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1955 in Baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1955 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
MLB statistical leaders
Major league baseball final standings
American League final standings
National League final standings
Before the Athletics arrive in town, the Kansas City Monarchs move their base of operations to Grand Rapids, Michigan. They retain the name "Kansas City Monarchs" and continue in the Negro American League as a barnstorming team.
January 24 - In an effort to speed up the game, Major League Baseball announces a new rule which requires a pitcher to deliver the ball within 20 seconds after taking a pitching position.
- April 12 - After a big civic parade, the Athletics open their first season in Kansas City with a win over the Detroit Tigers, 6-2, before a crowd of 32,844.
- April 14 - Elston Howard becomes the first African-American to wear the New York Yankees uniform. Howard singles in his first-at-bat, against the Boston Red Sox, as the Yankees win 8-4.
- April 23: The Chicago White Sox tallied a franchise record 29 runs and 29 hits against the host Kansas City Athletics, including seven home runs, in a 29-6 ripping. Sherm Lollar was 5-for-6 with a pair of home runs and five RBI, and became the only player in the decade to get two hits in one inning twice in the same game (2nd and 6th innings). Chico Carrasquel hit 5-for-6, and Bob Nieman paced the attack with two homers and seven RBI. Walt Dropo added a homer and seven RBI, while pitcher Jack Harshman and Minnie Miñoso also homered. Carrasquel and Miñoso each scored five runs. Kansas City had homers from Vic Power and Bill Renna. Bobby Shantz was the losing pitcher.
- August 20 - The Chicago White Sox rally to edge the Detroit Tigers, 8-7. Nellie Fox and Jim Rivera pace the attack with four hits apiece, while Chico Carrasquel adds a home run. George Kell drives in five runs for the White Sox. The win leaves Chicago (71-46) tied in second place with Cleveland (73-48), and a game in back of New York (74-47).
- February 3 - Fred Brown, 75, outfielder over parts of two seasons for the Boston Beaneaters in 1901 and 1902, and later a politician who served as Governor of New Hampshire and also in the United States Senate.
- February 6 - Rosey Rowswell, 71, radio sportscaster best known for being the first full-time play-by-play announcer for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- February 6 - Hank Thormahlen, 58, pitcher for the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox and Brooklyn Robins between 1917 and 1925.
- February 10 - Cuke Barrows, 71, outfielder who played from 1909 to 1912 for the Chicago White Sox.
- February 10 - Ray Hartranft, 64, pitcher for the 1913 Philadelphia Phillies.
- February 10 - Allie Strobel, 70, second baseman who saw action with the Boston Beaneaters in 1905 and 1906.
- February 15 - Lynn Nelson, 49, pitcher and pinch hitter in all or part of seven seasons between 1930 and 1940 for the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers; had a pedestrian mound record of 33-42 (5.25) in 166 games pitched, but batted .281 lifetime with 103 hits, including a .354 season with 1937 Athletics with 40 hits, four home runs and 29 runs batted in.
- February 15 - Tom Tennant, 72, pinch-hitter who appeared in just two games for the St. Louis Browns in the 1912 season.
- February 23 - Bill Tozer, 72, pitcher in four games for the 1908 Cincinnati Reds.
- February 25 - Ike Kamp, 54, pitcher who played for the Boston Braves in 1924 and 1925.
- June 2 - Harry Eccles, 61, pitcher who played for the Philadelphia Athletics during the 1915 season.
- June 6 - Mike Kelley, 79, first baseman for the 1899 Louisville Colonels, later became a long time minor league baseball owner and manager.
- June 16 - Mike Morrison, 88, pitcher who played for the Cleveland Spiders, Syracuse Stars and Baltimore Orioles in part of three seasons between 1887 and 1890.
- June 18 - Jack Katoll, 82, German pitcher who played for the Chicago Orphans, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore Orioles in a span of four seasons from 1898-1902.
- June 22 - Frankie Hayes, 40, highly regarded defensive catcher and a five-time All-Star while playing for the Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Browns, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox, who led the American League three times in total chances per game, twice each in fielding average, putouts, double plays and errors, and once in assists. Besides, his 29 double plays in 1945 is the second-highest total ever for a catcher. Additionally, he caught 312 consecutive games between October 1943 and April 1946, a Major League record, and was durable enough to catch all 155 Athletics games in 1945, as he set a still-standing American League season record.
- June 27 - Harry Agganis, 26, Boston Red Sox first baseman and former Boston University football star, who compiled outstanding records as a quarterback in his student heyday, becoming the first person in BU history to receive All-American honors.
- June 29 - Horace Milan, 61, outfielder who played with the Washington Senators in the 191 and 1917 seasons.
- October 4 - Stan Baumgartner, 60, relief pitcher who spent eight seasons in the majors with the Philadelphia Phillies and Philadelphia Athletics between 1914 and 1926, then became a prominent Philadelphia baseball writer.
