Year In Review : 1940 American League

O ff 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.

I n 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 .

I n 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.

A round 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.

"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



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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