Year In Review : 1939 American League

Off the field...

"The Daughters of the American Revolution", a colonial patriotic society in the United States open to women having one or more ancestors who aided the cause of the Revolution refused to allow Marian Anderson to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Anderson was the first African American to be named a permanent member of the Metropolitan Opera Company, as well as the first black woman to perform at the White House. In protest of their protest, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned her DAR membership and sponsored Anderson's concert at the Lincoln Memorial.

On August 12 th , Louis B. Mayer and his staff at MGM released what is considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made, the classic musical version of "The Wizard of Oz". Although the lavish production of L. Frank Baum's children's book originally lost a million dollars on its initial release, its musical score, technical artistry, star-making performance from Judy Garland, and unexpected TV success turned it into a perennial classic.

In the American League...

On May 2 nd , New York Yankee Lou Gehrig, also known as "The Iron Horse" voluntarily benched himself "for the good of the team" ending his consecutive-game streak at 2,130. After being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (later renamed Lou Gehrig's Disease) the ailing first baseman continued to struggle while batting .143 with a single run batted in. Soon after, the thirty-six year-old star retired, but remained with the team as the captain. Later that season (on the Fourth of July) a tearful Gehrig spoke to 61,808 fans at Yankee Stadium stating, "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." After his moving speech, his uniform #4 was retired.

The New York Yankees hit a whopping eight homeruns in the first game of a June 28 th doubleheader with the Philadelphia Athletics, and then followed up with five more in the second. Both totals set a Major League record for most homeruns in a game as well as their total of fifty-three total bases in a doubleheader. To no surprise, the Bronx Bombers swept the series winning the opener 23-2 and taking the night-game 10-0.

In the National League...

St. Louis Cardinals standout Johnny Mize equaled a National League record on July 3 rd after hitting four extra-base hits including a double, triple, and two home runs during a 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs.

In New York, nine players from the Giants and Dodgers combined for nine home runs in a 10-6 Brooklyn win at the Polo Grounds. The home run derby fell one round-tripper short of the record for two teams in one game set in 1923.

On September 21 st , the National League announced that for the first time in the twentieth century games would be moved from one city to another in order to top one million paid attendance. As a result, a double header between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies was swapped from the "City of Brotherly Love" to "The Big Apple".

Around the league...

On June 12 th , the greatest line-up in the history of baseball assembled in Cooperstown, New York for the official dedication of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, Grover Alexander, Nap Lajoie, George Sisler, Eddie Collins, Tris Speaker, Cy Young, and Connie Mack all accepted their plaques and a special six-inning game was also held at the adjacent Doubleday Field featuring the talents of many future members.

The first telecast of a Major League Baseball game took place at Ebbets Field on August 26 th as the Cincinnati Reds took on the home team Brooklyn Dodgers in a double header. Announcer Red Barber broadcasted the play-by-play on Channel W2XBS as the two teams split with the visitors taking the first game 5-2 and the "Bums" taking the second game 6-1.

An "off-season" experiment known as "The National Professional Indoor Baseball League" debuted in November to poor reviews. Headed by president Tris Speaker, the league boasted ten clubs, one in each Major League city except Washington. Unfortunately, the novel concept of playing baseball indoors during the winter months failed miserably at the ticket gates and the league was disbanded within a month.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"Hell Lou (Gehrig), it took them 15 years to get you out of the ball game (on his retirement). Sometimes they get me out in 15 minutes." - Lefty Gomez

1939 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
St. Louis
111
Batting Average
New York
.381
Doubles
New York
46
Hits
New York
213
Home Runs
Boston
35
On Base Percentage
Boston
.464
RBI
Boston
145
Runs
New York
139
Slugging Average
Boston
.694
Stolen Bases
Washington
51
Total Bases
Boston
344
Triples
Washington
16

1939 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
St. Louis
24
Detroit
ERA
Boston
2.54
Games
Chicago
61
Saves
New York
19
Shutouts
New York
5
Strikeouts
Cleveland
246
Winning Percentage
Boston
.789
Wins
Cleveland
24

1939 American League

Team Standings

New York Yankees 106 45 .702 0
Boston Red Sox 89 62 .589 17
Cleveland Indians 87 67 .565 20½
Chicago White Sox 85 69 .552 22½
Detroit Tigers 81 73 .526 26½
Washington Senators 65 87 .428 41½
Philadelphia Athletics 55 97 .362 51½
St. Louis Browns 43 111 .279 64½

