Although there was rumors that Buc manager Bill Meyer would not be back at the helm of a Pittsburgh Pirates team that finished in sixth place in the then eight team National League with a 71-83 record in 1949, team owner John W. Galbreath and GM Branch Rickey sang a different tune and gave Meyer their full support by renewing his contract. However, the Pittsburgh club fell further down in the standings, playing just 57-96 ball - and ended in the NL cellar.
The 1950 squad had quite a few star performers, who were also some of the best-liked players during this era.
The Pirates slugging Hall of Fame outfielder, Ralph Kiner led the NL in homers, with 47, for the fifth consecutive season and the circuit socker supreme tied Pie Traynor's all-time Pirate record with 100 or more RBIs in five straight years. In his second major league season (1947) Kiner hit 51 home runs, to become just the 4th player in history to hit 50 in one season.
Outfielder Wally Westlake was just one step behind Kiner in run production with 24 dingers and 95 RBIs - and in 1950 Westlake led all National League outfielders in fielding with .991. Rookie outfielder Dave 'Gus' Bell was called up from Indianapolis in May and was the final guy in the team's 1-2-3 punch by hitting 22 doubles, 11 triples, 8 homers while batting .282 with 53 RBIs in 111 games.
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