Louisiana Beta (LSU) Phi Alvin Dark, who was the All-Star shortstop and captain of the New York Giants’ pennant-winning teams in the 1950s and went on to manage the team to a pennant in San Francisco, passed away in November at his home in Easley, South Carolina. He was 92.
Dark played in three World Series with the Boston Braves in 1948 and with the Giants in 1951 and 1954. He was the National League’s rookie of the year in 1948 when he hit .322 and helped the Braves capture the franchise’s first pennant in 34 years. He was awarded the inaugural Phi Delta Theta Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in 1955 and later served on the award committee for 10 years.
Brother Dark was an All-Star three times as a Giant, had a career batting average of .289 with 2,089 hits in 14 seasons, and led N.L. shortstops in double plays three times. He teamed with second baseman Eddie Stanky, first with the Braves and then with the Giants, to form one of the finest middle-infield combinations of their era.
Dark was one of three superb shortstops in the decade after World War II — often called the Golden Age of New York baseball — along with the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Pee Wee Reese and the Yankees’ Phil Rizzuto. Both of them, unlike Dark, are in the Baseball Hall of Fame, although Dark had a higher career batting average and more power. He managed the Giants to the 1962 pennant, and he managed the Oakland Athletics to the World Series championship 12 years later.