Abrams, Cal "Abie"
Calvin Ross Abrams
Having grown up in Brooklyn, in the shadow of Ebbets Field, Cal fulfilled a life-long dream when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers. A terrific outfielder, Abrams had a perfect fielding percentage in three different seasons (1950, 1952, 1956). Over his eight-year career, he was a lifetime .269 hitter.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. March 2, 1924 - d. February 25, 1997
Born in Philadelphia (his father was Russian immigrant), Abrams moved to Brooklyn with his family as a small child. At the age of 18, after graduating from James Madison High School, Abrams signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Two weeks after reporting to the minors, however, he was drafted into the U.S. Army. After serving for four years during World War II, Cal was honorably discharged in 1946.
That same year, Abrams resumed his baseball career. He spent three years in the minors -- helping Mobile win the Southern Association in 1947 while batting .336 -- before Cal joining the Dodgers in 1949. Over the next two seasons, Abrams split time between Brooklyn and the minors. It was in 1950 that Cal was involved in one of the most famous plays in Dodger franchise history.
In the final game of the 1950 season, the Dodgers were one game behind the Phillies in the pennant race when Abrams tried to score from second with two outs in the bottom of the ninth of a 1-1 game on a hit by Duke Snider -- but Cal, who had been waved home by third base coach Milt Stock, was thrown out by the Phillies' Richie Ashburn. Had Cal scored, the Dodgers would have won the game and forced a playoff with the Phillies for the pennant. In the top of the tenth, Dick Sisler hit a three-run home run to win the game -- and the pennant -- for Philadelphia. It was the closest Abrams ever got to the postseason.
Abrams, who was later traded by the Dodgers, was defended by both Ashburn and Phillie pitcher Robin Roberts for the play -- they agreed with many others who said Cal should not have been sent home by Stock. In 1951, he briefly led the majors in the batting with a .471 average, and the New York Post ran a banner headline that read: "Mantle Shmantle...We've Got Abrams." He finished the season with a solid .280 batting average and was honored with a "Cal Abrams Night" during the year.
During the 1952 season, Cal was sent to the Cincinnati Reds -- he played more games (46) without making an error than any other outfielder in the majors that year. The following year, playing for the Pittsburgh Pirates, he had his most productive statistical season in the majors; he batted .286 with 15 home runs and a .435 slugging average, all career highs. In 1954, he began the season with the Pirates, but was sent to the Baltimore Orioles of the American League, for whom he played very well -- he finished among the league leaders in on-base percentage (.400 - 7th) and triples (7 - 10th). Cal played two more seasons -- for the Orioles and the Chicago White Sox -- before retiring in 1956.
Abrams played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, 1949-1952, the Cincinnati Reds, 1952, the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1953-1954, the Baltimore Orioles, 1954-1955, and the Chicago White Sox.
Outfield. He also played four games at first base toward the end of his career.
6'0", 185 pounds
Batting Avg.: .269
Slugging Avg.: .392
Home Runs: 32
Home Run %: 2.0
Strike Outs: 290
Stolen Bases: 12
Total Chances per Game: 2.0
Fielding Avg: .977