Year In Review : 1936 National League

O ff the field...

Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was re-elected with a whopping 61% of the vote. His immense popularity around the country was attributed to his successful efforts in helping the American economy out of the depression with his New Deal programs. Later, he went on to provide strong leadership in the winning of World War II, and was the only president to be elected four times. At the turn of the millennium, Time Magazine selected him as a runner-up for Person of the Century.

"Dust Bowl" problems continued to plague the Midwest and U.S. prairie states. Initially caused by the over-planting in support of World War I, farmers were encouraged to grow more wheat by plowing and seeding areas in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, which were formerly used only for grazing. After years of adequate yields, livestock were returned to graze the areas, and their hooves pulverized the unprotected soil. Strong winds blew the soil into huge clouds, and in the succeeding years, from December to May, the dust storms recurred. As a result, miles and miles of crops and pasturelands were ruined and many farmers and their families experienced severe health problems.

I n the American League...

New York Yankees second baseman Tony Lazzeri set several hitting records on May 24 th after hitting two grand slams, a third home run, and a triple for fifteen total bases in a 25-2 massacre over the Philadelphia Athletics. Lazzeri had appeared unstoppable after tallying seven home runs in four games and six in three games as well a Major League record eleven runs batted in a single game.

An up-and-coming outfielder named Joe DiMaggio tied several Major League records after hitting two home runs (for eight total bases) and two doubles (four long hits in a game) during a June 24 th outing between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox.

During a July 18 th nightcap, the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Athletics combined to set an American League record for the most combined runs scored by two teams after posting a 21-14 final. White Sox outfielder Rip Radcliff tied an additional A.L. record with six hits (four singles and two doubles) in seven at bats.

I n the National League...

Philadelphia Phillies catcher Earl Grace set an unwanted Major League record on April 26 th after granting bases to Brooklyn Dodgers shortstop Ben Geraghty twice on two separate interference calls (tipped bat).

Second baseman Stu Martin tied the major league mark of eleven assists in the first game during a June 6 th doubleheader between his St. Louis Cardinals and New York Giants.

On July 10 th , Chuck Klein of the Philadelphia Phillies hit four home runs (in five at bats) during a ten inning game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. At age thirty-six, Klein became the oldest player ever to hit four round trippers in a single game as well as first National League player in the twentieth century to do so.

A round the league...

After Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis took a voluntary pay-cut in 1933 (from $65,000 to $40,000) due to the Depression, Internal Revenue figures posted Branch Rickey as the highest paid man in baseball at $49,470. Rickey would later gain fame as the man who signed Jackie Robinson, breaking the silently upheld "color barrier" that had existed since the 1880s. By exploiting the Negro Leagues as a new source of talent, Rickey built a dynasty in Brooklyn that won the National League pennant seven times from 1947 through 1956.

After purchasing the fledgling Boston Braves, the team's owners asked a local newspaperman to choose a new nickname for the franchise based on suggestions made by the fans. After hundreds of entries, the moniker Boston "Bees" was selected. Unfortunately, it would never catch on and be changed back to the Braves after the 1940 season.

The baseball writers association voted for the first set of players to be named to the new Baseball Hall of Fame. The inaugural class included Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson who each received the requisite 75% of ballots cast.

On April 29 th , the first professional baseball game in Japan was played as Nagoya defeated Daitokyo by a score of 8-5.

"He (Dizzy Dean) was supposed to be as fast as Walter Johnson and though he couldn't curve them and mix them up like the great Matty (Christy Mathewson), his assortment was better than most." - Norman Cousins in New York Times
1936 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Pittsburgh

118

Batting Average

Pittsburgh

.373

Doubles

St. Louis

64

Hits

St. Louis

223

Home Runs

New York

33

On Base Percentage

Pittsburgh

.453

RBI

St. Louis

138

Runs

Pittsburgh

122

Slugging Average

New York

.488

Stolen Bases

St. Louis

23

Total Bases

St. Louis

367

Triples

Cincinnati

14

1936 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

St. Louis

28

ERA

New York

2.31

Games

St. Louis

51

Cincinnati

Saves

St. Louis

11

Shutouts

Pittsburgh

4

Chicago

Chicago

Chicago

New York

Philadelphia

Chicago

Strikeouts

Brooklyn

238

Winning Percentage

New York

.813

Wins

New York

26

1936 National League

Team Standings

New York Giants

92 62 .597 0

St. Louis Cardinals

87 67 .565 5

Chicago Cubs

87 67 .565 5

Pittsburgh Pirates

84 70 .545 8

Cincinnati Reds

74 80 .481 18

Boston Bees

71 83 .461 21

Brooklyn Dodgers

67 87 .435 25

Philadelphia Phillies

54 100 .351 38

1936 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Pittsburgh

517

Batting Average

Pittsburgh

.286

Doubles

St. Louis

332

Hits

Pittsburgh

1,596

Home Runs

Philadelphia

103

On Base Percentage

Pittsburgh

.349

Runs

Pittsburgh

804

Slugging Average

St. Louis

.410

Stolen Bases

St. Louis

69

Triples

Pittsburgh

80

1936 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Chicago

77

ERA

New York

3.46

Fewest Hits Allowed

Chicago

1,413

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Cincinnati

51

Fewest Walks Allowed

Pittsburgh

379

Saves

St. Louis

24

Shutouts

Chicago

18

Strikeouts

Brooklyn

651



On April 14, 1936, Eddie Morgan appeared in his first Major League game as a pinch-hitter and simultaneously became the first player to hit a pinch-hit home run with the first pitch ever seen during a debut game.

On July 10, 1936 , Chuck Klein of the Philadelphia Phillies became the fourth Major League player to hit four home runs during the same game.

Did you know that Joe Medwick's league leading 64 doubles in 1936 is also the National League record for doubles hit during a single season?

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