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Gus Zernial
Outfielder
Born: June 27, 1923 (1923-06-27) (age 86)
Beaumont, Texas
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 19, 1949 for the Chicago White Sox
Last MLB appearance
September 25, 1959 for the Detroit Tigers
Career statistics
Batting average     .265
Home runs     237
Runs batted in     776
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Gus Edward Zernial (born June 27, 1923 in Beaumont, Texas) is a former Major League Baseball left-fielder and right-handed batter who played for the Chicago White Sox (1949-51), Philadelphia Athletics (1951-54), Kansas City Athletics (1955-57) and Detroit Tigers (1958-59). He was billed as the "New Joe DiMaggio."

Nicknamed "Ozark Ike" after the popular comic strip character, Zernial was one of the most feared sluggers in the 1950s, joining hall of famers Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Larry Doby in the American League, for most home runs in the decade.

After he hit 29 homers for the White Sox in 1950, Zernial was sent to the Athletics in a trade that brought Minnie Miñoso to Chicago in 1951. That year Zernial led the league in home runs (33), runs batted in (129), extra base hits (68), and 17 assists in the outfield. In 1952 he hit 29 homers with 100 RBI, 42 and 108 in 1953.

Zernial was the first Major Leaguer to hit four home runs in the month of October during the regular season, which he accomplished during a doubleheader on October 1, 1950. In 1985, Ron Kittle would become the second player to do this.

Zernial and Al Zarilla and teamed up in April 1951 to become the only players whose last names started with "Z" to play together in the same outfield. Zernial and Zarilla and played left and right field, respectively, as part of a White Sox outfield unit in four games before Zernial was traded to the Philadelphia A's at the end of April.

An aggressive fielder, Zernial twice broke his collarbone while making a diving catch (1949 and 1954). He finished his career in Detroit, primarily as a pinch hitter, hitting .323 with 10 home runs in his new role.

Gus Zernial was a career .265 hitter (1093-for-4131) with 237 home runs, 776 RBI, 572 runs, 159 doubles, 22 triples, and 15 stolen bases in 1234 games.

Zernial has the second most home runs of all time among players whose last name begins with the letter Z. His 237 are second only to Todd Zeile who finished his career with 253.[1]

Zernial was diagnosed with cancer in 1990.

When the Oakland Athletics played the Philadelphia Phillies for the first time in interleague play in June 2003 at Veterans Stadium, the Phillies invited former-Philadelphia A's Eddie Joost and Zernial to the games and recognized them prior to the first game.[2]

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Preceded by
Al Rosen
American League Home Run Champion
1951
Succeeded by
Larry Doby
Preceded by
Walt Dropo & Vern Stephens
American League RBI Champion
1951
Succeeded by
Al Rosen
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