Year In Review : 1953 National League

Off the field...

After three bloody years, one month, and two days of fighting, the Korean War officially ended. In the end the United States suffered 33,327 deaths and 102,000 wounded at a cost of $18 billion dollars. Under the terms of the cease-fire, Korea was re-divided at the 38 th parallel (as it was the day the Communists had first attacked). Agreement was quickly reached in almost all areas, with the exception of a prisoner-exchange compromise. The United Nations forces refused to return prisoners who did not want to be repatriated and as a result, sporadic fighting continued over a two-year period until President Eisenhower threatened the use of nuclear weapons to achieve peace.

American Communist Party members turned spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, were executed on June 19 th after being convicted of espionage for selling the formula for the atomic bomb to the Soviets. They were the first civilians put to death under the Espionage Act of 1917.

In the American League...

Boston Red Sox slugger turned combat ace Ted Williams safely crash-landed his damaged Panther fighter plane after being hit by enemy fire while flying a combat mission in Korea on February 19 th . He later returned home from active-duty in August and finished the season with thirteen home runs and an incredible .407 batting average.

New York Yankee Mickey Mantle hit the longest home run in Griffith Stadium history with a five-hundred sixty-five foot "tape-measure" blast off pitcher Chuck Stobbs for a 7-3 victory over the Washington Senators on April 17 th .

The St. Louis Browns set the Major League mark for most consecutive home defeats, after losing their 20 th game in succession, 6-3 to the visiting Cleveland Indians.

In the National League...

Roy Campanella set the Major League record for most runs batted in by a catcher after smacking a three run home run in a 6-3 Brooklyn Dodgers win over the Philadelphia Phillies on September 7 th . Campanella's total of one-hundred twenty-five runs batted in topped New York Yankee catcher Yogi Berra's mark of one-hundred twenty-four set in 1950. The perennial All-Star had also set the National League mark for most home runs by a catcher the previous day after topping the Chicago Cubs' Gabby Hartnett who hit thirty-seven in 1930.

Cincinnati's ball club officially changed its name from the "Reds" to the "Redlegs", in response to the McCarthy era pressure of anti-communism. They later reverted back to the Reds in 1959.

Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Boyd Tepler was denied in the U.S. Court of Appeals after filing a $450,000 grievance against Major League Baseball and owner William Wrigley. The lawsuit, filed in 1951, accused his coaching staff of negligence that led to a premature career-ending arm injury in 1944.

Around the League...

United States Immigration Commissioner Mackey warned that all Major League alien ballplayers who jumped U.S. pro-contracts faced deportation under the McCarran-Walter Act.

After seventy-seven years, the Boston Braves became the Milwaukee Braves in the first franchise shift in baseball since 1903 when Baltimore moved to New York (Yankees). As a result, Milwaukee assumed Pittsburgh's place in the Western Division for scheduling purposes and the Brewers were moved to Toledo.

In an effort to prevent the decline of baseball in small towns and cities throughout the country, Senator Edwin C. Johnson offered a bill to give all ball clubs the sole right to ban radio and/or television broadcasts of major league games in their own territories. The bill was intended to restore the equity between large communities and the small areas and was in direct response to the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department who had prohibited teams from banning any broadcasts in 1949.

On June 3 rd , U.S. Congress officially cited the research of New York City librarian Robert Henderson that clearly proved Alexander Cartwright had "founded" the game of baseball and not Abner Doubleday. Henderson's book "Bat, Ball and Bishop", which was published in 1947, documented Cartwright's contribution to the origins of the game.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"The players can do more for themselves than any outside representative." - National League President Warren Giles

1953 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
St. Louis
105
Batting Average
Brooklyn
.344
Doubles
St. Louis
53
Hits
Philadelphia
205
Home Runs
Milwaukee
47
On Base Percentage
St. Louis
.437
RBI
Brooklyn
142
Runs
Brooklyn
132
Slugging Average
Brooklyn
.627
Stolen Bases
Milwaukee
26
Total Bases
Brooklyn
370
Triples
Brooklyn
17

1953 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Philadelphia
33
ERA
Milwaukee
2.10
Games
New York
68
Saves
St. Louis
18
Shutouts
St. Louis
6
Strikeouts
Philadelphia
198
Winning Percentage
Brooklyn
.769
Wins
Philadelphia
23
Milwaukee

1953 National League

Team Standings

Brooklyn Dodgers 105 49 .682 0
Milwaukee Braves 92 62 .597 13
Philadelphia Phillies 83 71 .539 22
St. Louis Cardinals 83 71 .539 22
New York Giants 70 84 .455 35
Cincinnati Redlegs 68 86 .442 37
Chicago Cubs 65 89 .422 40
Pittsburgh Pirates 50 104 .325 55

1953 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls
Brooklyn
655
Batting Average
Brooklyn
.285
Doubles
St. Louis
281
Hits
Brooklyn
1,529
Home Runs
Brooklyn
208
On Base Percentage
Brooklyn
.366
Runs
Brooklyn
955
Slugging Average
Brooklyn
.474
Stolen Bases
Brooklyn
90
Triples
Philadelphia
62

1953 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games
Philadelphia
76
ERA
Milwaukee
3.30
Fewest Hits Allowed
Milwaukee
1,282
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Milwaukee
107
Fewest Walks Allowed
Philadelphia
410
Saves
St. Louis
36
Shutouts
Milwaukee
14
Strikeouts
Brooklyn
817
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

Did you know that the Braves, who opened the 1953 season in Milwaukee, were scheduled to open in Boston until the move was approved on March 18th of the same season?

Modern Major League pitchers rarely toss a complete game during a full season of play. On July 9, 1953, Robin Roberts streak of 28 CONSECUTIVE complete games ended after he gave up 11 hits and 5 earned runs - his relief was Bob Miller and it occurred during the 8th inning versus the Dodgers.

Can you name the player who made his Major League debut in 1953 and did not miss a game until his consecutive games played streak reached 424? It was none other than Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs who made his debut on September 17, 1953 and went 0-for-3 in a losing effort (final score was 16-4) versus the Phillies.

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