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Gil McDougald (Gilbert James McDougald) was born on May 19, 1928 in San Francisco, California. He made his Major League debut on April 20, 1951 for the New York Yankees. In 1951, his rookie year, he hit .306 with 14 home runs and 63 RBI. McDougald played for the New York Yankees for his entire 10 year career.
Most people believe that Gil McDougald's best season was 1953, when he hit for a .285 average and knocked in 83 runs.
He played his first major league game on April 20, 1951. On May 6 of that year, he tied a major league record by batting in 6 runs in one inning. Later in the year, in the World Series, he became the first rookie to hit a grand slam home run in the Series. He narrowly beat out Minnie Minoso in the voting for the 1951 American League Rookie of the Year. His entire major league career was spent on the New York Yankees, wearing uniform number 12. He was a versatile player, playing all the infield positions except first base: 599 games at second base, 508 games at third, and 284 at shortstop. He played in five All-Star Games: in 1952, 1956, 1957, 1958, and 1959.
In 1956 World Series during Don Larsen's perfect game Jackie Robinson hit a line drive in the second inning that was deflected by Yankee third baseman Andy Carey which Gil McDougald fielded and threw out Jackie Robinson in a bang bang play at first
On May 7, 1957, McDougald, batting against Herb Score of the Cleveland Indians, hit a line drive that hit Score in the eye. It caused Score to miss the rest of the 1957 and much of the 1958 season, and Score was never again the outstanding pitcher he had been up to that event. McDougald reportedly vowed at the time of the incident to retire if Score was blinded.
In 1961 he was selected by the Washington Senators (now the Texas Rangers) in the expansion draft. Rather than play for that team, he retired. I believe that he was not taken in the expansion draft but retired when the Los Angeles Angels acquired him from the Yankees after the 1960 season. I remember Bill James commenting on how Gil's home run totals would have been far better playing 1961 in Wrigley Field in Los Angeles than they ever were at Yankee Stadium.
- Signed as an amateur free agent by New York Yankees (1948).