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He played his first major league game on April 20, 1951. On May 3 of that year, he tied a major league record by batting in 6 runs in one inning. Later in the year, in the World Series, he became the first rookie to hit a grand slam home run in the Series. He narrowly beat out Minnie Miñoso in the voting for the 1951 American League Rookie of the Year. His entire major league career was spent on the New York Yankees, wearing uniform number 12. He was a versatile player, playing all the infield positions except first base: 599 games at second base, 508 games at third, and 284 at shortstop. He played in five All-Star Games: in 1952, 1956, 1957, 1958, and 1959.
McDougald led all American League infielders in double plays at three different positions - at third base (1952), at second base (1955) and shortstop (1957). He was the double play leader at shortstop despite sharing time at the position with rookie Tony Kubek.
On May 7, 1957, McDougald, batting against Herb Score of the Cleveland Indians, hit a line drive that hit Score in the eye. It caused Score to miss the rest of the 1957 and much of the 1958 season, and Score was never again the outstanding pitcher he had been up to that event. McDougald reportedly vowed at the time of the incident to retire if Score was blinded.
Ironically, only two years before, McDougald was struck in the left ear during batting practice by a ball hit by teammate Bob Cerv. Though initially believed to be a concussion (he missed only a few games), McDougald soon lost the hearing in his left ear and later also in his right. He retired in 1960 at only age 32, though not directly because of his hearing loss (see Jim Reisler, "Sounds Great to Him", Sports Illustrated, September 16, 1996).
His last appearance was in Game Seven of the 1960 World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates; as a pinch runner in the top of the ninth, he scored on Yogi Berra's ground ball to tie the game at 9. The Pirates, however, won the Series on Bill Mazeroski's walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth.
His hearing loss was somewhat restored by a cochlear implant he received during a surgery at the New York University Medical Center in 1994. McDougald has since been a paid spokesperson for the manufacturer, Cochlear Americas, including benefits for hearing organizations and testimony before Congress (see Jim Reisler, "Sounds Great to Him", Sports Illustrated, September 16, 1996).
|American League Rookie of the Year|
|Lou Gehrig Memorial Award|
|DATE OF BIRTH||May 19, 1928|
|PLACE OF BIRTH|
|DATE OF DEATH|
|PLACE OF DEATH|