
Baltimore 8–14 10–12–1 3–19 9–13 10–12–1 3–19 14–8
Boston 14–8 9–13 11–11 13–9 14–8 8–14 15–7
Chicago 12–10–1 13–9 10–12 14–8 14–8 11–11 17–5
Cleveland 19–3 11–11 12–10 12–10 17–5 13–9 9–13
Detroit 13–9 9–13 8–14 10–12 12–10 10–12 17–5
Kansas City 12–10–1 8–14 8–14 5–17 10–12 7–15 13–9
New York 19–3 14–8 11–11 9–13 12–10 15–7 16–6
Washington 8–14 7–15 5–17 13–9 5–17 9–13 6–16


Notable transactions

Roster

1955 Kansas City Athletics
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Player stats

= Indicates team leader

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Joe Astroth 101 274 69 .252 5 23
1B Vic Power 147 596 190 .319 19 76
2B Jim Finigan 150 549 135 .255 9 68
SS Joe DeMaestri 123 457 114 .249 6 37
3B Héctor López 128 483 140 .290 15 68
LF Gus Zernial 120 413 105 .254 30 84
CF Harry Simpson 112 396 119 .301 5 52
RF Enos Slaughter 108 267 86 .322 5 34

[10]

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Elmer Valo 112 283 103 .364 3 37
Bill Wilson 98 273 61 .223 15 38
Bill Renna 100 249 53 .213 7 28
Billy Shantz 79 217 56 .258 1 12
Pete Suder 26 81 17 .210 0 1
Clete Boyer 47 79 19 .241 0 6
Jack Littrell 37 70 14 .200 0 1
Jerry Schypinski 22 69 15 .217 0 5
Dick Kryhoski 28 47 10 .213 0 2
Tom Saffell 9 37 8 .216 0 1
Spook Jacobs 13 23 6 .261 0 1
Bill Stewart 11 18 2 .111 0 0
Don Plarski 8 11 1 .091 0 0
Alex George 5 10 1 .100 0 0
Don Bollweg 12 9 1 .111 0 2
Jim Robertson 6 8 2 .250 0 0
Hal Bevan 3 3 0 .000 0 0
Eric Mackenzie 1 1 0 .000 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games played; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Alex Kellner 30 162.2 11 8 4.20 75
Bobby Shantz 23 125 5 10 4.54 58
Arnie Portocarrero 24 111.1 5 9 4.77 34
Vic Raschi 20 101.1 4 6 5.42 38
Glenn Cox 2 2.1 0 2 30.86 2

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Art Ditmar 35 175.1 12 12 5.03 79
Art Ceccarelli 31 123.2 4 7 5.31 68
Cloyd Boyer 30 98.1 5 5 6.22 32
Ray Herbert 23 87.2 1 8 6.26 30
Johnny Gray 8 26.2 0 3 6.41 11
Mike Kume 6 23.2 0 2 7.99 7
Walt Craddock 4 15 0 2 7.80 9
Gus Keriazakos 5 11.2 0 1 12.34 8

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Tom Gorman 57 7 6 18 3.55 46
Bill Harrington 34 3 3 2 4.11 26
Johnny Sain 25 2 5 1 5.44 12
Lou Sleater 16 1 1 0 7.71 11
Marion Fricano 10 0 0 0 3.15 5
Moe Burtschy 7 2 0 0 10.32 9
Charlie Bishop 4 1 0 0 5.40 4
Bob Trice 4 0 0 0 9.00 2
Lee Wheat 3 0 0 0 22.50 0
Ewell Blackwell 2 0 1 0 6.75 2
Bob Spicer 2 0 0 0 33.75 2
Ozzie Van Brabant 2 0 0 0 18.00 1
Sonny Dixon 2 0 0 0 16.20 0
Bill Wilson 1 0 0 0 0.00 1

Awards and honors

All-Star Game

[11]

Farm system

See also: Minor League Baseball

Level Team League Manager
AAA Columbus Jets International League Nick Cullop
A Savannah Athletics Sally League Clyde Kluttz
B Lancaster Red Roses Piedmont League Hank Biasatti
C Hot Springs Bathers Cotton States League Joe Lutz and Mickey O'Neil
C Burlington A's Provincial League Vince Plumbo
D Welch Miners/Marion A's Appalachian League Herb Mancini
D Seminole Oilers Sooner State League Charles Hopkins and Al Evans

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Lancaster

Welch franchise transferred to Marion and renamed, July 14, 1955

References

  1. ^ Charlie Finley: The Outrageous Story of Baseball's Super Showman, pp. 27, G. Michael Green and Roger D. Launius. Walker Publishing Company, New York, 2010, ISBN 978-0-8027-1745-0
  2. ^ Bob Davis page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ Peterson, John E. (2003). Kansas City Athletics: A Baseball History, 1954–1967. McFarland. p. 52. ISBN 0-7864-1610-6. Retrieved May 22, 2009.
  4. ^ a b c Retrosheet box score: 1955-04-12
  5. ^ Enos Slaughter page at Baseball Reference
  6. ^ Clete Boyer page at Baseball Reference
  7. ^ Al Sima page at Baseball Reference
  8. ^ Joe Ginsberg page at Baseball Reference
  9. ^ Glenn Cox page at Baseball Reference
  10. ^ https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/KCA/1955.shtml
  11. ^ http://baseball-almanac.com/asgbox/yr1955as.shtml