1939 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
New York
701
Batting Average
Boston
.291
Doubles
Cleveland
291
Hits
Boston
1,543
Home Runs
New York
166
On Base Percentage
New York
.374
Runs
New York
967
Slugging Average
New York
.451
Stolen Bases
Chicago
113
Triples
Cleveland
79
Washington

1939 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
New York
87
ERA
New York
3.31
Fewest Hits Allowed
New York
1,208
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Cleveland
75
Washington
Fewest Walks Allowed
Chicago
454
Saves
New York
26
Shutouts
New York
15
Strikeouts
Detroit
633
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

On April 21, 1939, Ted Williams hit his first Major League home run and finished the game 4-for-5 in a 12-8 loss to the Philadelphia Athletics at Fenway Park. On May 4, 1939, Williams went deep twice for the first time in his Major League career AND on August 19, 1939, Williams hit his first grand slam.

On August 14, 1939, the lights were turned on in Comiskey Park for the first time as roughly 31,000 fans watched as the White Sox three-hit the Browns and won 5-2.

On September 8, 1939, Bob Feller of Cleveland defeated the St. Louis Browns 12-1 and became the youngest 20-game winner in American League history to date.

Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac18h
Mark McGwire, OTD1998, hit a HR. That historic HR ended up being the 1st-of-70 dingers Big Mac hit that year [… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac20h
UPDATED: Steve Yeager. New home address. Integrated a #TuesdayTrivia question on #BaseballAlmanac, about the no-hit… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac30 Mar
OTD2000: Rey Ordonez committed an error (😲) ending #MLB record. Rickey Henderson stole a base, in 4th different dec… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac30 Mar
Updated. ART HOUTTEMAN. Received cemetery update from Dr. Fred Worth. Added a trivia question about Detroit Catholi… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac30 Mar
Updated. BASEBALL MOVIE CHECKLIST. Shoutout to @seamus1942 for finding the omission (The Perfect Game / True Story… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac29 Mar
Received an email from Steven Schwartz that included, "With Baseball Almanac you feel like you are visiting a place… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac29 Mar
UPDATED: John Rainey. 19th century #MLB player with 59 career games. Received a cemetery change (Dr. Fred Worth), s… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac28 Mar
Thousands of #MLB players never appeared on a #BaseballCard (😥). No problem (🧐), we started making our own (🤓), thi… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac28 Mar
UPDATED: Baseball Movie Checklist. Added four new titles to our comprehensive list of every baseball movie in histo… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac28 Mar
RIP😢: Jimmy Wynn [baseball-almanac.com/players/player…]. Find out how he got the nickname "The Toy Cannon" and go beyond his sta… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac27 Mar
Buddy Hunter updated: Added Ted Williams hitting advice he received. A story from Tommy Lasorda. A quote from The P… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac27 Mar
Happy Birthday Michael Cuddyer [baseball-almanac.com/players/player…]! 3rd player in baseball history with a cycle in both AL &… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac26 Mar
Frank Brower [baseball-almanac.com/players/player…], born OTD1893, went 6-for-6 on 08-07-1923. Later that same year, "Turkeyfoot… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac23 Mar
Curt Schilling [baseball-almanac.com/players/player…], OTD2009, retired. 3,116 career SO, but DYK he was first #MLB player born… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac20 Mar
Jim Golden [baseball-almanac.com/players/player…], born OTD1936, #FlashbackFriday, when AL pitchers had to hit -- Jim was last t… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac19 Mar
Bill Wambsganss [baseball-almanac.com/players/player…], born OTD1894, said, "The only thing that anybody seems to remember is th… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac18 Mar
Al Benton [baseball-almanac.com/players/player…], born OTD1911, pitched against Babe Ruth (1914-35), pitched against Mickey Mant… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac16 Mar
Lloyd Waner, born OTD1906, during his FIRST THREE SEASONS had 223 hits ('27), 221 hits ('28), 234 hits ('29)! DYK h… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14 Mar
RIP Jarrod Patterson (😥). Infielder with #Detroit #Tigers (2001) and #KansasCity #Royals (2003). Passed away Wednes… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14 Mar
Kirby. Gone too soon (😥) he would have been (only) 60 today (March 14). We still miss Puck at #baseballalmanac - [… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Desktop Version