Year In Review : 1950 National 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.

"The Whiz Kids' accomplishment is one of those that endures, and this book (The Whiz Kids and the 1950 Pennant) tells their story well. It is, in fact, a three-base hit: one part Roberts' recollections, one part reminiscences by his teammates and others, and one part Rogers' narrative. Together they create a very pleasing whole." - Steve Gietschier of The Sporting News
1950 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

New York

144

Batting Average

St. Louis

.346

Doubles

St. Louis

43

Hits

Brooklyn

199

Home Runs

Pittsburgh

47

On Base Percentage

New York

.460

RBI

Philadelphia

126

Runs

Boston

120

Slugging Average

St. Louis

.596

Stolen Bases

Boston

35

Total Bases

Brooklyn

343

Triples

Philadelphia

14

1950 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Boston

27

ERA

St. Louis

2.49

New York

Games

Philadelphia

74

Saves

Philadelphia

22

Shutouts

St. Louis

5

New York

New York

New York

Philadelphia

Strikeouts

Boston

191

Winning Percentage

New York

.818

Wins

Boston

21

1950 National League

Team Standings

Philadelphia Phillies

91 63 .591 0

Brooklyn Dodgers

89 65 .578 2

New York Giants

86 68 .558 5

Boston Braves

83 71 .539 8

St. Louis Cardinals

78 75 .510 12½

Cincinnati Reds

66 87 .431 24½

Chicago Cubs

64 89 .418 26½

Pittsburgh Pirates

57 96 .373 33½

1950 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

New York

627

Batting Average

Brooklyn

.272

Doubles

Cincinnati

257

Hits

Brooklyn

1,461

Home Runs

Brooklyn

194

On Base Percentage

Brooklyn

.349

Runs

Brooklyn

847

Slugging Average

Brooklyn

.444

Stolen Bases

Brooklyn

77

Triples

Pittsburgh

59

1950 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Boston

88

ERA

Philadelphia

3.50

Fewest Hits Allowed

New York

1,268

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

St. Louis

119

Fewest Walks Allowed

Philadelphia

530

Saves

Philadelphia

27

Shutouts

New York

19

Strikeouts

Brooklyn

772



Did you know that on June 7, 1950, a Caribbean based scout for the New York Giants named Alex Pompez submitted a report recommending the signing of a right-handed pitched named Fidel Castro?

On August 26, 1950, either the manager or the pitcher ( Ken Raffensberger ) of the Cincinnati Reds made the wrong call when Gil Hodges reached based 3 consecutive times and was driven in each time by a Roy Campanella home run.

On September 3, 1947, Ron Northey hit a pinch hit grand slam for the St. Louis Cardinals. On May 30, 1948, Northey, during game two of a doubleheader, duplicated his pinch hit grand slam feat. On September 18, 1950, Northey, now playing for the Chicago Cubs, became the first Major League player in history with 3 career pinch hit grand slams .

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