Year In Review : 1953 National League

O ff 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.

I n 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.

I n 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.

A round 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.

"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



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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@krbach @mcall I did typo that entry, and was off by a little, but not by much! 😉
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