Year In Review : 1920 American League

O ff the field...

After several decades, the Nineteenth Amendment was finally added to the Constitution granting nation-wide suffrage to women. Initiated in 1890 by the merger of the rival women's rights organizations into the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), the feminist movement's priority was to push for the ratification of enough state suffrage amendments to force Congress to approve a federal amendment declaring women's rights. Despite some radical factions that continued to address corollary issues, NAWSA's new approach focused the group's energies exclusively on recruiting new members and winning the vote for women.

I n the American League...

On January 5 th , the New York Yankees officially announced the purchase of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox. The disgruntled pitcher had been unable to reach a contract agreement and was eventually sold to Colonel Jacob Ruppert for $100,000 (plus a loan collateralized by Fenway Park). Later, his .376 batting average, fifty-four home runs and one-hundred thirty-seven runs batted in would generate an attendance of 1,289,422 fans in his first year and lead to the construction of Yankee Stadium.

The Detroit Tigers lost their first thirteen games tying the Major League mark for consecutive losses (at the start of a season) set by the 1904 Washington Senators.

Tragedy struck the Cleveland Indians organization after twenty-nine year-old shortstop Ray Chapman was beaned in the head by a Carl Mays pitch and died the following day from a fractured skull.

I n the National League...

A plan originally developed by Brooklyn Dodgers owner Charles Ebbets many years ago was finally adopted with the annual drafting of players from the Minor Leagues taking place in reverse order of each teams' final standings.

Several hours before the start of Game 4, Brooklyn Robins standout Rube Marquard (a Cleveland native), was arrested after attempting to sell a World Series ticket to an undercover police officer for $350. Marquard was later found guilty and ordered to pay a fine and court costs totaling $3.80. Adding insult to injury, his hometown opponents went on to win the game 5-1.

On December 15 th , the National League revealed a startling statistic by reporting the use of 27,924 baseballs during the season, which represented an increase of 10,248 over 1919.

A round the league...

The Joint Rules Committee voted to ban the use of all foreign substances (saliva, resin, talcum powder, paraffin) as well as any other alterations (shine or emery) to balls by pitchers. As a result, the American League opted to allow two pitchers from each club the option to use a spitball for one more season. The Nationals set no limitations as long as all "practicing" pitchers were identified and any other pitcher who was caught cheating would be suspended for a minimum of ten days.

Lou Gehrig (a junior at New York City's School of Commerce) was introduced to the nation after hitting a grand slam out of Wrigley Field during a high school championship game against Lane Tech on June 26 th .

The 1919 World Series sparked a major controversy amid rumors of a gambling fix. Eight members of the participating Chicago White Sox were all charged with conspiring to throw the Fall Classic against the Cincinnati Reds. After a lengthy investigation and highly publicized trial (lasting until 1921), the "Black Sox" were acquitted despite their own confessions. Throughout the 1920 season, the league offices were constantly denying accusations from the press that professional baseball itself was in on the take and made every effort to assure the fans that the 1919 scandal was an isolated incident.

"I'd play for half my salary if I could hit in this dump (Wrigley Field) all the time." - Babe Ruth
1920 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

