Year In Review : 1948 National League

O ff 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.

I n 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.

I n 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.

A round 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.

"I've had pretty good success with Stan (Musial) by throwing him my best pitch and backing up third." - Carl Erskine
1948 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Boston

131

Batting Average

St. Louis

.376

Doubles

St. Louis

46

Hits

St. Louis

230

Home Runs

Pittsburgh

40

New York

On Base Percentage

St. Louis

.450

RBI

St. Louis

131

Runs

St. Louis

135

Slugging Average

St. Louis

.702

Stolen Bases

Philadelphia

32

Total Bases

St. Louis

429

Triples

St. Louis

18

1948 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Boston

28

ERA

St. Louis

2.24

Games

Cincinnati

61

Saves

Cincinnati

17

Shutouts

St. Louis

7

Strikeouts

St. Louis

149

Winning Percentage

St. Louis

.741

Wins

Boston

24

1948 National League

Team Standings

Boston Braves

91 62 .595 0

St. Louis Cardinals

85 69 .552

Brooklyn Dodgers

84 70 .545

Pittsburgh Pirates

83 71 .539

New York Giants

78 76 .506 13½

Philadelphia Phillies

66 88 .429 25½

Cincinnati Reds

64 89 .418 27

Chicago Cubs

64 90 .416 27½

1948 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Boston

671

Batting Average

Boston

.275

Doubles

Boston

272

Hits

Boston

1,458

Home Runs

New York

164

On Base Percentage

Boston

.359

Runs

New York

780

Slugging Average

New York

.408

Stolen Bases

Brooklyn

114

Triples

St. Louis

58

1948 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Boston

70

ERA

Boston

3.38

Fewest Hits Allowed

Brooklyn

1,328

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Chicago

89

Fewest Walks Allowed

Boston

430

Saves

Brooklyn

22

Shutouts

New York

15

Strikeouts

Brooklyn

670



The Pittsburgh Pirates lost Hank Greenberg in 1947 and renamed "Greenberg's Garden" to "Kiner's Korner" in honor of their new left fielder Ralph Kiner .

During the 1948 season Stan "The Man" Musial allegedly earned his nickname when an anonymous fan was heard at Ebbets Field saying, "Here comes that man again!"

Did you know that on August 22, 1948 , Jackie Robinson successfully stole home plate against the Boston Braves? What makes this interesting is that while he was stealing home three fellow Dodgers were stealing first base, second base, and third base at the same time.

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