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Happy 50th Anniversary: Elston Howard, MVP

By Matt Snyder | Baseball Writer

It's Nov. 7, 2013, which means it's now been exactly 50 years since Elston Howard of the Yankees won the 1963 AL MVP. The significance? It was the first time in baseball history a black player won the MVP in the American League.

It also marked the fourth straight year a Yankee won the award, with Roger Maris taking 1960 and 1961 while Mickey Mantle won it in 1962.

Howard -- a "Hall of the Very Good" type catcher -- hit .287/.342/.528 with 21 doubles, six triples, 28 homers, 85 RBI and 75 runs that season, also winning his first Gold Glove.

The nine-time All-Star won four World Series rings in his time in the Bronx and now has his number 32 retired.

Here's MLB Network on the number retiring:

Howard died in 1980 at just 51 years old.

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