June 30, 1950
Noren Lauded By Bucky Harris
"Who's going to beat him?" Bucky asks. Chicago has a good looking shortstop in Carrasquel. And Walt Dropo of Boston is good. But he's been up before. And you have to include Luke Easter of Cleveland. But I'll take Noren."
Bucky "took" Noren a year ago when he urged Clark Griffith to buy him from Brooklyn's Hollywood farm. Griff wrote out a check for $50,000 and sent two $10,000 ball players in a $70,000 deal for the 25-year-old outfielder. All on Bucky's word. He's never been sorry.
Appendicitis knocked Irv out of 15 games in May, so he has played in only 48 games. Still he leads the Washington club in batting at .321. And his total of 20 extra base hits includes six homers. He has 36 RBIs.
Harris says Noren's only fault is being "over eager." He over-swings at balls he ought to be hitting," explains Bucky, "but he learns fast."
"That hitch in his swing? He'll never get over it and I don't care if he doesn't. Some pretty fair hitters like Jimmy Foxx and Rudy York never cured their hitches. With him it's natural and there isn't much you can do about it."
Noren's hitch is a slight movement of the bat just before he starts his real swing. Most hitters find it impossible to take a full cut until they cure their "hitch".
"He reminds you something of Roy Cullenbine when he first came up," says Harris. "Cullenbine could have been a great hitter if he'd stuck to his work. This kid has good power and drives those runs in. He's determined to make good. And when he isn't playing center for us, who is?"
Editor's note: The 1950 American League Rookie-of-the-Year was Walt Dropo.