YEAR IN REVIEW : 1947 National League

Off the field...

Captain Chuck Yaeger, an American test pilot, became the first to break the sound barrier after he accelerated his X-1 test plane to six-hundred seventy miles per hour, at an altitude of 42,000 feet. The specially designed aircraft was dropped from a modified B-29 bomber leftover from World War II.

Secretary of State George C. Marshall announced the goals of his Economic Recovery Plan, otherwise known as "The Marshall Plan" which stated that "the United States should do whatever it is able to do to assist in the return of normal economic health in the world". The idea of providing aid in the reconstruction of war torn nations provided markets for American goods, created reliable trading partners, and supported the development of stable democratic governments in Western Europe. Congress's approval of the Marshall Plan signaled an extension of the bipartisanship of World War II into the postwar years.

In the American League...

Philadelphia Athletics catcher Buddy Rosar finally dropped a pop-up on May 20 th for his first recorded error in one-hundred forty-seven games and seven-hundred fifty-six chances. New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra went on to extend the Major League record to one-hundred forty-eight and nine-hundred fifty from 1957 to 1959, but Rosar's single-season record of one-hundred fifteen games and six-hundred five errorless chances stood unchallenged for fifty years until Charles Johnson of the Florida Marlins topped it in 1997.

Larry Doby became the first African-American to play in the American League after appearing as a pinch-hitter for the Cleveland Indians on July 5 th during a 6-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox. The following day he started at first base and went one-for-five at the plate.

On August 13 th , Willard Brown of the St. Louis Browns became the first African-American player to homer in the American League after hitting a pinch inside-the-park home run for a 6-5 victory over pitcher Hal Newhouser and the Detroit Tigers.

In the National League...

On April 17 th , the Brooklyn Dodgers topped the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field 12-6, as baseball's first African-American player; Jackie Robinson tallied his first Major League hit (a bunt single). Robinson would go on to perfect the "squeeze play" while bunting forty-two times throughout the season.

Johnny Mize of the New York Giants set a Major League record after hitting three successive home runs (for the fifth time in his career) during a 14-5 loss to the Boston Braves. Mize would later go on to add a sixth, three-homer performance while playing with the New York Yankees in 1950.

After several St. Louis Cardinal players were rumored to initiate a strike as a sign of protest against playing with Jackie Robinson, National League President Ford Frick and team owner Sam Breadon both announced that any player directly involved in any acts of racial prejudice or disobedience would be suspended indefinitely. Cardinal manager Eddie Dyer wholeheartedly denied the allegations and his "Redbirds" went on to play (and beat) the Brooklyn Dodgers 5-1.

Around the League...

Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler announced the development of the first official pension plan for major leaguers. The plan stated that any player with five years experience would receive a check for $50 a month at age fifty, and $10 a month over the next five years. The pension fund was initially set up for $650,000, with teams providing 80% and the players investing the remaining 20%.

April 27 th was declared as "Babe Ruth Day" at all Major League ballparks. During a special pre-game ceremony at Yankee Stadium, a frail looking Ruth, who was battling the effects of throat cancer, struggled through a short speech thanking the fans for their continued support. The emotional program was broadcast nationwide on television, radio and over the loudspeakers at every stadium as "The Bambino" was presented with a bronze plaque with his likeness from the American League and a leather-bound book with signatures of every player from the National League.

Tragedy struck the Minor League system as standout Jimmy Davis (Longhorn League) died after being hit in the head with a pitched ball. The promising twenty-year old outfielder was hitting .333 at the time and had tallied nineteen home runs in forty-eight games.

New York Yankees slugger Joe DiMaggio was named the American League's MVP by a single point over the Boston Red Sox' Ted Williams. Williams, the Triple Crown winner, received two-hundred one points, but was completely left off one writer's ballot igniting a major controversy. It was later determined that a single, tenth-place vote (or better) would have granted him the two points that were necessary to top DiMaggio.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"(Leo) Durocher has not measured up to the standards expected or required of managers of our baseball teams." - Commissioner Harry Chandler

1947 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
Pittsburgh
104
Brooklyn
Batting Average
St. Louis
.363
Philadelphia
Cincinnati
38
Boston
191
Pittsburgh
51
New York
Cincinnati
.449
New York
138
New York
137
Pittsburgh
.639
Brooklyn
29
Pittsburgh
361
St. Louis
16
Philadelphia

1947 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Cincinnati
23
Boston
2.33
New York
62
Brooklyn
18
Boston
7
Cincinnati
193
New York
.808
Cincinnati
22

1947 National League

Team Standings

Brooklyn Dodgers 94 60 .610 0
St. Louis Cardinals 89 65 .578 5
Boston Braves 86 68 .558 8
New York Giants 81 73 .526 13
Cincinnati Reds 73 81 .474 21
Chicago Cubs 69 85 .448 25
Philadelphia Phillies 62 92 .403 32
Pittsburgh Pirates 62 92 .403 32

1947 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Brooklyn
732
Boston
.275
Boston
265
St. Louis
1,462
New York
221
Brooklyn
.364
New York
830
New York
.454
Brooklyn
88
St. Louis
65

1947 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Boston
74
St. Louis
3.53
Fewest Hits Allowed
Brooklyn
1,299
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Boston
93
Fewest Walks Allowed
Boston
453
Brooklyn
34
Boston
14
Brooklyn
St. Louis
642
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

The quote at the top of the page was made on April 9, 1947, when the Office of the Commissioner suspended Leo Durocher for "an accumulation of unpleasant incidents". Later in his life Durocher wrote of the 1 year suspension, "To this day, if you ask me why I was suspended I could not tell you why."

Easily the MOST historic moment of the season took place on April 15, 1947 when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier to become the first modern black player in Major League history.

On August 16, 1947, Ralph Kiner hit three home runs during one game. On September 11, 1947 Kiner hit three again to become only the second National League player in history to have two three-home run games during the same season. The first to accomplish the feat was Johnny Mize (1938) and after the season Kiner commented, "Home run hitters drive Cadillacs, singles hitters drive Fords."

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