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Series Wrapup

Story

With the United States fully engaged in World War II by 1943, virtually every major league team suffered a loss of key personnel to the Armed Forces.  President Franklin D. Roosevelt insisted that baseball itself be allowed to continue due its intrinsic value to the morale of the nation.  However, Washington asked that travel be curtailed and that games be scheduled for the maximum convenience of fans who worked in war-related industries.  For the most part, that meant more night games - including the first twi-night doubleheaders.  Teams also scheduled early-morning contests for those on night shifts.

With many of the sport’s finest players serving in the military, the level of play in the major leagues invariably suffered.  Forced to play without Joe DiMaggio, Tommy Henrich, and Phil Rizzuto, among others, the New York Yankees were no exception.  After leading the American League with 801 runs scored the previous season, New York’s tally fell to 669 in 1943.  Nevertheless, with every other team being similarly adversely affected, the Yankees again managed to score more runs than any other team in the junior circuit.  They also allowed the fewest runs of any team in the league, permitting their opponents to cross the plate a total of only 542 times over the course of the season.  New York’s superior team balance enabled them to capture their third straight pennant, finishing the year with a record of 98-56, 13 ½ games ahead of the second-place Washington Senators.

Not yet pressed into military service, Charlie Keller served as the team’s primary offensive threat in Joe DiMaggio’s absence.  Keller hit 31 home runs, drove in 86 runs, and scored 97 others.  Reigning A.L. MVP Joe Gordon ably assisted Keller by hitting 17 homers and scoring 82 runs.  Appearing in only 85 games before joining the military, Bill Dickey batted .351 and compiled a .445 on-base percentage.

It really was the Yankees' pitching that enabled them to capture their third straight league championship.  New York's team ERA of 2.93 was the lowest in the league, and their staff included the two individual leaders in that category.  Ernie "Tiny" Bonham, who won 21 games the previous year, compiled a 15-8 record and the second lowest ERA in the league (2.27).  Staff ace Spud Chandler led the league with a record of 20-4, a 1.64 ERA, 20 complete games, and five shutouts.

The Yankees subsequently turned the tables on a St. Louis Cardinals team that defeated them in five games in the previous year’s World Series by disposing of their National League counterparts in five games.  Spud Chandler continued his superb pitching in the Fall Classic, throwing two complete-game victories and allowing the Cardinals only one earned run in his 18 innings of work.

While the Yankees fared extremely well in the absence of their best player, Joe DiMaggio, the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox weren’t nearly as fortunate.  Playing without their great star Hank Greenberg, the Tigers fell to fifth in the standings, 20 games behind New York.  Meanwhile, with Ted Williams missing from their lineup, the Red Sox finished out of the first division for the first time since 1937, coming in 29 games off the pace, in seventh place.

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

• June 17 – Boston’s Joe Cronin became the first player to hit a pinch-hit home run in both games of a doubleheader.

• July 13 – At Shibe Park, home of the Philadelphia Athletics, the American League won the first All-Star Game played at night, 5-3.

• New York’s world championship was their seventh and last under manager Joe McCarthy.

• Chicago White Sox shortstop Luke Appling captured his second batting title with a mark of .328.  He also led the league with a .419 on-base percentage.

• Detroit's Rudy York topped the American League with 34 home runs, 118 runs batted in, 301 total bases, and a .527 slugging percentage.

• Washington's George Case stole 61 bases en route to winning his fifth straight American League stolen base crown.  He also topped the circuit with 102 runs scored.

• Detroit rookie Dick Wakefield led the American League with 200 hits and 38 doubles.  He also finished second in the batting race with a mark of .316.

• Detroit’s Dizzy Trout tied Spud Chandler for the league lead with 20 wins and five shutouts.  Trout also placed among the league leaders with a 2.48 ERA, 18 complete games, and 246 innings pitched.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BOS 1737 5392 563 1314 511 .208 223 42 57 86 61 1792 .296 .268 .565 103 113
CHA 1630 5254 573 1297 508 .195 193 46 33 173 87 1681 .316 .248 .584 110 0 72
CLE 1738 5269 600 1344 564 .208 246 45 55 47 58 1845 .388 .266 .690 110 120
DET 1737 5364 632 1401 572 .217 200 47 77 40 43 1926 .306 .283 .589 159 123
NYA 1625 5282 669 1350 635 .210 218 59 100 46 60 1986 .325 .284 .622 132 93
PHA 1692 5244 497 1219 462 .169 174 44 26 55 42 1559 .309 .214 .571 132 95
SLA 1708 5175 595 1269 552 .191 229 36 78 37 43 1804 .317 .264 .636 107 105
WS1 1692 5233 666 1328 619 .200 245 50 47 142 55 1814 .335 .261 .630 94 0 88

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BOS 295 68 84 1426 513 615 6083 1369 61 45.760 547 607 62 11 16 34 7
CHA 264 82 72 1400 476 501 5940 1352 54 41.550 498 594 70 12 19 16 2
CLE 311 82 71 1406 585 606 5882 1234 52 56.610 492 577 64 14 20 10 1
DET 285 78 76 1412 706 549 5892 1226 51 36.370 471 560 67 16 20 20 3
NYA 253 98 56 1415 653 489 5848 1229 60 42.420 460 542 83 14 13 20 5
PHA 262 49 105 1394 503 536 6038 1421 73 89.950 627 717 73 4 13 24 4
SLA 283 72 80 1384 572 488 5935 1397 74 86.280 525 604 64 9 14 25 8
WS1 287 84 69 1388 495 540 5896 1293 48 68.010 491 595 61 14 21 32 4

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BOS 1586 6319 4274 1892 153 .967 0 0 0 0 11
CHA 1538 6200 4201 1833 166 .959 0 0 0 0 19
CLE 1612 6231 4239 1835 157 .973 0 0 0 0 3
DET 1571 6184 4235 1772 177 .967 0 0 0 0 12
NYA 1535 6160 4244 1756 160 .969 0 0 0 0 11
PHA 1566 6083 4180 1741 162 .946 0 0 0 0 19
SLA 1576 5979 4155 1672 152 .975 0 0 0 0 7
WS1 1561 6116 4164 1773 179 .957 0 0 0 0 17

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1943 World Series, American League, Bill Dickey, Charlie Keller, Dizzy Trout, George Case, Hank Greenberg, Joe Cronin, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Joe McCarthy, Lou Boudreau, Luke Appling, New York Yankees, Phil Rizzuto, Rudy York, Spud Chandler, St. Louis Cardinals, Ted Williams, Tiny Bonham, Tommy Henrich

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