Roy Sievers, who led the American League in home runs and RBIs in 1957, died Monday at his home in Spanish Lake, Mo., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He was 90 years old.
Sievers was a five-time All-Star during a 17-year MLB career. He made his debut with the St. Louis Browns in 1949 and was selected as the AL Rookie of the Year after hitting .306 with 16 home runs and 91 RBIs.
Roy Sievers, winner of the first American League Rookie of the Year Award, has passed away at age 90. Rest in peace, Squirrel. pic.twitter.com/fBHo0lLoD6
— MLBPAA (@MLBPAA) April 4, 2017
The right-handed outfielder and first baseman grew up in St. Louis and was signed by the Browns in 1944.
A shoulder injury in 1951 caused him to miss most of the 1952 season and precipitated a move from the outfield to first base. It also caused the Browns to give up on Sievers, believing his ailing shoulder would never heal. After five seasons with the Browns, he was traded to the Senators in 1953 as the Browns moved to Baltimore to become the Orioles. Sievers later said the trade was his “biggest break.”
With the Senators, who are now the Minnesota Twins, Sievers enjoyed his best seasons. He drove in 102 runs in 154 and led the league in RBIs three seasons later with 114 and a league-best 42 home runs. Sievers also led the AL with 331 total bases while going to his second straight All-Star Game and finished third in MVP voting, just behind winner Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams.
Sievers also appeared in the 1958 movie “Damn Yankees” as the baseball stand-in for actor Tab Hunter, who wore Sievers’ No. 2 Senators jersey in the film.
With nagging injuries and the rise of future Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew and 1959 Rookie of the Year Bob Allison, Sievers became expendable again as Senators owner Calvin Griffith was also seeking a move to Minnesota. Sievers was traded to the Chicago White Sox, hitting .295 with 55 home runs in two seasons and earning a fourth All-Star trip in 1961.
Sievers was traded again following the 1961 season, dealt to the Phillies for pitcher John Buzhardt and infielder Charley Smith. Sievers hit at least 20 home runs in nine straight seasons, but that streak was snapped with 19 homers in 1963.
As nagging injuries caught up to him, the Phillies sent the 37-year-old Sievers to the fledgling Washington Senators, who later became the Texas Rangers. Sievers played in just 45 games over a season-plus with the new Senators. He finished his career with a career slash line of .267/.354/.475 with 318 home runs and 1,147 RBIs.
After his playing days, Sievers spent the next five seasons coaching in the Cincinnati Reds, New York Mets and Oakland A’s organizations.
He eventually moved back to St. Louis with his wife, Joan, and their three children, and spent 18 years working as a dock manager for a trucking company. Sievers, who issurvived by hisson, Rob, and a daughter, Shawn, was married to Joan for over 50 years. Sievers was also preceded in death by the couple's son, David.