Year In Review : 1940 American League

Off the field...

The United States first adopted the Selective Training and Service Act of 1940. The act provided that not more than 900,000 men were to be in military training at any one time, and it limited active duty service to twelve months. After the United States entered World War II, a new selective service act made men between eighteen and forty-five liable for military service and required all men between eighteen and sixty-five to register for the draft.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike debuted as the first multilane superhighway in the U.S. and the first Los Angeles freeway opened. Both set the standard for the rapid evolution of highway transportation development across the country. Since then every state has constructed at least one superhighway on either a toll or non-toll basis.

In the American League...

Yankees pitcher Spud Chandler almost single-handedly led New York to a 10-2 victory over the Chicago White Sox after knocking in six runs with a single, two home runs and a grand slam. His six runs batted in performance tied an American League record shared with Pete Appleton who was one of the pitchers he was facing.

During a 12-9 win over the Detroit Tigers, Red Sox shortstop Joe Cronin became not the first player to cycle twice, but the first to do it a decade apart. Cronin, who had originally accomplished the feat in 1929, went four-for-five becoming the fifth Boston player ever to go the distance.

Boston Red Sox slammer Jimmie Foxx moved ahead of Lou Gehrig on the all time home run list after hitting number's four-hundred ninety-four and four-hundred ninety-five off the Washington Senators en route to a 7-6 win on August 16 th .

In the National League...

On May 7 th , the Brooklyn Dodgers fell 18-2 after the St. Louis Cardinals totaled forty-nine bases on twenty hits. Thirteen knocks went for extra-bases and seven of them were home runs. The rally set a National League record for most extra bases on long hits with twenty-nine.

Brooklyn Dodgers' reliever Carl Doyle dropped the ball (and the game) after giving up sixteen hits and fourteen runs (in just four innings) as the Cincinnati Reds tallied twenty-seven hits and a 23-2 victory. To make matters worse, Doyle also hit four Cincinnati batters to tie a National League record and initiated a bitter rivalry between the teams that would last for decades. Four days later, he was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Harry Danning, of the New York Giants, hit for the cycle against the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 15 th and became the last player of the century to include an inside the park home run in his cycle. The inside-the-park-home run traveled four-hundred sixty feet and became lodged behind an Eddie Grant memorial in front of the Giants' clubhouse. New York went on to win their eighth straight with a 12-1 triumph.

Around the League...

At the All-Star Game, outfielder Max West of the Boston Bees hit a three-run home run in the first inning to lead the Nationals to victory over the American League. The 4-0 final was the first shutout ever recorded at a Midsummer Classic.

In response to the "beanball wars" Spalding Sporting Goods introduced a new style of batting helmet (with earflaps) to mixed reviews. The Brooklyn Dodgers also introduced a padded cap liner that some batters elected to use the following season.

Walter Johnson, the man who had won four-hundred sixteen games for the Washington Senators, lost the election as the Republican candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Maryland. Although Johnson's political career ended before it began, his career on the field seemed to never end as he compiled statistics that included sixteen straight wins (1912); a string of fifty-six scoreless innings, and a 36-7 (1.09) mark in 1913; five wins, three of them shutouts, in nine days (1908); sixty-six triumphs over Detroit, the most for any American League pitcher against any one team; two-hundred victories in eight seasons and three-hundred in fourteen.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"What visions burn, what dreams possess him Seeker of the night? The fautless velvet of the diamond. The mounting roar of 80,000 voices. And (Lou) Gehrig coming to bat." - Thomas Wolfe in You Can't Go Home Again (1940)

1940 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
New York
106
Batting Average
New York
.352
Doubles
Detroit
50
Hits
Boston
200
Detroit
St. Louis
Home Runs
Detroit
41
On Base Percentage
Boston
.442
RBI
Detroit
150
Runs
Boston
134
Slugging Average
Detroit
.670
Stolen Bases
Washington
35
Total Bases
Detroit
384
Triples
Detroit
19

1940 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Cleveland
31
ERA
Cleveland
2.61
Games
Cleveland
43
Saves
Detroit
17
Shutouts
Cleveland
4
Chicago
Cleveland
Strikeouts
Cleveland
261
Winning Percentage
Detroit
.842
Wins
Cleveland
27

1940 American League

Team Standings

Detroit Tigers 90 64 .584 0
Cleveland Indians 89 65 .578 1
New York Yankees 88 66 .571 2
Chicago White Sox 82 72 .532 8
Boston Red Sox 82 72 .532 8
St. Louis Browns 67 87 .435 23
Washington Senators 64 90 .416 26
Philadelphia Athletics 54 100 .351 36

1940 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
Detroit
664
Batting Average
Detroit
.286
Doubles
Detroit
312
Hits
Boston
1,566
Home Runs
New York
155
On Base Percentage
Detroit
.366
Runs
Detroit
888
Slugging Average
Boston
.449
Stolen Bases
Washington
94
Triples
Boston
80

1940 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Chicago
83
ERA
Cleveland
3.64
Fewest Hits Allowed
Cleveland
1,328
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Cleveland
86
Fewest Walks Allowed
Chicago
480
Saves
Detroit
23
Shutouts
Cleveland
13
Strikeouts
Detroit
752
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

Did you know that Ted Williams once asked for a trade? On August 17, 1940, Williams was highly agitated with Boston sportswriters daily reports and asked the Red Sox to trade him to the Detroit Tigers.

Trivia alert: What manager has hit for the cycle? On August 2, 1940, Joe Cronin , who was the manager AND a player for the Boston Red Sox, hit for the cycle versus the Detroit Tigers going 4-for-5 and helping his team win 12-9.

On September 24, 1940 , George Caster of the Philadelphia Athletics served up a home run to a thirty-two year old former Athletic named Jimmie Foxx . When Foxx blasted the pitch he became the second member of the 500 Home Runs Club and the youngest from the 20th Century.

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