YEAR IN REVIEW : 1931 American League

Off the field...

Organized Crime icon Al Capone was finally convicted by a grand jury and sentenced to eleven years in prison for tax evasion. The American gangster had repeatedly escaped prosecution even after being implicated in multiple murders and had received numerous accolades from businessmen and politicians. His crime syndicate, which terrorized Chicago in the 1920s while controlling gambling and prostitution, was estimated by the federal Bureau of Internal Revenue to have taken in $105 million in 1927 alone.

"The Star-Spangled Banner" was officially made the national anthem by Congress, although it already had been adopted as such by the U.S. Armed Forces. On Sept. 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key visited the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay to secure the release of Dr. William Beanes, who had been captured after the burning of Washington, DC. Key was forced to seek shelter onboard a ship overnight during the shelling of Fort McHenry in Baltimore. In the morning, he was so delighted to see the American flag still flying over the fort that he began a poem to commemorate the occasion.

In the American League...

The Major League record for catching fly balls was set during a June 29 th doubleheader between Detroit and Philadelphia. On the way to both 9-1 and 5-1 victories, the Tiger's outfielders boasted twenty-four putouts and the Athletics answered back with nineteen of their own for a two-team total of forty-three fly-outs in two games.

On July 7 th , the St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox met for a twelve inning marathon in which not a single strikeout was recorded. The 10-8 decision still remains the longest game in Major League history not to record a single "K".

Philadelphia Athletics ace Lefty Grove (25-2) recorded a 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on August 9 th for his sixteenth consecutive victory to tie an American League record originally set by Walter Johnson and Joe Wood in 1912.

In the National League...

Chicago Cubs player / manager, Rogers Hornsby, inserted himself into the line-up on April 24 th and hit three consecutive home runs to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-6 at Forbes Field. Hornsby went on to lead the Cubs into third place (while batting .331), but was eventually fired due to a lifelong compulsion with gambling that had landed him in debt.

Wally Berger, the Boston Braves centerfielder who had established two National League rookie records with thirty-eight home runs and one-hundred nineteen runs batted in during 1930, tied a modern mark for the outfield by recording four assists during a Socks Seibold 2-0 shutout over the Philadelphia Phillies on April 27 th .

Pittsburgh Pirates' outfielder Adam Comorosky proved that lightning could strike twice after making an unassisted double play on May 31 st against the Chicago Cubs and another double player on June 13 th against the New York Giants.

Around the League...

On February 15 th , the New York Yankees' spring training facility in St. Petersburg, Florida was officially renamed "Miller Huggins Field" in honor of the team's late manager.

The Chicago White Sox and New York Giants met for the first major league night game (at Buffs Stadium, Houston Texas) on February 21 st . Both teams combined to collect twenty-three hits during the ten-inning exhibition.

On April 2 nd , a seventeen-year-old female named Jackie Mitchell from the Double A "Chattanooga Lookouts" took the mound against the mighty New York Yankees in a spring training exhibition. Mitchell, mainly a "gate attraction", boasted a single pitch, which was a wicked, dropping curve ball. The first two batters she faced from "Murderers Row" were Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. After seven pitches Mitchell fanned the "Sultan of Swat" AND the "Iron Horse," back-to-back.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"I went in and tore the clubhouse up - wrecked the place, tore those stall lockers off the wall and everything else (after ending his 16 game winning streak on August 23, 1931 with a loss to St. Louis)." - Lefty Grove

1931 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

New York
128
Philadelphia
.390
Boston
67
New York
211
New York
46
New York
New York
.495
New York
184
New York
163
New York
.700
New York
61
New York
410
Detroit
19

1931 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Cleveland
27
Philadelphia
Philadelphia
2.06
Washington
55
Boston
10
Philadelphia
4
Philadelphia
175
Philadelphia
.886
Philadelphia
31

1931 American League

Team Standings

Philadelphia Athletics 107 45 .704 0
New York Yankees 94 59 .614 13½
Washington Senators 92 62 .597 16
Cleveland Indians 78 76 .506 30
St. Louis Browns 63 91 .409 45
Boston Red Sox 62 90 .408 45
Detroit Tigers 61 93 .396 47
Chicago White Sox 56 97 .366 51½

1931 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

New York
748
New York
.297
Cleveland
321
New York
1,667
New York
155
New York
.383
New York
1,067
New York
.457
New York
138
Washington
93

1931 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Philadelphia
97
Philadelphia
3.47
Fewest Hits Allowed
Philadelphia
1,342
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Boston
54
Fewest Walks Allowed
St. Louis
448
Washington
24
Philadelphia
12
New York
686
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

On April 26, 1931, Lou Gehrig lost a home run from his career total when the ball bounced back onto the field, was fielded by Sam Rice of the Senators, and thrown back towards the infielders. Lyn Lary , who was on first base, thought the ball was caught so after rounding third he headed into the dugout. Gehrig touched home (passing the runner), was called out, and credited by the official scorer with a triple costing him a home run and eventually the exclusive home run title for the 1931 season.

Every fan knows who hit the most home runs during a single season. But, do you know which pitcher hit the most home runs during a season? That Major League record belongs to Wes Ferrell of the Cleveland Indians who slammed nine during the 1931 season.

Significant dates in 1931 included: August 8 - Bobby Burke no hitting the Red Sox, August 18 - Lou Gehrig's 1,000th consecutive game, and August 21 - Babe Ruth's 600th career home run.

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