ABRAMS, CAL


ABRAMS, CAL
ABRAMS, "CAL" (Calvin Ross; 1924–1997), U.S. baseball player, lifetime. 269 hitter over eight seasons, with 433 hits,   32 home runs, 257 runs, and 138 RBIS. Born in Philadelphia to Russian immigrant parents, he moved with his family to Brooklyn when he was a child. Having grown up in Brooklyn in the shadow of Ebbets Field, Abrams fulfilled a life-long dream when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers after graduating from James Madison High School. But after two weeks in the minor leagues he was drafted into the army, where he served four years. Abrams spent three years in the minor leagues, winning the Southern Association championship with Mobile in 1947 while hitting. 336. Abrams, who batted and threw left-handed, played for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1949–52), Cincinnati Reds (1952), Pittsburgh Pirates (1953–54), Baltimore Orioles (1954–55), and Chicago White Sox (1955), and had a perfect fielding percentage in three different seasons, 1950, 1952, and 1956. Abrams is best remembered for one of the most famous plays in Dodger franchise history. In the final game of the 1950 season, with the Dodgers one game behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the pennant race, Abrams tried to score from second with two out in the bottom of the ninth of a 1–1 game on a hit by Duke Snider, but Abrams, who had been waved home by third base coach Milt Stock, was thrown out by the Phillies' Richie Ashburn. Had Cal scored, the Dodgers would have won the game and forced a playoff with the Phillies for the pennant. Dick Sisler hit a three-run home run in the top of the tenth to win the game – and the pennant – for Philadelphia. It was the closest Abrams ever got to the post-season. Dodgers fans vilified Abrams for years but he was defended by both Ashburn and Phillies pitcher Robin Roberts for the play, who agreed with many others who said Abrams should not have been sent home by Stock. (Elli Wohlgelernter (2nd ed.)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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