- October 5 - Lyman Lamb, 60, third baseman for the St. Louis Browns during two seasons from 1920-1921.
- October 9 - Howie Fox, 34, pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies and Baltimore Orioles from 1944 to 1954.
- October 9 - Jim Jackson, 77, utility outfielder who played for the Baltimore Orioles, New York Giants and Cleveland Naps over four seasons from 1901-1906.
- October 13 - Fred Lear, 61, third baseman who played for the Philadelphia Athletics, Chicago Cubs and New York Giants in part of four seasons between 1915 and 1920.
- October 18 - George Murray, 57, who pitched from 1922 to 1933 for the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators and Chicago White Sox.
- October 26 - Jack Bushelman, 70, pitcher who played with the Cincinnati Reds in the 1909 season and for the Boston Red Sox from 1911 to 1912.
- October 27 - Clark Griffith, 85, Hall of Fame pitcher and manager, and owner of the Washington Senators since 1920; won 237 games in 20-year career in three major leagues between 1891 and 1914, with 20 or more victories in seven different campaigns; led National League in earned run average (1.88) in 1898, then was a key recruiter of NL players to upstart American League in 1901; managed Chicago White Stockings, New York Highlanders, Cincinnati Reds and Senators between 1901 and 1920.
- November 3 - John Merritt, 61, backup outfielder who appeared in just one game with the New York Giants in the 1913 season.
- November 4 - Cy Young, 88, Hall of Fame pitcher who won a record 511 games over a 22-year career with five clubs from 1890 to 1911, being a 30-game winner five seasons, a 20-game victor sixteen times, pitching a perfect game, two no-hitters, and while being a member of the 1903 Boston Americans hurling the first pitch in a World Series game.
- November 5 - Frank Gregory, 67, pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds in their 1912 season.
- November 12 - Sam Crane, 61, shortstop who played for the Philadelphia Athletics, Washington Senators, Cincinnati Reds and Brooklyn Robins in part of seven seasons spanning 1914-1922.
- November 19 - Otto Jacobs, 66, catcher for the 1918 Chicago White Sox.
- November 23 - Fred Tauby, 49, part-time outfielder who played with the Chicago White Sox in the 1935 season and for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1937.
- November 30 - John Stone, 50, outfielder for the Detroit Tigers and Washington Senators from 1928 to 1938, who hit over .300 in seven of his eleven seasons, with a career-high .341 in 1936.
- December 6 - Honus Wagner, 81, legendary Hall of Fame shortstop of the Pittsburgh Pirates who won eight National League batting crowns and led the league in runs batted in, stolen bases, doubles and slugging average at least five times each in a 21-year career, posting an overall batting line of .328/.391/.467, having scored 1,739 runs, connect 3,420 hits and stolen 723 bases.
- December 8 - Buck Washer, 73, pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1905 season.
- December 9 - Curt Walker, 59, right fielder who played twelve seasons from 1919-1930 for the Philadelphia Phillies, New York Yankees, Cincinnati Reds and New York Giants, compiling a slash line of.304/.374/.440 and 1,475 hits in 1,359 games, while batting a .300 or better average in seven seasons.
- December 17 - Rube DeGroff, 76, backup outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals during two seasons from 1905 to 1906.
- December 18 - George Caster, pitcher who played for the Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Browns and Detroit Tigers during twelve seasons from 1934-1946, as well as a member of the 1945 World Champion Tigers.
- December 18 - Francisco José Cróquer, 35, Venezuelan sportscaster specialized in baseball and boxing, who achieved international renown and became a household name in Latino communities after joining the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports in the late 1940s.
- December 19 - Moxie Divis, 61, outfielder who played for the Philadelphia Athletics during the 1916 season.
- December 22 - Jimmy O'Rourke, 71, outfielder who played in 1908 with the New York Highlanders.
- December 23 - Joe McManus, 68, who pitched in 1913 for the Cincinnati Reds.
- December 24 - Jake Boultes, 71, who played from 1907 through 1909 for the Boston Doves, mostly as a pitcher, although he also played a handful of games as a shortstop and third baseman.
- December 27 - Lord Byron, 83, National League umpire from 1913 to 1919, while officiating 1,012 games and the 1914 World Series.
- December 27 - Jim Fairbank, 74, pitcher who played for the Philadelphia Athletics during the 1903 and 1904 seasons.
- December 31 - Clint Brown, 52, relief pitcher for the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox in a span of fifteen seasons from 1928-1942, who posted a career 89-93 W-L record with 64 saves and 4.26 ERA, leading the American League relievers in 1939 in appearances (61), games finished (56), saves (18) and innings (1181/3), ending 11th in the voting for the American League MVP Award.