National Champions

National Champions

Saturday, March 17, 2012

March 17th Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day

Tiger Baseball In 1954
(Photo Uploaded By Alan Cutts)
Clemson baseball had an excellent season in 1954, finishing 17-7. This team started out being rated high before the season started and lived up to every expectation. And with good reason, the Tigers had such players as Billy O'Dell, an excellent pitcher who would spend the next 13 years in the pros. Also on that team was Doug Kingsmore, an All-ACC and All-District III outfielder and became the first Clemson player in history to hit 10 home runs in a season.

Because the expectations were so high for this team, the Tigers drew large crowds to the old Tiger field located at the Riggs Athletic Complex. The Tigers would go on to win their first ACC Championship that year and would participate in the NCAA Tournament.

Doug Kingsmore signed as a free agent after Clemson with the Baltimore Orioles. Kingsmore played for the Clemson varsity from 1952-54. An All-ACC and All-District III outfielder in 1954, Kingsmore became the first Clemson player in history to hit 10 home runs in a season. He did that in 1954 while playing in just 24 games. He led the ACC in home runs and runs scored (25) that year and led the Tigers in batting average (.371), slugging percentage (.742) and RBIs (27).

The native of Aiken, SC combined with Billy O'Dell to lead Clemson to the 1954 ACC Championship, the first ACC championship in Clemson athletic history. He was inducted into Clemson's athletic Hall of Fame in 1985.

On January 28, 2000, the Clemson Athletic Department announced that former Clemson baseball star and current Board of Trustees member Doug Kingsmore gave the athletic department a $1 million gift towards the renovation of Clemson University's baseball stadium. It was also announced that the facility would be known as Doug Kingsmore Stadium, Home of the Clemson Baseball Tigers.

Billy O’Dell pitched in the Major Leagues from 1954 and 1956-1967. He was signed by the Baltimore Orioles as an amateur free agent in 1954, and was a Bonus Baby.

O'Dell was All-Star representative for the American League in 1958 and 1959, and in 1959 had the highest strikeout to walk ratio in all of MLB with 2.69. On May 19, 1959, O'Dell hit an inside-the-park home run for the Orioles in a 2–1 victory over the Chicago White Sox. In 1962, O'Dell won a career high 19 games for the NL Champion Giants.

O'Dell was the losing pitcher in Game 1 of the 1962 World Series against the New York Yankees. He gave up a 2 RBI double to Roger Maris, an RBI single to Tony Kubek, a solo home run to Clete Boyer, and finally an RBI single to Dale Long before being relieved by manager Alvin Dark for veteran pitcher Don Larsen, leaving him with 5 earned runs in 7 1/3 innings of work. He did manage to stirke out 8, including Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle, who struck out twice.

O’Dell also got the save in the first ever win by the Atlanta Braves, on April 15th, 1966.

Scott Rhymer can be reached at