YEAR IN REVIEW : 1929 National League

Off the field...

One February evening in north Chicago, seven well-dressed men were found riddled with bullets inside the S.M.C Cartage Company garage. All had been lined up against a wall, with their backs to their executioners (who were disguised as policemen) and shot to death. The men were mobsters working under the leadership of gangster and bootlegger, "Bugs" Moran and were casualties of what would become the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre". Ordered by rival gang leader, Al "Scarface" Capone, the notorious attack was carried out by Jack "Machine Gun" McGurn who had organized the hit. Thanks to prohibition, Capone had become the crime czar of Chicago, running gambling, prostitution and bootlegging rackets while continuously expanding his territories by getting rid of rival gangs.

Stock market prices plummeted from November to December and U.S. securities lost $26 billion, marking the first financial disaster of the Great Depression. The American depression produced severe effects abroad, especially in Europe, where many countries had not fully recovered from the aftermath of World War I. In Germany, the economic disaster and resulting social dislocation contributed to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Although it shared the basic characteristics of other such crises, the Great Depression was unprecedented in its length and in the wholesale poverty and tragedy it inflicted on society.

In the American League...

The first-place Philadelphia Athletics scored a whopping eight runs off of Boston Red Sox pitcher Milt Gaston on the way to an embarrassing 24-6 massacre at Fenway Park on May 1 st . The twenty-four runs matched a franchise record previously set in the "Ty Cobb protest game" in 1912, and the twenty-nine hits set another franchise mark.

The Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers set a major league "marathon" record on May 24 th after going twenty-one innings (three hours and thirty-one minutes) for the longest game ever seen to date at Comiskey Park. George Uhle emerged the 6-5 winner, after going twenty innings, with Vic Sorrell finishing in relief. The loser, Ted Lyons, went the distance giving up a respectable twenty-four hits (over twenty-one innings).

In the National League...

On April 29 th , Brooklyn Dodgers relief pitcher Clise Dudley became the first player ever to hit a home run against the first pitch he saw. Claude Willoughby of the Philadelphia Phillies gave up the inaugural round-tripper en route to an 8-3 victory. Amazingly Dudley would go on to hit only two more home runs in his four Major League years.

The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds turned an amazing nine double plays on July 3 rd to tie the Major League double-play mark previously set in 1925 by Detroit and Washington.

The St. Louis Cardinals answered back after losing 10-6 in the opener of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies with a magnificent 28-6 victory on July 6 th . The "Redbirds" came out swinging in game two and collected ten runs in the first and ten more in the fifth. Their twenty-eight hits and twenty-eight runs set a National League record and both teams combined to tie a Major League title with seventy-three hits in a doubleheader.

Around the League...

The New York Yankees announced that they were adding numbers on the backs of their uniforms. Initially, continuous numbers were distributed based upon a player's position in the batting order (Combs #1, Koenig #2, Ruth #3, Gehrig #4, Meusel #5, Lazzeri #6, Durocher #7, Grabowski #8). Several weeks later, the Cleveland Indians agreed to follow suite and by 1931 all American League teams were utilizing the new identification technique. However, some National League players still remained numberless until 1933.

On August 3 rd , the Chicago Cubs voiced their complaint about the ragged sleeve on the pitching arm of Brooklyn Dodger ace Dazzy Vance (an old trick to distract the hitter). Soon after, a Major League rule was passed that required all pitchers to maintain neat attire. The mandate would expand over the years to include caps, gloves, glasses and other visual deterrents.

The New York Giants used the first public address system in a big-league ballpark during a July 5 th game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On September 25 th , New York Yankees manager Miller Huggins died from accidental blood poisoning at New York's St. Vincent Hospital at the age of forty-nine. On the day of his funeral in Cincinnati, the American League canceled all games. Yankees coach Art Fletcher remained, as interim skipper, and Bob Shawkey was brought in as the official manager for the 1930 season.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"There's something about this mud (Lena Blackburne). I don't know how to explain it. It takes the shine off without getting the ball excessively dark." - Former Major League umpire Bill Kinnamon

1929 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

New York
113
Philadelphia
.398
Brooklyn
52
Philadelphia
254
Philadelphia
43
Philadelphia
.465
Chicago
159
Chicago
156
Chicago
.679
Chicago
43
Chicago
409
Pittsburgh
20

1929 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Cincinnati
28
New York
3.09
Chicago
50
Chicago
8
Brooklyn
Chicago
5
Chicago
166
Chicago
.760
Chicago
22

1929 National League

Team Standings

Chicago Cubs 98 54 .645 0
Pittsburgh Pirates 88 65 .575 10½
New York Giants 84 67 .556 13½
St.Louis Cardinals 78 74 .513 20
Philadelphia Phillies 71 82 .464 27½
Brooklyn Robins 70 83 .458 28½
Cincinnati Reds 66 88 .429 33
Boston Braves 56 98 .364 43

1929 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Chicago
589
Philadelphia
.309
Chicago
310
St. Louis
Philadelphia
1,693
Philadelphia
153
Philadelphia
.377
Chicago
982
Philadelphia
.467
Cincinnati
134
Pittsburgh
116

1929 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

St. Louis
83
New York
3.97
Fewest Hits Allowed
Pittsburgh
1,530
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Cincinnati
61
Fewest Walks Allowed
New York
387
Philadelphia
24
Chicago
14
Brooklyn
549
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

On June 3, 1918, Dutch Leonard , a left-handed pitcher, tossed a no-hitter. On May 8, 1929, Carl Hubbell became the next left-hander to toss a gem when he blanked the Pirates 11-to-0.

Did you know that the New York Giants were the first team to use a public address system in a ballpark and that the debut of the new broadcasting system took place on July 5, 1929?

When Chuck Klein , Mel Ott , Rogers Hornsby , and Hack Wilson ALL made a run at the senior circuit home run record in 1929 National League President John A. Heydler ordered umpires to remove the gloss from new balls before each game — the start of a tradition that would soon "star" Lena Blackburne Rubbing Mud .

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