Walt Dropo (born January 30, 1923 in Moosup, Connecticut), nicknamed "Moose", is a former Major League Baseball first baseman and right-handed batter who played with the Boston Red Sox (1949-52), Detroit Tigers (1952-54), Chicago White Sox (1955-58), Cincinnati Redlegs (1958-59), and Baltimore Orioles 1959-61).
Listed at 6'5", 220 lb (100 kg), Dropo's parents came from Mostar, Yugoslavia (now Bosnia and Herzegovina) to start a new life. His father, Savo, worked at the local textile mill and also ran their Connecticut family farm. Walter turned down an offer from football's Chicago Bears to sign with the Red Sox as an amateur free agent in 1947. He debuted on April 19, 1949. In 11 games he batted .146 (6-for-41).
Dropo enjoyed one of the best rookie seasons ever in 1950, leading the league in RBI (144) and total bases (326), while batting .322 and hitting 34 home runs (second to Al Rosen 37). In addition, his .583 slugging percentage and 70 extra bases were only second to the .585 - 75 of Joe DiMaggio, and his .961 OPS was third in the league (Larry Doby .986, DiMaggio .979). Dropo was considered for the MVP award, and earned Rookie of the Year honors. His efforts that season led him to his only All-Star appearance.
In 1951, Dropo broke his right wrist and never was the same. After a disappointing one-plus season, he was traded to Detroit on June 3, 1952. After being traded, he collected 12 consecutive hits to tie a MLB record. Included in the streak was a 5-for-5 game against the Yankees (July 14) and a 7-for-7 performance in a doubleheader against Washington (July 15). In game 2 he went 4-for-5, matching an American League record of 15 hits in four games. In that season he hit a combined 29 home runs and 97 RBI, but he never again hit over 19 homers (1955) or batted over .281 (1954).
In 13-season career, Dropo batted .270 (1113-for-4124) with 152 home runs, 704 RBI, 478 runs, 168 doubles, 22 triples, and five stolen bases in 1288 games. Today, Dropo is retired and lives on the North Shore of Boston.
Rookie of the Year (1950) All-Star (1950) Top 10 MVP (6th, 1950) Led league in RBI (144, 1950) Led league in total bases (326, 1950) Tied a MLB record with 12 consecutive hits (July 15, 1952) Tied an AL record with 15 hits in four games (July 16, 1952) Facts
Dropo was the first rookie in the 20th century to top 100 RBI with more RBI than games played (144 in 136 games, 1950) He was the first Red Sox player to be named the American League Rookie of the Year, followed by Don Schwall (1961), Carlton Fisk (1972), Fred Lynn (1975) and Nomar Garciaparra (1997)