Year In Review : 1952 American League

Off 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.

In 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.

In 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.

Around 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.

Seventy-seven year-old Pittsburgh Pirates Hall of Famer Honus Wagner finally retired after forty years as both a Major League player and coach. "The Flying Dutchman" completed his career with a .327 career batting average, six-hundred forty-three doubles, two-hundred fifty-two triples and seven-hundred twenty-two stolen bases. He also hit one-hundred one home runs (with never more than ten a season), won the National League Batting Champion title eight times and batted .300 (or better) sixteen times — including fifteen seasons in a row.

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.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"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
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

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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