Year In Review : 1945 American League

O ff the field...

After several days of street-to-street combat in Berlin and the suicide of Nazi leader Adolph Hitler, Germany finally agreed to an unconditional surrender marking the end of the European campaign of World War II. The conflict lasted five years, eight months, and six days, and cost millions of lives, including six million Jews and twenty million soldiers and civilians killed in the U.S.S.R. alone.

In an effort to hasten the Pacific campaign, the United States Air Force dropped the world's first Atomic Bomb on Hiroshima, destroying the entire city and killing over seventy-thousand people. Three days later a second bomb was dropped on the city of Nagasaki with similar results. Realizing that further resistance was futile, the Japanese government finally agreed to terms of surrender aboard the Battleship U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Harbor marking the absolute end of WWII.

I n the American League...

Pete Gray of the St. Louis Browns became the first "physically challenged" Major League ballplayer. Despite the loss of his right arm in a childhood accident, Gray had learned to field, throw and bat solely with his left. He quickly built a reputation for hitting clutch, line drives around the field and also exhibited fearless speed and daring on the base paths. As a testament to overcoming adversity, his fielding technique was a study in both agility and dexterity. After catching a fly ball, the outfielder would tuck his thinly padded glove under his stump; roll the ball across his chest, and throw it to the cut-off man in one fluid motion.

Red Sox rookie Boo Ferriss set an American League record after pitching twenty-two consecutive shut out innings for the most scoreless innings at the start of a Major League career. His streak finally ended on May 13 th after he allowed one earned run against the Detroit Tigers en route to a 6-2 victory.

I n the National League...

On April 17 th , New York Giants player-manager Mel Ott set several records during his team's 11-6 win over the Boston Braves. In nine-innings, Ott collected a double, two walks and three runs to achieve several career marks (for a single player with one team) including one-thousand twenty-six extra-base hits, two-thousand seventy-six total bases, one-thousand seven-hundred seventy-eight RBIs, one-thousand seven-hundred eighty-seven runs and one-thousand six-hundred thirty-one walks.

The Boston Braves swept a July 6 th double header against the Pittsburgh Pirates 13-5 and 14-8 as Tommy Holmes hit in his thirty-fourth consecutive game to pass the previous streak of thirty-three set by Rogers Hornsby in 1922.

"Joe D's" older and less-famous brother Vince DiMaggio tied a Major League record after hitting his fourth grand slam of the season during an 8-3 Philadelphia Phillies victory over the Boston Braves on September 1 st . Unfortunately, DiMaggio would not get an opportunity to break the record as an injury would keep him out for the rest of the season.

A round the league...

Major League owners decided to cancel the 1945 All-Star Game due to wartime travel restrictions. Eight simultaneous games were scheduled in place of the Midsummer Classic pitting the National and American Leagues against one another in interleague play.

Billy Southworth Jr., the first player in organized baseball to enlist for military service in WWII, died on February 15 th after his B29 crashed off the coast of Flushing, New York. The twenty-seven year-old combat veteran had flown twenty-five successful missions in Europe and was the son of St. Louis Cardinals manager Billy Southworth.

Despite the depletion of quality rosters around the league due to wartime commitments, attendance in ballparks across the majors rose to a staggering 10.28 million, breaking the 1940 record. The Detroit Tigers topped the list with 1.28 million and the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, and Chicago Cubs came in a close second with one million fans each.

On October 23 rd , Brooklyn Dodgers owner Branch Rickey announced the signing of Jackie Robinson as the first African-American to play in the Major Leagues. Over the course of a distinguished ten year career, Robinson went go on to lead the Dodgers to six National League titles and one World Series championship. A man of many "firsts", Robinson also became the first black player to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962.

"Hal Newhouser is the only pitcher in major league history to win back-to-back Most Valuable Player Awards (1944 and 1945). His blazing fastball made him a strikeout king." - National Baseball Hall of Fame
1945 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Cleveland

