1950 AL Rookie of Year Walt Dropo dies

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, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

Storrs, CT - Walt Dropo, a first baseman who started playing in the majors for Boston and was tabbed as the 1950 American League Rookie of the Year, passed away Friday. He was 87.

"He was a giant of a man and very proud of his family and heritage," Dee Rowe, UConn's Special Adviser for Athletics said in a press release. "When he walked into a room, he had has this great presence. You knew he was there and he just captured everyone."

Affectionately known as the "Moose from Moosup," Dropo played football, basketball and baseball for UConn. He spent three years of military service in Europe for World War II.

Drafted as an end in the ninth round of the 1946 NFL Draft by the Chicago Bears, Dropo signed a free agent contract with the Red Sox in 1947. Three years later, he beat out Yankees pitcher Whitey Ford for AL Rookie of the Year. That season, Dropo hit .322 with 34 homers and 144 RBI.

Dropo played through the 1961 season and finished with a career batting average of .270 with 152 homers and 704 RBI. He also played for the Tigers, White Sox, Reds and Orioles.


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