YEAR IN REVIEW : 1945 National League

Off 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.

In 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.

In 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.

Around 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.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"What the hell has happened to the pitching (asking New York Giants owner Horace Stoneham) since I went away to the War?"- General Dwight D. Eisenhower (1945)

1945 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Brooklyn
148
Chicago
.355
Boston
47
Boston
224
Boston
28
Chicago
.449
Brooklyn
124
Brooklyn
128
Boston
.577
St. Louis
26
Boston
367
Brooklyn
13

1945 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Boston
24
St. Louis
Chicago
2.13
Philadelphia
67
New York
15
Philadelphia
Chicago
5
Pittsburgh
148
St. Louis
.789
Boston
23
St. Louis

1945 National League

Team Standings

Chicago Cubs 98 56 .636 0
St. Louis Cardinals 95 59 .617 3
Brooklyn Dodgers 87 67 .565 11
Pittsburgh Pirates 82 72 .532 16
New York Giants 78 74 .513 19
Boston Braves 67 85 .441 30
Cincinnati Reds 61 93 .396 37
Philadelphia Phillies 46 108 .299 52

1945 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Brooklyn
629
Chicago
.277
Pittsburgh
259
St. Louis
1,498
New York
114
Chicago
.349
Brooklyn
795
New York
.379
Boston
82
Brooklyn
71

1945 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Chicago
86
Chicago
2.98
Fewest Hits Allowed
Chicago
1,301
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Chicago
57
Fewest Walks Allowed
Chicago
385
Philadelphia
26
St. Louis
18
Brooklyn
557
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

The Midsummer Classic was cancelled in 1945 due to wartime travel restrictions; however, a series of interleague games was played in lieu of the All-Star Game.

On July 27, 1945, the Chicago Cubs acquired the last piece of their pennant puzzle when they purchased Hank Borowy from the New York Yankees for approximately $97,000. Larry MacPhail commented, "This was a good chance to sell a pitcher who never has been a winner in the last month or so of a season." Borowy responded and finished the season 11-2 with the Cubs and a league leading 2.13 earned run average.

On September 9, 1945, "Double X" ( Jimmie Foxx ) hit the final two home runs of his Major League career against the Pirates during the doubleheader. The final, and 534 th of his career, came against Johnny Lanning .

Baseball Almanac@BaseballAlmanac02 Aug
UPDATED: Tyler Alexander just tied (9-straight) the American League record for Most Consecutive Strikeouts by a Pit… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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#OTD in 1954 in Baseball Almanac: Joe Adcock hit four #HomeRuns in the same game, 7th player in #MLB #history, at… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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#RIP John McNamara (😥) #MLB #manager with Oakland Athletics (1969-70), San Diego Padres (1974-77), Cincinnati Reds… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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Cobb, Foxx, Gehrig, Klein, Seerey each had #MLB #record 16 TBs in a game. In '50 Gil Hodges broke it (17). #OTD 195… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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1 Pitch (out #1). 1 Pitch (out #2). 1 Pitch (out #3). Ramon Ortiz (L) had a 3-PITCH INNING #otd 2006. HELP… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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ICYMI: The Cubs turned a triple play yesterday. Every Triple Play in Major League Baseball history is on… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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Carlos Quintana #otd 1991 had six RBI in the same INNING, tying the since-broken American League record. Who he tie… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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I read it with ☕️ this morning - and ❤️'d it (picture attached)! Thanks for sharing. Would have loved it even more… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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When Jose Ramirez (@MrLapara) went deep lefty & righty in same game on the 27th, he tied @TheRealSlamtana for most… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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UPDATED: Edwin Encarnacion (@Encadwin) just passed Darrell Evans on this research set [baseball-almanac.com/legendary/Home…]. To… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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Just had our tech team add Steve Garvey & Cyndy to the list! [Hit refresh or reload to see the update /… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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Updated. Not a fun set of "research" to update, she had just announced she was pregnant (😢). [… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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In 1898, Cy Seymour (LHP) committed #MLB record 3 errors in same inning. When #TommyJohn tied it, #otd 1988, he sai… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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Dale Murphy, #otd 1989, hit two HRs in the same inning for #Atlanta, tying a franchise record set previously by Bob… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…
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