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Series Wrapup

Story

With a nebulous cloud hanging over Major League Baseball throughout the 1942 campaign due to the United States’ involvement in World War II, the New York Yankees went about their business as usual, winning their sixth American League pennant in seven years.  The Yankees finished the regular season with a record of 103-51, nine full games ahead of the second-place Boston Red Sox.

Strong both at the bat and on the mound, New York led all of baseball with 801 runs scored, while also posting a league-leading 2.91 team ERA.  Yankee pitchers allowed the opposition to score only 507 runs, which represented the lowest total surrendered by the team since 1919 – the last year of the Dead-ball Era.  Tiny Bonham headed New York’s starting rotation, finishing the year with a record of 21-5, a 2.27 ERA, and a league-leading 22 complete games and six shutouts.  Spud Chandler, rookie Hank Borowy, and 37-year-old Red Ruffing combined to win another 45 games.  Bonham, Chandler, and Borowy finished second, third, and fifth among A.L. hurlers in earned run average.

Although the Yankees experienced something of a power-shortage on offense, compiling their second-lowest home run total in 18 years (108), they nevertheless scored 40 more runs than any other team in baseball.  Charlie Keller led the club with 26 round-trippers.  He also knocked in 108 runs, scored 106 others, batted .292, and compiled an on-base percentage of .417.  Joe DiMaggio had a slightly subpar season, hitting only 21 home runs, driving in “just” 114 runs, scoring 123 others, and batting “only” .305.  Joe Gordon, though, had arguably his finest season in New York, hitting 18 homers, driving in 103 runs, batting .322, and compiling an on-base percentage of .409.  The Yankee second baseman’s outstanding performance ended up winning him A.L. MVP honors, in an extremely close vote over Boston’s Ted Williams.  

New York took the opening game of the World Series against St. Louis, defeating the Cardinals 7-4 behind Red Ruffing.  However, St. Louis rallied to win the next four contests, disposing of New York in five games.  The defeat marked the Yankees’ first World Series loss since the Cardinals defeated them 16 years earlier in the 1926 Fall Classic.  New York posted an overall record of 32-4 in eight World Series in between.

Although the Yankees represented the American League in the World Series and the members of the BBWAA named Joe Gordon A.L. MVP, Boston’s Ted Williams clearly established himself over the course of the season as the junior circuit’s best player.  Williams captured the A.L. Triple Crown, leading the league with 36 home runs, 137 runs batted in, and a .356 batting average.  He also finished first with 141 runs scored, 145 walks, 338 total bases, a .499 on-base percentage, and a .648 slugging percentage.

Other notable events from around the league and players who distinguished themselves over the course of the season included:

• The Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Rogers Hornsby.

• Boston's Tex Hughson led all American League pitchers with 22 wins, 22 complete games, and 281 innings pitched.  He also placed among the leaders with a 2.59 ERA.

• Cleveland's Clint Brown set a record by making 220 consecutive mound appearances in relief.

• Washington's George Case topped the American League with 44 steals in 50 attempts.

• Red Sox rookie Johnny Pesky batted .331, scored 105 runs, and led the league with 205 hits.

• Boston second baseman Bobby Doerr batted .290 and knocked in 102 runs.

• The American League won the All-Star Game 3-1 at the Polo Grounds on July 6.  Detroit’s Al Benton worked the final five innings to get the save.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BOS 1625 5248 761 1451 702 .246 244 55 103 68 61 2114 .340 .328 .668 94 123
CHA 1524 4949 538 1215 486 .203 214 36 25 114 70 1576 .296 .259 .564 102 0 90
CLE 1860 5317 590 1344 539 .199 223 58 50 69 74 1833 .347 .247 .636 109 0 90
DET 1728 5327 589 1313 547 .201 217 37 76 39 40 1832 .286 .280 .585 138 73
NYA 1600 5305 801 1429 744 .215 223 57 108 69 33 2090 .316 .288 .625 104 0 84
PHA 1690 5285 549 1315 517 .192 213 46 33 44 45 1719 .313 .240 .583 129 74
SLA 1728 5229 730 1354 669 .211 239 62 98 37 38 2011 .315 .288 .621 115 0 96
WS1 1656 5295 653 1364 593 .189 224 49 40 98 29 1806 .306 .235 .571 106 54

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BOS 260 93 59 1357 500 553 5766 1260 65 35.610 520 594 84 11 17 23 3
CHA 223 66 82 1314 432 473 5640 1304 74 49.740 523 609 86 8 8 32 3
CLE 318 75 79 1402 448 560 6004 1353 61 70.650 560 659 61 12 11 15 1
DET 282 73 81 1401 671 598 6039 1321 60 41.580 487 587 65 12 14 31 3
NYA 243 103 51 1376 558 431 5667 1259 71 38.400 444 507 88 18 17 17 3
PHA 268 55 99 1375 546 639 6089 1404 89 107.260 679 801 67 5 9 35 3
SLA 291 82 69 1362 488 505 5901 1387 63 81.500 544 637 68 10 13 29 4
WS1 276 62 89 1347 496 558 6027 1496 50 89.140 686 817 68 12 11 22 3

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BOS 1528 6005 4076 1772 157 .971 0 0 0 0 11
CHA 1442 5836 3936 1727 173 .966 0 0 0 0 11
CLE 1676 6188 4208 1817 163 .929 0 0 0 0 9
DET 1570 6195 4200 1801 194 .959 0 0 0 0 11
NYA 1520 6025 4126 1757 142 .973 0 0 0 0 4
PHA 1587 5984 4117 1679 188 .929 0 0 0 0 23
SLA 1579 6011 4088 1756 167 .971 0 0 0 0 22
WS1 1527 5902 4046 1634 222 .954 0 0 0 0 19

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1942 World Series, Al Benton, American League, Bobby Doerr, Charlie Keller, Clint Brown, George Case, Hank Borowy, Jeff Heath, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Johnny Pesky, New York Yankees, Red Ruffing, Rogers Hornsby, Spud Chandler, St. Louis Cardinals, Ted Williams, Tex Hughson, Tiny Bonham

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