Year In Review : 1952 American League

O ff the field...

After an eight-year study, scientist Jonas Salk finally developed a vaccine that prevented the crippling disease known as polio. Though he was hailed as a miracle worker and a national hero, Salk remained shy of the public eye. He declined to apply for a patent for the vaccine, saying that he was more concerned with people having access to it than the money it would bring him. His next project, one that lasted up until his death in 1995, was to find a cure for AIDS.

The 1952 Olympic games took place in Helsinki reflecting the attitudes of "East versus West" that had been spawned by the Cold War. The Soviet Union decided to rejoin the competition for the first time since 1912, although from a distance. Instead of joining the other athletes in the Olympic Village, the Soviets set up their own camp strictly for Eastern bloc countries near the Soviet naval base at Porkkala. All Russian athletes were then chaperoned by Soviet officials everywhere they went in an effort to prevent communication with athletes from the West.

I n the American League...

On April 30 th , renamed "Ted Williams Day" at Boston's Fenway Park, "Teddy Baseball" played in his final game of the season before going overseas to serve in the Korean War as a Marine fighter pilot. Fittingly, in his last at-bat, the Red Sox slugger hit a game-winning, two-run home run off Detroit's Dizzy Trout for a 5-3 victory over the Tigers.

Seven players including members of the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians were turned in by American League umpire Bill Summers for apparently "fraternizing" before a game. Although the players remained nameless, they were fined $5 each for violating the 1951 rule that strictly prohibited socializing between players from two competing teams.

Washington Senators' owner Clark Griffith dispelled any chance of being accused of practicing preferential treatment after he sold his own nephew, catcher Sherry Robertson, to the Philadelphia Athletics. Robertson later returned to his uncle's front office and served as director of their farm system from 1958-1970.

I n the National League...

Boston Braves ace Warren Spahn tied a National League record (set by Jim Whitney) after posting eighteen strikeouts against the Chicago Cubs in a ffiteen inning, 3-1 loss. Spahn also added a home run as the only score in support of his own efforts. June 14 th has also been remembered as a winning day in Braves history after team scout Dewey Griggs signed an up and coming rookie named Henry Aaron to his first Major League contract.

The Brooklyn Dodgers set a National League mark after completing double plays in twenty-three consecutive games.

On September 29 th , Stan Musial shocked the Cubs by making his first (and only) Major League pitching appearance. After beating Chicago's Frank Baumholtz for his sixth batting title, the St. Louis Cardinal's slugger decided to face his adversary from the mound. Baumholtz responded to the challenge with a clutch hit and managed to reach base on a fielding error en route to a 3-0 victory.

A round the league...

The Celler committee announced that legislation for government control of Major League Baseball was unnecessary. The committee stated that the sport was obviously "competent and trustworthy" enough to solve its own problems. They also opposed all legislation exempting the reserve clause from antitrust laws.

Russia openly criticized the American game of baseball by citing their own version called "lapka" as being the original concept for the game. The State Department quickly came to the defense of the National Pastime by accusing the Soviet's claim as the founders of baseball to be part of its "Hate America" Cold War campaign.

Major League attendance plummeted for the second season in a row as National League ticket sales dropped a staggering 904,854 and American League sales went down 588,788.

"Man, I'm a hundred years old and I can still strike these guys out." - Satchel Paige on August 6, 1952
1952 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Washington

129

Batting Average

Philadelphia

.327

Doubles

Philadelphia

43

Hits

Chicago

192

Home Runs

Cleveland

32

On Base Percentage

Philadelphia

.438

RBI

Cleveland

105

Runs

Cleveland

104

Slugging Average

Cleveland

.541

Stolen Bases

Chicago

22

Total Bases

Cleveland

297

Triples

Cleveland

11

1952 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Cleveland

28

ERA

New York

2.06

Games

Chicago

47

Saves

Chicago

11

Shutouts

Cleveland

6

New York

Strikeouts

New York

160

Winning Percentage

Philadelphia

.774

Wins

Philadelphia

24

1952 American League

Team Standings

New York Yankees

95 59 .617 0

Cleveland Indians

93 61 .604 2

Chicago White Sox

81 73 .526 14

Philadelphia Athletics

79 75 .513 16

Washington Senators

78 76 .506 17

Boston Red Sox

76 78 .494 19

St. Louis Browns

64 90 .416 31

Detroit Tigers

50 104 .325 45

1952 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Philadelphia

683

Batting Average

New York

.267

Doubles

Boston

233

Hits

New York

1,411

Home Runs

Cleveland

148

On Base Percentage

Philadelphia

.343

Runs

Cleveland

763

Slugging Average

Cleveland

.404

Stolen Bases

Chicago

61

Triples

New York

56

1952 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Cleveland

80

ERA

New York

3.15

Fewest Hits Allowed

New York

1,240

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Washington

78

Fewest Walks Allowed

Philadelphia

526

Saves

Chicago

28

Shutouts

New York

21

Strikeouts

Chicago

774



Did you know that Al Benton of the Boston Red Sox was the only hurler to throw pitches to Babe Ruth (1934) and Mickey Mantle (1952)?

Most fans know that Ted Williams hit a home run in his final Major League at-bat , but did you know that on April 30, 1952, Williams also hit a home run in his last at-bat before entering the Korean War?

On May 15, 1952, Virgil Trucks of the Detroit Tigers no-hit the Washington Senators. On August 25, 1952, Trucks no-hit the potent New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium making him the third pitcher ( Johny Vander Meer in 1938 and Allie Reynolds in 1951 were the other two) to hurl two gems during the same season.

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