Year In Review : 1948 American League

Off the field...

After supporting the idea of a Jewish independent state, the United States officially recognized Israel, as it's own entity. President Truman made a formal announcement fourteen minutes after the state had been declared in Tel Aviv. Shortly after, the surrounding Arab States attacked Israel sparking off a religious conflict that has lasted to this day.

Edwin Herbert, an American physicist and inventor, debuted the first instant camera that developed it's own photos on the spot. While a freshman at Harvard University in 1926, Herbert had become interested in polarized light (light oriented in a plane with respect to the source). After taking a leave of absence from the university, he spent several years developing a new kind of photographic technology that later evolved into the Polaroid Camera.

In the American League...

On March 29 th in St. Petersburg Florida, the New York Yankees and rival Boston Red Sox went head-to-head for seventeen grueling innings only to have the contest called at a 2-2 tie after four hours and two minutes of play. It was the longest Spring Training game in Major League history.

The Cleveland Indians were accused of pulling a publicity stunt after signing the Negro League's greatest pitcher Satchel Paige to a Major League contract. The forty-two year-old veteran answered all of his critics after going on to post a 6-1 record as the oldest player ever to debut in the majors.

Chicago outfielder Pat Seerey hit four home runs (the last in the eleventh inning) to lead the White Sox to a 12-11 victory over the home team Athletics in Philadelphia. In doing so, he became only the fifth player ever to accomplish the feat. Seerey had also set the record for reaching fifteen or more total bases in a single game (1945) and would later set the Major League mark as the first player to strike out seven times in a doubleheader.

In the National League...

Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals put on a hitting clinic at Crosley Field during an April 30 th outing against the Cincinnati Reds. "Stan The Man" totaled five hits in the first of four such performances during the season. Only Ty Cobb and Willie Keeler had accomplished the same feat while going 5+ at the plate on four separate occasions.

Ralph Kiner of the Pittsburgh Pirates startled pitchers across the league after hitting a home run every single Sunday for eight successive weeks in May and June. By the end of the season, he tallied seventee round trippers over thirty-eight Sunday outings.

At the end of the year, the Brooklyn Dodgers traded the extremely talented, but even more accident prone Pete Reiser to the Boston Braves for Mike McCormick. Reiser had become one of the top outfielders of his time, but had damaged his reputation after being carried off the field on a stretcher eleven times throughout the season after crashing into the outfield walls.

Around the League...

Major League Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler fined the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, and Philadelphia Phillies $500 each after it was discovered that they were attempting to sign high school players for the upcoming season.

Herb Pennock, the fifty-three-year-old general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies collapsed in a New York hotel lobby on January 30 th and died a short time later at a local hospital. Ironically, one month later, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame after receiving ninety-four of the required ninety-one votes.

The New York Yankees retired Babe Ruth's No. 3 jersey on June 13 th during a special pre-game ceremony that marked "The Bambino's" final appearance at Yankee Stadium, which was celebrating it's 25 th anniversary. A perennial pinstripe legend, Ruth's astounding abilities at the plate and larger-than-life personality off the field had made him a tremendous drawing card throughout the league as well as the highest-paid player of his era.

On August 16 th , baseball lost its greatest player after Babe Ruth succumbed to throat cancer at the age of fifty-three. Fittingly, his last public appearance had come three weeks earlier at the premier of a movie about his amazing life titled "The Babe Ruth Story". As an unprecedented tribute, his body lay in state at Yankee Stadium, also known as "The House That Ruth Built", and was viewed by more than 100,000 fans that lined up for miles just to pay their respects.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"A great ball player. A great man. A great American." - Inscription on Babe Ruth monument unveiled April 19, 1948

1948 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
Boston
126
Batting Average
Boston
.369
Doubles
Boston
44
Hits
St. Louis
207
Home Runs
New York
39
On Base Percentage
Boston
.497
RBI
New York
155
Runs
New York
138
Slugging Average
Boston
.615
Stolen Bases
St. Louis
28
Total Bases
New York
355
Triples
New York
14

1948 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Cleveland
20
ERA
Cleveland
2.43
Games
New York
55
Saves
Cleveland
17
Shutouts
Cleveland
10
Strikeouts
Cleveland
164
Winning Percentage
Boston
.783
Wins
Detroit
21

1948 American League

Team Standings

Cleveland Indians 97 58 .626 0
Boston Red Sox 96 59 .619 1
New York Yankees 94 60 .610
Philadelphia Athletics 84 70 .545 12½
Detroit Tigers 78 76 .506 18½
St. Louis Browns 59 94 .386 37
Washington Senators 56 97 .366 40
Chicago White Sox 51 101 .336 44½

1948 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
Boston
823
Batting Average
Cleveland
.282
Doubles
Boston
277
Hits
Cleveland
1,534
Home Runs
Cleveland
155
On Base Percentage
Boston
.374
Runs
Boston
907
Slugging Average
New York
.432
Stolen Bases
Washington
76
Triples
New York
75
Washington

1948 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Philadelphia
74
ERA
Cleveland
3.23
Fewest Hits Allowed
Cleveland
1,246
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Washington
81
Fewest Walks Allowed
Detroit
589
Saves
Cleveland
30
Shutouts
Cleveland
26
Strikeouts
Detroit
678
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

Lou Boudreau not only managed the Cleveland Indians to the American League Pennant, he also helped the team offensively finishing second in hits, third in home runs, first in doubles, third in runs batted in, and first in runs scored.

Did you know that the first no-hitter thrown during the evening hours was accomplished on June 30, 1948? It was tossed by Bob Lemon at Briggs Stadium and the Cleveland Indians won 2-0 versus the Detroit Tigers under the lights.

The Sporting News called the contractual signing of Satchel Paige "a travesty on baseball," but on July 9, 1948, the oldest rookie in Major League history made his first appearance (he relieved Bob Lemon in the fifth inning at Municipal Stadium) in a Major League game making him the first black pitcher in American League history.

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