Year In Review : 1933 American League

O ff the field...

The legal prevention of alcoholic beverages known as "Prohibition" was finally repealed due to the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment. After World War I, national prohibition had become the law as stated in the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which strictly forbid the manufacturing, sale, import, or export of any and all intoxicating liquors. In spite of the Volstead Act (1919), law enforcement proved to be very difficult and smuggling (or bootlegging) on a large scale could not be prevented. As a result, the illicit manufacture of liquor sprang up with such rapidity that authorities were unable to suppress it.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt initiated his "New Deal" domestic reform program. The first phase (1933-34) attempted to provide recovery and relief from the Great Depression through programs of agricultural and business regulation, inflation, price stabilization, and public works. As a result, Congress established numerous emergency organizations, notably the National Recovery Administration (NRA), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Public Works Administration.

I n the American League...

During a May 16 th marathon at Griffith Stadium, the Washington Senators and Cleveland Indians both combined to break a Major League record by using eleven different pitchers in twelve innings. With both bullpens depleted, the Senators finally broke through the stalemate for the 11-10 decision.

On August 14 th , Philadelphia Athletics slugger Jimmie Foxx hit for the cycle against the Cleveland Indians while driving in nine runs for a new American League record. Eight players amazingly would hit for the cycle during the 1933 season.

New York Yankees icon Babe Ruth returned to the mound on October 1 st to pitch the final outing of his career. Adding a homerun to support his own cause, "The Bambino" finished the complete game with a 6-5 victory over his old teammates (and rivals) the Boston Red Sox.

I n the National League...

Honus Wagner left retirement to rejoin the Pittsburgh Pirates as a coach. Wagner had previously played seventeen years with the ball club and would remain for thirty-nine more while giving batting tips to future Hall of Famers Pie Traynor, Kiki Cuyler, Arky Vaughn, Ralph Kiner, and the Waner brothers.

On March 11 th , a substantial earthquake rocked the Los Angeles area interrupting an exhibition game between the Chicago Cubs and New York Giants. As fans exited the grandstands amidst panic, players from both teams were forced to huddle around the center of the diamond until the tremors stopped.

Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Dick Bartell equaled a Major League mark on April 25 th with four doubles in four at bats during a 7-1 victory over the Boston Braves at the Baker Bowl.

A round the league...

Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis took a voluntary pay-cut of forty percent setting an example for the league-wide salary cuts that were anticipated due to the lingering Depression.

The All-Star Game made its debut on July 6 th 1933, at Chicago's Comiskey Park. It was initiated at the insistence of Arch Ward, a sports editor for the Chicago Tribune, to coincide with the celebration of Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition. The National League's manager John McGraw and American Leagues's Connie Mack were chosen to lead a line-up of big hitters including Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Babe Ruth. With fellow All-Star, Charlie Gehringer on first in the bottom of the third, Ruth drove one into the right-field stands for the first homer in All-Star history. The rest of the American Leaguers followed suite and went on to beat the Nationals in the inaugural Midsummer Classic 4-2.

"I'm not a headline guy. I know that as long as I was following (Babe) Ruth to the plate I could have stood on my head and no one would have known the difference." - Lou Gehrig
1933 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

New York

114

Batting Average

Philadelphia

.356

Doubles

Washington

45

Hits

Washington

221

Home Runs

Philadelphia

48

On Base Percentage

Philadelphia

.459

RBI

Philadelphia

163

Runs

New York

138

Slugging Average

Philadelphia

.703

Stolen Bases

New York

27

Total Bases

Philadelphia

403

Triples

Washington

17

1933 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Philadelphia

21

ERA

Cleveland

2.33

Games

Washington

52

Saves

Washington

13

Shutouts

Cleveland

6

Strikeouts

New York

163

Winning Percentage

Philadelphia

.750

Wins

Philadelphia

24

Washington

1933 American League

Team Standings

Washington Senators

99 53 .651 0

New York Yankees

91 59 .607 7

Philadelphia Athletics

79 72 .523

Cleveland Indians

75 76 .497 23½

Detroit Tigers

75 79 .487 25

Chicago White Sox

67 83 .447 31

Boston Red Sox

63 86 .423 34½

St. Louis Browns

55 96 .364 43½

1933 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

New York

700

Batting Average

Washington

.287

Doubles

Philadelphia

297

Hits

Washington

1,586

Home Runs

New York

144

On Base Percentage

New York

.369

Runs

New York

927

Slugging Average

New York

.440

Philadelphia

Stolen Bases

New York

76

Triples

Washington

86

1933 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Cleveland

74

ERA

Cleveland

3.71

Fewest Hits Allowed

Cleveland

1,382

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Cleveland

60

Fewest Walks Allowed

Washington

452

Saves

Washington

26

Shutouts

Cleveland

12

Strikeouts

New York

711



On June 7, 1933, Jimmie Foxx hit a home run in his final at-bat of a game. A day later, he hit three more home runs for a total of four consecutive long balls in two consecutive days.

On July 6, 1933 , the first All-Star Game was played and the New York Yankees legend Babe Ruth was the main attraction.

On July 19, 1933, Rick Ferrell of the Red Sox played against his brother Wes Ferrell of the Indians. Each will hit a home run making this the first time brothers on opposing teams hit home runs during the same game.

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@krbach @mcall I did typo that entry, and was off by a little, but not by much! 😉
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