Wallace Wade Moon was born on this day in Bay, Arkansas.
Wally Moon became one of the best hitters of the 1950's. His story is rather remarkable:
On April 11, 1954, the St. Louis Cardinals traded future hall of fame outfielder Enos Slaughter to the New York Yankees for Bill Virdon, Mel Wright and minor leaguer Emil Tellinger. On April 13, 1954, Wally Moon, the rookie outfielder brought in to fill the vacancy, made his debut, only to hear the fans chanting, "We want Enos." A difficult debut.Wally Moon retired with the LA Dodgers: .289 average, 1,399 hits, 212 doubles, 142 HR & 661 RBI in 1,457 games.
Undaunted, Wally Moon, in his first at-bat, deposited the third pitch delivered to him by Paul Minner over the right field pavilion at Sportsman's Park, becoming only the second St. Louis Cardinal to hit a home run during his first at bat, joining another lefty, Eddie Morgan (April 14, 1936).
Wally never stopped hitting after that historic homer, finishing his first year in the bigs with a .304 batting average, courtesy of 193 hits (5th most in the National League) spread across 635 at bats (2nd most in the National League). Add to the recipe two five-hit games, a four-stolen base game and eleven additional homers, you get a Rookie of the Year - the first in Cardinals' history.
Wally Moon (17 votes) had some serious competition for best rookie honors in 1954, finishing ahead of Ernie Banks (4 votes), Gene Conley (2 votes), and Hank Aaron (1 vote).
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