Year In Review : 1937 National League

O ff 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."

I n 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.

I n 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 .

A round 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.

"He (Carl Hubbell) could throw strikes at midnight." - Hall of Famer Billy Herman
1937 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

New York

102

Batting Average

St. Louis

.374

Doubles

St. Louis

56

Hits

St. Louis

237

Home Runs

St. Louis

31

On Base Percentage

New York

.442

St. Louis

RBI

St. Louis

154

Runs

St. Louis

111

Slugging Average

St. Louis

.641

Stolen Bases

Chicago

23

Total Bases

St. Louis

406

Triples

Pittsburgh

17

1937 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Boston

24

ERA

Boston

2.38

Games

Philadelphia

56

Saves

Pittsburgh

7

New York

Shutouts

Boston

5

Cincinnati

Boston

Strikeouts

New York

159

Winning Percentage

New York

.733

Wins

New York

22

1937 National League

Team Standings

New York Giants

95 57 .625 0

Chicago Cubs

93 61 .604 3

Pittsburgh Pirates

86 68 .558 10

St. Louis Cardinals

81 73 .526 15

Boston Bees

79 73 .520 16

Brooklyn Dodgers

62 91 .405

Philadelphia Phillies

61 92 .399 34½

Cincinnati Reds

56 98 .364 40

1937 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Chicago

538

Batting Average

Chicago

.287

Doubles

St. Louis

264

Hits

Pittsburgh

1,550

Home Runs

New York

111

On Base Percentage

Chicago

.355

Runs

Chicago

811

Slugging Average

Chicago

.416

Stolen Bases

St. Louis

78

Triples

Pittsburgh

86

1937 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Boston

85

ERA

Boston

3.22

Fewest Hits Allowed

New York

1,341

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Cincinnati

38

Fewest Walks Allowed

Boston

372

Saves

Cincinnati

18

Shutouts

Boston

16

Strikeouts

New York

653



On June 5, 1937, the St. Louis Cardinals took a chance and signed a 16 year-old pitcher to his first professional contract - that particular pitcher was none other than Stan Musial .

On June 25, 1937, Augie Galan of the Chicago Cubs hit a home run batting left-handed then one inning later went deep hitting right-handed. The Cubs beat the Dodgers 11-to-2 and Galan earned the distinction of being the first National League player to hit switch home runs during the same game .

On September 29, 1937, New York Giants' pitcher Cliff Melton defeated the Phillies 6-to-3 and won his 20th game of the season. Three days later the Phillies lost 7-to-1 again, but this time to Jim Turner of the Braves - who recorded his 20th win of the season. One day later the Phillies lost 6-to-0 to Lou Fette who ALSO won his 20th game of the season.

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