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@BaseballAlmanac7h
Since you brought Tom Chism up ('79 #Orioles), we sourced that GREAT quote we had on his page, we added a little hi… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac13h
TRIVIA TUESDAY: Ten AL players have hit 2 grand slams in the same game. Tony Lazzeri 1st, in '36, then these 9 dupl… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac15h
#TuesdayTrivia: 18 #MLB players have spent 20-or-more years with ONLY ONE team. Two are not in #HOF, that will chan… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac20 Jan
Well if you're going to mention Chris (@C_RusIn), then I'll need to add a GREAT quote Bud Black made about him, a c… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac20 Jan
Gene Stephens. 1st AL player to record 3-hits in an inning. Newspaper story, those who came before, those who joine… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac18 Jan
Willie Mays, in 1955, had 51 HRs & 24 SB, 1st in #MLB history with a 50-20 season. Brady Anderson, born OTD1964, di… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac17 Jan
Carl Hubbell went 23-12 in '33, won MVP & signed a new contract OTD1934, a $6,000 raise. On #BaseballAlmanac, you c… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac16 Jan
TRIVIA TIME: He died OTD1965. He set the still-standing #MLB record for triples in a season by a rookie. [Answer:… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac16 Jan
OTD1974: The Baseball Writers' Association of America (@officialBBWAA) put Mickey Mantle & Whitey Ford in the Hall… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac16 Jan
Happy Birthday Brooks Conrad. Born OTD1980, he hit a walk-off super slam, making a little #MLB history, making a li… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac16 Jan
CURT FLOOD: OTD1970 he filed a $1 million lawsuit against Commish Kuhn & MLB, alleging violation of federal antitru… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac15 Jan
It's only "Haderade" days until Opening Day 2020! Number 71 has been worn 70 times, first by Johnny Hodapp in 1929.… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac15 Jan
NOT A TOPPS TYPO: Mike Marshall, born OTD1943, appeared in 106 games in 1974, setting NL / MLB record for most game… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac15 Jan
OTD1942: The President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, sent his "Green Light Letter" to the Commission… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac15 Jan
Baseball Movie Checklist: When "For The Love of the Game" was released, in 1999, we built this page, and we now hav… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac15 Jan
@expos_exposed You nailed it! The name stuck with him, and clearly inspired him to record the song later in his life.
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14 Jan
#TuesdayTrivia: You know who that future #HOF pitcher is on the left (@ClaytonKersh22), but did you know Kersh face… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14 Jan
OTD1928: Alfred James Reach passed away. His business, A.J. Reach Company, was once the largest manufacturer of spo… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14 Jan
Happy Birthday to Terry Forster. DYK he once appeared on the David Letterman show AND he once recorded a novelty so… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac14 Jan
You are welcome Kyle, and if we can EVER make that piece of cake even better, please don't hesitate to let us know… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
Desktop Version