Ferris Fain

Fain won consecutive AL batting titles in 1951 (.344, when a broken foot held him to 117 games) and 1952 (.327). Although those were the only two full seasons in which he hit .300, he also hit .302 in 1954, when a knee injury limited him to 65 games and started the decline that cut off his career a year later after just nine seasons. His career high in HR was just 10 (1950), but he led the AL in doubles in 1952. However, his greatest value lay in his ability to get on base: his on-base percentage was above .400 every year of his career, finishing at .425 lifetime. He walked 100 times in five seasons, and was in the AL top five every season he was healthy; only once did he strike out more than 37 times in a season.

Fain was considered the best-fielding first baseman in the league until Vic Power came up. Although he tied the AL record by leading in errors five times, he was a daring, far-ranging fielder who was the first baseman to regularly field bunts on the third base line. He holds the ML record for double plays in a season with 194 in 1949; it broke the previous record by 31 (his 192 in 1950 is second). He set the since-tied AL record for double plays in a nine-inning game (six on September 1, 1947 in the second game). He led the league four times in assists and twice each in total chances per game and double plays, and ranks third all-time among first basemen in assists per game.