The Rookie of The Year Award was established in 1947, and Jackie Robinson was the first recipient of the award. In 1950 Walt Dropo was the first Boston Red Sox player to be awarded, and he beat out future Hall of Famer Whitey Ford for the honors. Dropo's career was never the same after he fractured his wrist in 1951. He was a serviceable player for 13 years, but he never regained the level of talent from that 1950 season. He wrapped up his career with parts of 3 seasons as a member of the Baltimore Orioles.
Though his best days were with the Red Sox, Dropo had flashes of greatness as a member of the Tigers and White Sox. Throughout his career, he seemingly took enjoyment in tormenting Whitey Ford. In 87 at bats, Dropo hit .299 against Ford, including hitting 5 home runs over the years. Dropo also had early success against Early Wynn, another future Hall of Famer, against whom he cranked 4 home runs.
Dropo passed away in 2010, but he left behind a legacy of being a solid player on a bunch of decent teams. He never reached the postseason, but he played with a plethora of great players. Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, Mel Parnell, Dom Dimaggio with the Sox. Hal Newhouser, George Kell, and Al Kaline with the Tigers. Nellie Fox, Minnie Minoso, Luis Aparicio with the White Sox. Finally, Hoyt Wilhelm, Milt Pappas, and Brooks Robinson with the Orioles.
Dropo was a great supporting cast ballplayer. Wade Miley pitches against the Orioles today, and he's a great supporting cast starting pitcher. He won 16 games in his first full season as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Though he hasn't duplicated those numbers, he's steadily logged 200 innings in each full season he has played. That's pretty much the equivalent of doing your job by keeping your club in the race. Many of the O's haven't faced Miley, so perhaps he'll show up with a bit of that rookie year greatness and help ensure the Sox walk away with another series win.