Bob Boyd (baseball)
Topps baseball card – 1954 Series, #113
October 1, 1919|
Potts Camp, Mississippi
|Died: September 7, 2004
|September 8, 1951, for the Chicago White Sox|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 24, 1961, for the Milwaukee Braves|
|Runs batted in||175|
|Career highlights and awards|
Nicknamed "Rope" for his line-drive hitting, Boyd played in the Negro Leagues with the Memphis Red Sox (1947–49), and in the major leagues for the Chicago White Sox (1951, 1953–54), Baltimore Orioles (1956–60), Kansas City Athletics (1961) and Milwaukee Braves (1961).
Boyd threw and batted left-handed, and he could shine with his glove. He was a contact hitter, slight of frame, and didn't produce the kind of home run power expected from a major league first baseman. He started his professional career in the Negro Leagues with the Memphis Red Sox, and played three seasons for them between 1947 and 1949, batting .352, .369 and .371, respectively.
In 1950, Boyd became the first black player to sign with the Chicago White Sox. He made his debut on September 8, 1951. Basically a backup player and pinch-hitter with the Sox, in 1954 he was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals, but didn't play for them. Boyd was out in 1955, and at the end of the season, he was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles from St. Louis in the 1955 rule 5 draft. In 1956 with the Orioles, he hit .311 with two homers and 11 RBI in 70 games.
Boyd enjoyed a career season in 1957. Only eight batters reached the .300 mark in the American League, and he finished fourth in the batting race with a .318 average behind Ted Williams (.388), Mickey Mantle (.365) and Gene Woodling (.321), and over Nellie Fox, Minnie Miñoso, Bill Skowron and Roy Sievers. Beside this, Boyd became the first Oriole regular in the 20th century to hit over .300 in batting average. The following year, he batted .309 with a career-high seven home runs.
Boyd ended his majors career in 1961. He compiled a .293 batting average with 19 home runs and 175 RBI in 693 games. Thanks to his discipline at the plate and knowledge of the strike zone, he registered an outstanding 1.465 walk-to-strikeout ratio (167-to-114). At first base, he committed only 36 errors in 4159 chances for a .991 fielding average.
- Interview with Bob Boyd
- Negro League Baseball Players Association
- National Baseball Congress Hall of Fame
- Baseball Library
- Retrosheet Official Web Page