Billy Goodman

The versatile Goodman led the AL in batting with a .354 mark in 1950, one of five times he hit .300. He hit .290 or better 11 straight years (1948-58). But despite his steady hitting and versatile fielding, Goodman never quite achieved stardom.

Starting out as the regular first baseman for the powerful 1948 Red Sox, he led AL first basemen in total chances per game in 1948 and in fielding in 1949 while hitting .298. Because the lefthanded batter had no home run power and was capable at almost every position, he moved aside to accommodate the arrival of slugging first baseman Walt Dropo in 1950. Goodman won his batting championship that season while playing the outfield and all four infield positions. He took over as the regular at second base in 1952 after Bobby Doerr retired, and he led AL second basemen in total chances per game. He kept the job through 1956, finishing third in the AL in batting in 1953 (.313) and second in walks in 1955 (99). After leading the league’s second basemen in errors in 1956 and starting out batting .063 in 1957, he was traded to the Orioles for Mike Fornieles. From then on, he played mainly third base, backing up George Kell for a year and then moving on to the White Sox in 1958. He was a dependable reserve on the White Sox’ 1959 pennant-winners.