113

Detroit

Batting Average

New York

.309

Doubles

Chicago

35

Hits

New York

195

Home Runs

St. Louis

24

On Base Percentage

Boston

.412

RBI

New York

111

Runs

New York

107

Slugging Average

New York

.476

Stolen Bases

New York

33

Total Bases

New York

301

Triples

New York

22

1945 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Detroit

29

ERA

Detroit

1.81

Games

Philadelphia

52

Saves

New York

10

Shutouts

Detroit

8

Strikeouts

Detroit

212

Winning Percentage

Detroit

.735

Wins

Detroit

25

1945 American League

Team Standings

Detroit Tigers

88 65 .575 0

Washington Senators

87 67 .565

St. Louis Browns

81 70 .536 6

New York Yankees

81 71 .533

Cleveland Indians

73 72 .503 11

Chicago White Sox

71 78 .477 15

Boston Red Sox

71 83 .461 17½

Philadelphia Athletics

52 98 .347 34½

1945 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

New York

618

Batting Average

Chicago

.262

Doubles

Detroit

227

Hits

Boston

1,393

Home Runs

New York

93

On Base Percentage

New York

.343

Runs

New York

676

Slugging Average

New York

.373

Stolen Bases

Washington

110

Triples

Washington

63

1945 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

St. Louis

91

ERA

Washington

2.93

Fewest Hits Allowed

Cleveland

1,269

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Cleveland

39

Fewest Walks Allowed

Washington

440

Saves

Detroit

16

Shutouts

Detroit

19

Washington

Strikeouts

Detroit

588



Pete Gray , who had only one arm and was Baseball Almanac's first ever Autograph of the Week recipient, made his Major League debut on April 18, 1945.

Interleague play in 1945? Yes, it actually took place. The All-Star Game was cancelled in 1945 due to flight restrictions and on July 10 th and 11 th each team faced off in what would be the first non-post season interleague contests.

On July 1, 1945, Hank Greenberg became the first Major League player to return from the war and play in a game. The legendary Tiger has been away from Major League ballparks for more than four years, but still hit a home run during his first game back.

Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac15 Oct
Q: Do #Cardinals have a chance, down 0-3 vs #Nationals? A: In LCS history, 13 teams had a 3-0 lead, 8 of them won t… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14 Oct
OTD1992: Toronto Blue Jays beat Oakland Athletics 9-2 in Game 6 of ALCS. The series-clinching victory made them the… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14 Oct
OTD1968 the #SanDiego #Padres took part in the #MLB Expansion Draft, selecting 60 players for their inaugural roste… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14 Oct
ICYMI: Mariano Rivera received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Donald Trump (@realDonaldTrump). Do… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14 Oct
RIP: Jackie Hernandez. #Angels (1965-66), #Twins (1967-68), #Royals (1969-70), #Pirates (1971-73). Uniform number h… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac13 Oct
@BurrHughes I guarantee you one thing, #BaseballAlmanac won't be trying to convince you of that! There isn't a sing… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac13 Oct
OTD1960 Bill Mazeroski, legendary defense at 2B, #PittsburghPirates, hit one of the most historic HRs in… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac10 Oct
MLB (@MLB) reported: "Phillies relieve manager Gabe Kapler after two seasons." [+1 for being so polite] Due to wor… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac10 Oct
Baseball Almanac Instagram Photo of the Day - Skulls. Derek Jeter is moving the Miami Marlins, they will become the… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac10 Oct
Mickey Vernon said, "Beating out Ted Williams for the batting title was a thrill." See what Satchel Paige, Sid Huds… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac09 Oct
Joe Sewell was born OTD1898. He played in 155 games in 1925 and STRUCK OUT 4⃣ TIMES! (😮) The last nine years he pla… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac09 Oct
In 2019, attendance was 68,494,895. In 2018, it was 69,671,272, a difference of 1,176,377. Fourteen teams decreased… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac08 Oct
Jim Doyle (1910-1911): His great grand-daughter (GREAT work @sandradcarmola) found his birth certificate - DOB chan… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac08 Oct
TUESDAY TRIVIA: One of these four twirlers finished their #MLB career without a single win, loss, or save. Not unco… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac07 Oct
Q: "Please add a fact and video about the Griffey's hitting back-to-back home runs in this game." UPDATE: Added gam… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac06 Oct
DYK that both league-specific team strikeout records (for hitters) also fell in 2019? I expanded record set to incl… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac06 Oct
RIP: Andy Etchebarren - literally saved the life of Frank Robinson (#HOF). Read the story on #BaseballAlmanac. [… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac06 Oct
UPDATE: We've had #MLB players with Four HRs in a Game on #BaseballAlmanac for 19+ years. Includes trivia, ages, po… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac05 Oct
MLB Calendar Countdown: Added @RawlingsSports Gold Gloves, @WilsonSportingG Defensive Player of the Year, Silver Sl… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac05 Oct
RIP: Bob Tufts, LHP. Lynnfield HS, @Princeton, #SanFrancisco #Giants (1981), #KansasCity #Royals (1982-83). AMAZING… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Desktop Version