Year In Review : 1950 American League

O ff the field...

The Korean War began after North Korean forces known as the "Democratic People's Republic" crossed the 38 th parallel dividing North and South Korea. The attack, aimed at reuniting the country under Communist rule from the North, took place on June 24 th and was a complete surprise to the American administration. Many feared that this attack heralded the beginning of World War III. Under the flag of the United Nations, sixteen countries sent military forces to South Korea's defense, most coming from the United States. Many other countries contributed equipment, supplies, and other support. North Korea's main allies were the Soviet Union, which supplied it with arms, and China, which later sent many troops.

Two Puerto Rican nationalists, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, attempted to assassinate President Truman on November 1 st . Both arrived in Washington D.C. the day before from the Bronx in New York City, where they were active in the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party. Both felt the assassination would call attention to their home country and advance the cause of Puerto Rican independence. In the ensuing gun battle, both traded gunfire with White House policemen and several Secret Service Agents. Torresola was killed in the melee, but Collazo reached the steps of Blair House before collapsing with a gunshot wound to the chest. He was later sentenced to death. President Truman himself commuted the sentence to life imprisonment in 1952.

In June 1950, three former agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and television producer Vincent Harnett, published "Red Channels", a pamphlet listing the names of one-hundred fifty-one writers, directors and entertainers who they claimed had been members of subversive organizations (before World War II) but had not been blacklisted. The names had been compiled from FBI files and a detailed analysis of the "Daily Worker", an underground newspaper published by the American Communist Party.

I n the American League...

On June 8 th , the Red Sox recorded the most lopsided victory in baseball history after crushing the visiting St. Louis Browns 29-4. Boston also set several Major League records including most extra bases on long hits (thirty-two) in a game, and the most extra bases on long hits in consecutive games (fifty-one). Leadoff batter Clyde Vollmer set a Major League mark of his own as the only batter to go to the plate eight times in eight innings.

The Cleveland Indians came out swinging in the 2 nd game of a June 18 th doubleheader and set a modern Major League record by scoring fourteen runs in the first inning. The opening rally also tied the mark for most runs scored in a single inning. With the exception of pitcher Mike Garcia, all Tribe members batted twice en route to a 21-2 massacre.

The New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers combined for a Major League record eleven home runs during a 10-9, June 23 rd outing at Tiger Stadium. It was also the first time that nine different players connected for home runs in a single game. Detroit tallied four home runs in the 4 th inning thanks to Dizzy Trout, Gerry Priddy, Vic Wertz, and Hoot Evers. New York's Hank Bauer connected for two while Joe DiMaggio, Jerry Coleman, Yogi Berra, and pinch hitter Tommy Henrich also belted round trippers. Home team slugger Evers finally won the contest with his second blast, an inside-the-park two-run game winner in the 9 th .

I n the National League...

Boston Braves slugger Sid Gordon tied the Major League record for most grand slams in a season after knocking his fourth of the year against the Philadelphia Phillies. His team dominated both games in a Fourth of July doubleheader and their 12-9 win in game two gave both teams a combined total of forty runs, fifty-five hits, and ninety total bases for the day.

On July 16 th , players from around the league connected for thirty-seven combined home runs setting a new Major League record. Leading the home run derby was the Cincinnati Reds who posted two wins over the New York Giants, 16-4 and 11-10.

The Brooklyn Dodgers beat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-5 on July 26 th as the Dodgers' Jim Russell went both ways for two home runs, making him the first switch-hitter in history to accomplish the feat more than once. On the other side of the plate, St. Louis' Stan Musial hit in his 30 th straight game for the longest consecutive hitting streak of the decade.

A round the league...

Jackie Robinson, the man who broke baseball's color barrier signed a new contract for $35,000, making him the highest paid Brooklyn Dodger in the history of the franchise.

The Associated Press selected the "Miracle Braves" of 1914 as the greatest sports upset in the 20 th

President Harry Truman tossed out two balls at the Washington opener (one left-handed and one right-handed) then sat through a driving rain to see his Senators beat the Philadelphia Athletics 8-7 at Griffith Stadium.

In an effort to discourage the continued Major League signing of black ball players, Dr. J.B. Martin, the president of the Chicago Giants of the Negro American League, ordered manager Ted "Double Duty" Radcliffe to sign several white players. Radcliffe obliged his employer by signing three white teenagers immediately and adding at least two others later in the season.

"I'm not quitting because I'm too old. I'm quitting because I think people want me to." - Connie Mack on October 18, 1950
1950 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Washington

141

Batting Average

Boston

.354

Doubles

Detroit

56

Hits

Detroit

218

Home Runs

Cleveland

37

On Base Percentage

Cleveland

.442

RBI

Boston

144

Boston

Runs

Boston

131

Slugging Average

New York

.585

Stolen Bases

Boston

15

Total Bases

Boston

326

Triples

Boston

11

Boston

Detroit

1950 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

St. Louis

22

Cleveland

ERA

Cleveland

3.20

Games

Washington

53

Saves

Washington

15

Shutouts

Detroit

4

Strikeouts

Cleveland

170

Winning Percentage

New York

.724

Wins

Cleveland

23

1950 American League

Team Standings

New York Yankees

98 56 .636 0

Detroit Tigers

95 59 .617 3

Boston Red Sox

94 60 .610 4

Cleveland Indians

92 62 .597 6

Washington Senators

67 87 .435 31

Chicago White Sox

60 94 .390 39

St. Louis Browns

58 96 .377 40

Philadelphia Athletics

52 102 .338 46

1950 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Detroit

722

Batting Average

Boston

.302

Doubles

Boston

287

Hits

Boston

1,665

Home Runs

Cleveland

164

On Base Percentage

Boston

.385

Runs

Boston

1,027

Slugging Average

Boston

.464

Stolen Bases

Philadelphia

42

Washington

Triples

New York

70

1950 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Detroit

72

ERA

Cleveland

3.76

Fewest Hits Allowed

Cleveland

1,289

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Washington

99

Fewest Walks Allowed

Detroit

553

Saves

New York

31

Shutouts

New York

12

Strikeouts

New York

712



On June 8, 1950, the Boston Red Sox went wild against the St. Louis Browns winning 29-4 and setting new American League single game records for runs scored during a game, extra base hits, and total bases.

Which slugger would you guess hit the longest home run at Cleveland Stadium? Mickey Mantle ? Ted Williams ? Al Rosen ? It was hit on June 23, 1950, by Indians' first baseman Luke Easter who blasted a Joe Haynes pitch into the upper right deck of right field.

Billy Goodman of the Boston Red Sox played 1 game at shortstop, 5 games at second, 21 games at first base, 27 games at third base, and 45 games in left field during 1950. Billy Goodman also won a batting title during 1950 making him the first winner who was not a regular position player.

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