New York

148

Batting Average

St. Louis

.407

Doubles

Cleveland

50

Hits

St. Louis

257

Home Runs

New York

54

On Base Percentage

New York

.530

RBI

New York

137

Runs

New York

158

Slugging Average

New York

.847

Stolen Bases

Washington

63

Total Bases

St. Louis

399

Triples

Chicago

20

1920 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Cleveland

30

ERA

New York

2.45

Games

Cleveland

48

Saves

Chicago

5

St. Louis

Shutouts

New York

6

Strikeouts

Cleveland

133

Winning Percentage

Cleveland

.721

Wins

Cleveland

31

1920 American League

Team Standings

Cleveland Indians

98 56 .636 0

Chicago White Sox

96 58 .623 2

New York Yankees

95 59 .617 3

St. Louis Browns

76 77 .497

Boston Red Sox

72 81 .471 25½

Washington Senators

68 84 .447 29

Detroit Tigers

61 93 .396 37

Philadelphia Athletics

48 106 .312 50

1920 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Cleveland

576

Batting Average

St. Louis

.308

Doubles

Cleveland

300

Hits

St. Louis

1,651

Home Runs

New York

115

On Base Percentage

Cleveland

.376

Runs

Cleveland

857

Slugging Average

New York

.426

Stolen Bases

Washington

160

Triples

Chicago

98

1920 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Chicago

109

ERA

New York

3.32

Fewest Hits Allowed

New York

1,414

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Cleveland

31

Fewest Walks Allowed

Cleveland

401

Saves

St. Louis

14

Shutouts

New York

15

Strikeouts

Detroit

483



St. Louis finished the 1920 season with 50 home runs. Philadelphia had 44. Chicago had 37. Washington had 36. Cleveland had 35. Detroit had 30. Boston had 22. Babe Ruth had 54.

On July 1, 1920, Walter Johnson of Washington pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway and came within one error, by Bucky Harris , of a perfect game .

Did you know that on September 28, 1920, a grand jury in Chicago, Illinois indicted the eight White Sox players involved in the 1919 World Series scandal?

Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac9h
Norman Rockwell's painting of The Rookie sold for $22.5 million in 2014. Frank Sullivan, born OTD1930, is one of th… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac22 Jan
CONGRATULATIONS to Derek Jeter & Larry Walker #HOF Class of 2020! One page, every player, in order, with method of… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac21 Jan
Since you brought Tom Chism up ('79 #Orioles), we sourced that GREAT quote we had on his page, we added a little hi… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac21 Jan
TRIVIA TUESDAY: Ten AL players have hit 2 grand slams in the same game. Tony Lazzeri 1st, in '36, then these 9 dupl… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac21 Jan
#TuesdayTrivia: 18 #MLB players have spent 20-or-more years with ONLY ONE team. Two are not in #HOF, that will chan… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac20 Jan
Well if you're going to mention Chris (@C_RusIn), then I'll need to add a GREAT quote Bud Black made about him, a c… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac20 Jan
Gene Stephens. 1st AL player to record 3-hits in an inning. Newspaper story, those who came before, those who joine… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac18 Jan
Willie Mays, in 1955, had 51 HRs & 24 SB, 1st in #MLB history with a 50-20 season. Brady Anderson, born OTD1964, di… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac17 Jan
Carl Hubbell went 23-12 in '33, won MVP & signed a new contract OTD1934, a $6,000 raise. On #BaseballAlmanac, you c… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac16 Jan
TRIVIA TIME: He died OTD1965. He set the still-standing #MLB record for triples in a season by a rookie. [Answer:… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac16 Jan
OTD1974: The Baseball Writers' Association of America (@officialBBWAA) put Mickey Mantle & Whitey Ford in the Hall… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac16 Jan
Happy Birthday Brooks Conrad. Born OTD1980, he hit a walk-off super slam, making a little #MLB history, making a li… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac16 Jan
CURT FLOOD: OTD1970 he filed a $1 million lawsuit against Commish Kuhn & MLB, alleging violation of federal antitru… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac15 Jan
It's only "Haderade" days until Opening Day 2020! Number 71 has been worn 70 times, first by Johnny Hodapp in 1929.… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac15 Jan
NOT A TOPPS TYPO: Mike Marshall, born OTD1943, appeared in 106 games in 1974, setting NL / MLB record for most game… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac15 Jan
OTD1942: The President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, sent his "Green Light Letter" to the Commission… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac15 Jan
Baseball Movie Checklist: When "For The Love of the Game" was released, in 1999, we built this page, and we now hav… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac15 Jan
@expos_exposed You nailed it! The name stuck with him, and clearly inspired him to record the song later in his life.
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14 Jan
#TuesdayTrivia: You know who that future #HOF pitcher is on the left (@ClaytonKersh22), but did you know Kersh face… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14 Jan
OTD1928: Alfred James Reach passed away. His business, A.J. Reach Company, was once the largest manufacturer of spo… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Desktop Version