Split of the day – 1959 Cincinnati Redlegs
In the Los Angeles Dodgers second season on the left coast they surprised the writers taking the NL pennant and World Series from the White Sox. See, Chicago happened to be one of the best fielding teams of all-time. In ’59 they featured a double-play combo of Nellie Fox and Luis Aparicio, not to mention 5-time gold glover Jim Landis roaming center.
This isn’t about Walter Alston and co. as much as it’s about another fine center fielder who spent most of 1959 as a 20-year old. In fact this rookie led the NL in Runs (131) and Doubles (47) while finishing 4th in BA (.316). Just call him “prime-time” as he destroyed the eventual world champs hitting .424/.485/.728 with 25 runs in only 22 games. The Reds actually went 13-9 against LA thanks to Vada Pinson despite winning just 46% of their games against the rest of the league. For good measure Pinson played 99.85% of the innings for the Redlegs in center that year.