Year In Review : 1931 National 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 may not have been the greatest pitcher ever, but I was amongst 'em." - Hall of Famer Dizzy Dean

1931 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
New York
80
Batting Average
St. Louis
.349
Doubles
St. Louis
46
Hits
Pittsburgh
214
Home Runs
Philadelphia
31
On Base Percentage
St. Louis
.404
RBI
Philadelphia
121
Runs
Philadelphia
121
New York
Slugging Average
Philadelphia
.584
Stolen Bases
St. Louis
28
Total Bases
Philadelphia
347
Triples
New York
20

1931 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Cincinnati
24
ERA
New York
2.26
Games
Philadelphia
52
Saves
Brooklyn
15
Shutouts
New York
6
Strikeouts
St. Louis
159
Winning Percentage
St. Louis
.692
Wins
Philadelphia
19
St. Louis
Pittsburgh

1931 National League

Team Standings

St.Louis Cardinals 101 53 .656 0
New York Giants 87 65 .572 13
Chicago Cubs 84 70 .545 17
Brooklyn Robins 79 73 .520 21
Pittsburgh Pirates 75 79 .487 26
Philadelphia Phillies 66 88 .429 35
Boston Braves 64 90 .416 37
Cincinnati Reds 58 96 .377 43

1931 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
Chicago
577
Batting Average
Chicago
.289
Doubles
St. Louis
353
Hits
Chicago
1,578
Home Runs
New York
101
On Base Percentage
Chicago
.360
Runs
Chicago
828
Slugging Average
Chicago
.422
Stolen Bases
St. Louis
114
Triples
Brooklyn
77

1931 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Pittsburgh
80
ERA
Brooklyn
4.03
Fewest Hits Allowed
Brooklyn
1,480
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Cincinnati
75
Fewest Walks Allowed
Brooklyn
394
Cincinnati
394
Saves
St. Louis
21
Shutouts
Brooklyn
13
Strikeouts
St. Louis
639
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

On May 18, 1931, Babe Herman hit for the cycle. On July 24, 1931, Herman hit for the cycle again and became the first National League player to hit for the cycle twice during the same season .

Did you know that in 1931 Chick Hafey won the batting title in the senior circuit and became the first honoree who also wore eyeglasses?

On September 13, 1931, player-manager Rogers Hornsby made the correct call when he sent himself in to pinch-hit during the eleventh inning and responded with a game winning grand slam agains the Braves.

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