1955 Kansas City Athletics season

1955 Kansas City Athletics
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Arnold Johnson
Manager(s) Lou Boudreau
Local television none
Local radio KMBC
(Merle Harmon, Larry Ray)
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The 1955 Kansas City Athletics season was the 55th season for the franchise in MLB's American League, and the first in Kansas City after playing the previous 54 in Philadelphia. The team won 63 games – only the fifth time in 20 years that they won more than 60 games – and lost 91, finishing sixth in the American League, 33 games behind the AL Champion New York Yankees.


In 1954, the Mack family decided to sell the Philadelphia Athletics. Charlie Finley made an offer to purchase the team, but was refused.[1] Clint Murchison also made an offer to purchase the team with plans to relocate to Southern California, but was also refused. On October 12, 1954, the owners approved the sale of the Athletics to Chicago businessman Arnold Johnson, who moved the team from Philadelphia to Kansas City for the 1955 season. Finley would later buy the A's from Johnson's estate in 1960. Murchison's son, Clint Jr., would later become one of the founders of the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys franchise in 1960.

In 1955, the new Kansas City Athletics drew 1,393,054 to Municipal Stadium.

Notable transactions

  • Prior to 1955 season: Bob Davis was signed as an amateur free agent by the Athletics.[2]

Spring training

The A's and Philadelphia Phillies had played a Philadelphia City Series since 1903. The Kansas City A's returned to Philadelphia at the end of spring training in 1955, and the teams played two games. The A's beat the Phillies in the second game, 10–2, at Wilmington Park, home of the original Wilmington Blue Rocks.[3] Both games were played at Wilmington Park, Wilmington, Delaware, on April 9 and April 10, 1955, immediately prior to the start of the regular season.

Regular season

Opening game

The first game in Kansas City's Major League history was played at home at Municipal Stadium on Tuesday, April 12, 1955, before 32,147 fans.[4] Facing the Detroit Tigers, the Athletics broke a 2–2 deadlock in the sixth inning with a three-run rally keyed by pinch hitter Don Bollweg's two-run single, and went on to win, 6–2. The A's other batting star was center fielder Bill Wilson, who collected three hits and a base on balls, scoring three runs, in four plate appearances; one of his hits was the first home run in Kansas City MLB annals, a solo blast in the eighth inning. Left-hander Alex Kellner got the victory, while former Cincinnati Reds star Ewell Blackwell pitched three scoreless innings in relief for the save.[4]

Starting lineup

  7Vic Power1B
12Pete Suder2B
  4Jim Finigan   3B
30Gus ZernialLF
34Bill RennaRF
32Bill WilsonCF
  2Joe DeMaestri   SS
11Joe AstrothC
20Alex KellnerP[4]

Season standings

American League W L Pct. GB
New York Yankees9658.623--
Cleveland Indians9361.6043
Chicago White Sox9163.5915
Boston Red Sox8470.54512
Detroit Tigers7975.51317
Kansas City Athletics6391.40933
Baltimore Orioles5797.37039
Washington Senators53101.34443

Record vs. opponents

1955 American League Records

Baltimore 8–1410–12–13–199–1310–12–13–1914–8
Boston 14–89–1311–1113–914–88–1415–7
Chicago 12–10–113–910–1214–814–811–1117–5
Cleveland 19–311–1112–1012–1017–513–99–13
Detroit 13–99–138–1410–1212–1010–1217–5
Kansas City 12–10–18–148–145–1710–127–1513–9
New York 19–314–811–119–1312–1015–716–6
Washington 8–147–155–1713–95–179–136–16

Notable transactions


1955 Kansas City Athletics
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Player stats

= Indicates team leader


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
1BVic Power147596190.3191976
2BJim Finigan150549135.255968
3BHéctor López128483140.2901568
LFGus Zernial120413105.2543084


Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Bill Wilson9827361.2231538
Enos Slaughter10826786.322534
Clete Boyer477919.24106
Alex George5101.10000
Eric Mackenzie110.00000


Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games played; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Alex Kellner30162.21184.2075
Glenn Cox22.10230.862

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Art Ditmar35175.112125.0379
Art Ceccarelli31123.2475.3168
Cloyd Boyer3098.1556.2232
Walt Craddock415027.809
Gus Keriazakos511.20112.348

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Tom Gorman5776183.5546
Bill Harrington343324.1126
Johnny Sain252515.4412
Marion Fricano100003.155
Moe Burtschy720010.329
Charlie Bishop41005.404
Ewell Blackwell20106.752
Sonny Dixon200016.200
Bill Wilson10000.001

Awards and honors

All-Star Game


Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Columbus Jets International League Nick Cullop
A Savannah Athletics Sally League Clyde Kluttz
B Lancaster Red Roses Piedmont League Hank Biasatti
C Hot Springs Bathers Cotton States League Joe Lutz and Mickey O'Neil
C Burlington A's Provincial League Vince Plumbo
D Welch Miners/Marion A's Appalachian League Herb Mancini
D Seminole Oilers Sooner State League Charles Hopkins and Al Evans


Welch franchise transferred to Marion and renamed, July 14, 1955


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