Year In Review : 1937 American League

Off the field...

On May 6 th , the German blimp "Hindenburg" burst into flames two-hundred feet over its intended landing spot at New Jersey's Lakehurst Naval Air Station. Thirty-five people on board the flight were killed (thirteen passengers and twenty-two crewmen), along with one crewman on the ground. The giant flying zeppelin measured eight-hundred three feet in length and weighed approximately two-hundred forty-two tons, but still managed a top speed of just over eighty miles per hour. As it reached its final destination in New Jersey, it hovered over its landing spot and was beginning to be pulled down to the ground by landing lines by over two-hundred crewmen when disaster struck. A small burst of flame started just forward of the upper fin, then blossomed into an inferno that quickly engulfed the dirigible's tail.

Once again, tragedy struck in the skies as America's first female pilot pioneer, Amelia Earhart, was lost over the Pacific during her attempt to make an around-the-world flight along the equator. The flight, which began in Miami, had made it around the world to Lae before she and her Lockheed Electra mysteriously vanished. Her last communication by radio was "we are flying northeast."

In the American League...

On July 25 th , Mel Almada of the Washington Senators tied a Major League record by scoring five runs himself in the first game of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Browns. Almada added four more in the second game setting another Major League record for most individual runs in an eighteen inning period.

Harlond Clift of the St. Louis Browns equaled an American League record with nine assists in a 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers. By the end of the season, the third baseman went on to set a new Major League record for total chances and the still-standing mark of four-hundred five assists.

On December 6 th , the Boston Red Sox acquired the contract of an up-and-coming nineteen year-old named Ted Williams. Signed at the age of seventeen by his hometown San Diego Padres, Williams produced adequate numbers in the tough Pacific Coast League but improved beyond his years (and peers) while playing for the American Association in Minneapolis.

In the National League...

On May 3 rd , the New York Giants tied an unusual Major League record after playing an entire nine inning game against the Boston Bees without a single chance for their outfielders. The Bees outfield managed only three chances themselves and went on to win 3-1.

En route to a 21-10 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at the Baker Bowl, Cincinnati Reds catcher Ernie Lombardi matched the modern Major League record with six hits (five singles and a double) in six consecutive times at bat.

Mickey Owen, the catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, became only the third backstop to ever pull off an unassisted double play as the "Redbirds" went on to beat the Boston Bees 5-2 at Sportsman's Park III on August 3 rd .

Around the League...

In January, Cincinnati fell victim to its worst flooding disaster ever as rising water overwhelmed the lower city limits and Crosley Field. At its peak, river water covered the infield diamond and lower grandstands with as much as twenty-one feet of water. Taking advantage of a photographic opportunity, Reds pitchers Gene Schott and Lee Grissom rowed a boat out from the center field wall for a once in a lifetime image that appeared in newspapers across the country.

The American League All-Stars topped the Nationals 8-3 in the Midsummer Classic. However, the biggest story of the contest was a bizarre play that marked the beginning of the end of Dizzy Dean's spectacular career. With two out, Earl Averill cracked a low line drive that caught Dean directly on the front of his foot. Later, in the clubhouse, it was discovered that Dean's toe was broken. Anxious to get back in the game, Dean and the Cardinals management decided he would return to the mound before the toe was fully healed. Their impatience proved costly as the injury affected his delivery, which eventually injured his arm, and ultimately ended his glory days at the tender age of twenty-six.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"The next pitch (on May 25, 1937) was a fastball that sailed high and inside and it struck him (Mickey Cochrane) on the left side of the head. It made a sickening thud and it dropped straight off his head on to the plate. He dropped to the ground like he'd been shot." - Bill Dickey

1937 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
New York
127
Batting Average
Detroit
.371
Doubles
St. Louis
51
Hits
St. Louis
218
Home Runs
New York
46
On Base Percentage
New York
.473
RBI
Detroit
183
Runs
New York
151
Slugging Average
New York
.673
Stolen Bases
Washington
35
Boston
Philadelphia
Total Bases
New York
418
Triples
Chicago
16
Chicago

1937 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Boston
26
Washington
ERA
New York
2.33
Games
Chicago
53
Saves
Chicago
18
Shutouts
New York
6
Strikeouts
New York
194
Winning Percentage
Cleveland
.938
Wins
New York
21

1937 American League

Team Standings

New York Yankees 102 52 .662 0
Detroit Tigers 89 65 .578 13
Chicago White Sox 86 68 .558 16
Cleveland Indians 83 71 .539 19
Boston Red Sox 80 72 .526 21
Washington Senators 73 80 .477 28½
Philadelphia Athletics 54 97 .358 46½
St. Louis Browns 46 108 .299 56

1937 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
New York
709
Batting Average
Detroit
.292
Doubles
St. Louis
327
Hits
Detroit
1,611
Home Runs
New York
174
On Base Percentage
Detroit
.370
Runs
New York
979
Slugging Average
New York
.456
Stolen Bases
Philadelphia
95
Triples
Washington
84

1937 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
New York
82
ERA
New York
3.65
Fewest Hits Allowed
New York
1,417
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Cleveland
61
Fewest Walks Allowed
New York
506
Saves
Chicago
21
New York
Shutouts
Chicago
15
New York
Strikeouts
Boston
682
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

On May 26, 1937, Billy Sullivan of Cleveland hit a pinch hit home run during the sixth inning. Three innings later Bruce Campbell hit a pinch hit home run making this the first game in American League history where two teammates had pinch hit homers during the same game.

More notable dates in 1937 included: June 1 - Bill Dietrich no hitting the Browns, July 5 - Joe DiMaggio hitting his first career grand slam, August 3 - Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium, and on August 25 Bob Feller striking out sixteen Red Sox hitters. One of those baffeled hitters, Joe Cronin , asked the umpire after being struck out the second time, "If I can't see it, how did you see it?"

On September 19, 1937, Hank Greenberg of the Detroit Tigers became the first player to ever hit a home run into the center field bleachers at Yankees Stadium. Three days later Greenberg blasted another long ball, this time completely out of Fenway Park.

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