The 6' 3, 210 lbs, easy-going Zernial trailed only Mickey Mantle in home runs from 1951-1957. The gallant slugger hit 191 HR's to Mantle's 207. Baseball Historian Nicknamed 'Ozark Ike' after the popular comic strip character, Gus Zernial tied a Chicago White Sox record for the most HR's with 29 in 1950. He broke his collarbone and was traded by the White Sox in a three-team deal to the Philadelphia Athletics for Minnie Minoso. Gus Zernial went on to lead the league with 33 HRs, 129 RBIs and 17 outfield assists that same year. In 1953, free-swinging Zernial hit 42 home runs second only to Al Rosen's 43 and played for the American League in the All-Star game.
After the Athletics moved to Kansas City, the popular Zernial slugged a team leading 30 HRs. Twice in his career, big Gus had the misfortune to break his collarbone while chasing long fly-balls. He played his final two seasons with the Detroit Tigers and in 1958 led the American League with 15 pinch-hits. Gus Zernial batted .265 in his engaging career, with a slugging pct of .486. and walloped 237 homers in 1234 games. baseballhistorian.com archives For a photo and bio of Gus Zernial, please see All-Stars 1950s located on the Home Page.