Gus Zernial (born June 27, 1923 in Beaumont, Texas) is a former Major League Baseball left-fielder and right-handed batter who played for the Chicago White Sox (1949-51), Philadelphia Athletics (1951-54), Kansas City Athletics (1955-57) and Detroit Tigers (1958-59).
Nicknamed "Ozark Ike" after the popular comic strip character, Zernial was one of the most feared sluggers in the 1950s, joining hall of famers Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Larry Doby in the American League, for most home runs in the decade.
After hit 29 homers for the White Sox in 1950, Zernial was sent to the Athletics in a mega trade that brought Minnie MiĆ±oso to Chicago in 1951. Zernial led the league in home runs (33), runs batted in (129), extra base hits (68), and 17 assists in the outfield. In 1952 he hit 29 homers with 100 RBI, 42 and 108 in 1953.
An aggressive fielder, Zernial twice broke his collarbone while making a diving catch (1949 and 1954). He finished his career in Detroit, primarily as a pinch hitter, hitting .323 with 10 home runs in his new role.
Gus Zernial was a career .265 hitter (1093-for-4131) with 237 home runs, 776 RBI, 572 runs, 159 doubles, 22 triples, and 15 stolen bases in 1234 games.
Zernial was diagnosed with cancer in 1990.
All-Star (1953) Led league in home runs (1951) Led league in RBI (1951) 10 career home runs as a pinch hitter Tied a Major League set by Tony Lazzeri with 7 home runs in four successive games (May 17, 1951) Hit the last Grand Slam in Philadelphia Athletics history (May 26, 1954) Related links
Left fielder Pinch hitter Top 500 home run hitters of all time