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Norm Siebern

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Norman Leroy Siebern

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[edit] Biographical Information

Norm Siebern had a twelve-year career in the majors with six teams, hitting .272 with 132 home runs. He was a three-time All-Star and also won a Gold Glove.

Siebern was born in St. Louis and went to high school in nearby Wellston, Missouri. After graduation in 1951, he signed with the New York Yankees and made his pro debut that year with the McAlester Rockets, hitting .331 in 50 games. During the offseasons, he attended Southwest Missouri State University, where he played basketball. Along with future big league teammate Jerry Lumpe, he led the school to NAIA basketball championships in 1952 and 1953. He spent the 1952 campaign with the Joplin Miners of the Western Association, he hit .324 with 13 home runs and led the circuit with 33 doubles and 115 runs scored. After hitting .281 with 21 homers for the Birmingham Barons in 1953, he missed the next two seasons while serving in the U.S. Army.

Back on the diamond in 1965, Siebern won the first James P. Dawson Memorial Award, an award given to the top rookie in the Yankees' training camp[1], but suffered a knee injury just before the beginning of the regular season. Despite missing a good portion of the season, he did make it to the majors in June, about a month shy of his 23rd birthday, and went on to play in 54 games for New York that year. He also appeared in one game of the 1956 World Series, which the Yankees won. Back in the minors with the Denver Bears the following year, he led the American Association with a .349 average, 124 runs, 191 hits, 45 doubles, and 15 triples and was chosen by the Sporting News as their Minor League Player of the Year.

Siebern returned to the Yankees in 1958 as their regular leftfielder, and his first full season, he hit .300 with 14 home runs and a .388 on-base percentage, while winning a Gold Glove. In that year's World Series, he got one hit (off Lew Burdette) in eight at-bats but made two key misplays in left in Game Four that cost New York the game (but not the Series, as the Yankees won in seven games).

After the 1959 season, Siebern was traded to the Kansas City Athletics along with Hank Bauer, Don Larsen, and Marv Throneberry in the trade that brought Roger Maris to the Yankees. He spent four seasons with the A's, hitting a peak in 1962 with numbers of .308/.412/.495 and 117 RBI. He led the American League in Runs Created. It was quite a performance considering that the team lost 90 games, and had no players other than Siebern that drove in or scored 100+ runs. For his performance, he was an American League All-Star in 1962 and 1963.

Following the 1963 season, Siebern was traded to the Baltimore Orioles for Jim Gentile. In 1964, his average dipped to .245, but he had an AL-high 106 walks and thus still was able to score 92 runs, which was second on the team behind Luis Aparicio's 93 runs scored. He was also an All-Star for the third and final time in his career that year. After the 1965 season, he was dealt to the California Angels for Dick Simpson, and in 1966, he hit .247 but drew enough walks that he was close to leading the team in OBP.

After one season with the Angels, Siebern was sent to the San Francisco Giants for Len Gabrielson. He appeared in 46 games for the Giants in 1967, primarily backing up Willie McCovey at first base, before being purchased by the Boston Red Sox in July. He hit just .205 in 33 games for Boston that year but went 1-for-3 (with a hit coming off Bob Gibson) in pinch hitting appearances in the 1967 World Series. After going just 2-for-30 for Boston in 1968, he was released, and his playing career was over.

Based on the similarity scores method, one of the most similar players to Siebern was his contemporary Bob Skinner.

Following his playing days, Siebern was a scout for a time and later worked as an insurance agent.

[edit] Notable Achievements

[edit] References

  1. Drebinger, J: "13 Yank Rookies in Award Running", New York Times, March 2, 1958, p.S1

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