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The 1947 season will always hold special historical significance since it marked the integration of major league baseball, making it truly the national pastime for the first time.  Jackie Robinson made his debut with the National League’s Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15th, thereby becoming the first player of African-American descent to don a major league uniform since the Walker brothers, Fleet and Welday, played in the American Association in the 1880s.  

Yet, while Robinson is widely remembered for being the man who integrated major league baseball, Larry Doby never received the credit he deserved for doing the same in the American League.  Doby made his debut with the Cleveland Indians on July 5th, less than three months after Robinson joined the Dodgers.  Since American League teams were historically more conservative than their National League counterparts in their acceptance of black players, Doby faced obstacles equal to those Robinson encountered in the senior circuit.  

The 1947 season also ushered in a new era in baseball in that the World Series was televised for the first time.  Although coverage was limited to New York City and the surrounding area, baseball fans had an opportunity to witness an exciting Fall Classic played between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The Yankees returned to the World Series for the first time in four years by finishing the regular season with a record of 97-57, 12 games in front of the second-place Detroit Tigers, and 14 games ahead of the third-place Boston Red Sox.  An extremely well-balanced team, the Yankees led the American League with 115 home runs, 794 runs scored, a .271 team batting average, and a 3.39 team earned run average.  Allie Reynolds anchored New York’s starting rotation, finishing the campaign with a record of 19-8, a 3.20 ERA, and 17 complete games.  Meanwhile, Joe Page established himself as the junior circuit’s top reliever, compiling a 14-8 record and a 2.48 ERA, and leading the league with 17 saves.

Tommy Henrich and Joe DiMaggio led the Yankees on offense.  Henrich hit 16 home runs, batted .287, topped the circuit with 13 triples, and finished second in the league with 98 runs batted in and 109 runs scored.  Although DiMaggio failed to compile the lofty numbers he typically posted before entering the service, he nevertheless placed among the league leaders with 20 home runs, 97 runs batted in, 97 runs scored, a .315 batting average, and a .522 slugging percentage.  The members of the BBWAA named DiMaggio A.L. MVP for the third time, selecting him over Ted Williams in an extremely close vote even though the Red Sox slugger won the Triple Crown for the second time in his career.

The Yankees subsequently defeated the Dodgers in an exciting seven-game World Series, with Spec Shea posting two of New York’s victories and outfielder Johnny Lindell driving in seven runs.  Series highlights included a two-out, two-on, game-winning double by Brooklyn pinch-hitter Cookie Lavagetto in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game Four that turned a no-hit bid by Yankee starter Bill Bevens into a 3-2 Dodger victory.  Backup outfielder Al Gionfriddo also provided Dodger fans with a thrill in Game Six when he made a circus catch against the Yankee bullpen in deep left-center field on a drive hit by Joe DiMaggio.  The Yankees finally prevailed in Game Seven, though, behind an RBI single by Tommy Henrich and the stellar pitching of Joe Page.

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

• April 27 – Suffering from throat cancer, Babe Ruth addressed a packed house at New York's Yankee Stadium on Babe Ruth Day, telling the fans in attendance, "…the only real game, I think, in the world is baseball."

• July 8 – At Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, the American League defeated the National League, 2–1, in the All-Star Game.

• July 10 – Cleveland Indians pitcher Don Black tossed a no-hitter in a 3–0 win over the Philadelphia Athletics.

• September 3 – Bill McCahan of the Philadelphia Athletics threw a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory over the Washington Senators.

• November 27 – Joe DiMaggio edged out Triple Crown winner Ted Williams (.343 BA, 32 home runs, 114 RBIs) for A.L. MVP honors by one point when one member of the BBWAA failed to include Williams anywhere on his ballot.  DiMaggio became the first outfielder or first baseman to win the award without leading his league in any of the Triple Crown categories.

• In addition to leading the league in home runs, RBIs, and batting average, Williams topped the circuit with 125 runs scored, 335 total bases, 162 walks, a .499 on-base percentage, and a .634 slugging percentage.

• Yankees pitcher Spud Chandler retired with the highest winning percentage in history, .717.

• Outfielder Johnny Lindell led the Yankees in the 1947 World Series with a .500 batting average and seven runs batted in.

• On October 2, Yogi Berra became the first player in history to hit a pinch-hit home run in the World Series.

• The Yankees tied the American League record by winning 19 straight games.

• Hank Greenberg, the American League’s reigning homer and RBI king, was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates for $75,000 prior to the start of the 1947 campaign.

• The Hall of Fame inducted Carl Hubbell, Lefty Grove, Frankie Frisch, and Mickey Cochrane.

• After the 1947 World Series, the Yankees fired GM Larry MacPhail for brawling in public.

• Al Lopez retired having caught a major-league record 1,918 games (since broken).

• Bob Feller led all A.L. hurlers with 20 wins, 196 strikeouts, 299 innings pitched, and five shutouts.

• Joe Gordon hit 29 home runs, drove in 93 runs, and scored 89 others for fourth-place Cleveland.

• Teammate Lou Boudreau batted .307 and led the league with 45 doubles.

• George Kell batted .320 and knocked in 93 runs for second-place Detroit.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BOS 1803 5322 720 1412 674 .222 206 54 103 41 35 2035 .331 .285 .624 140 0 95
CHA 1783 5274 553 1350 519 .189 211 41 53 91 57 1802 .307 .243 .588 142 0 56
CLE 1920 5367 687 1392 649 .186 234 51 112 29 25 2064 .282 .270 .589 107 0 93
DET 1822 5276 714 1363 662 .223 234 42 103 52 60 1990 .359 .311 .682 130 0 97
NYA 1727 5308 794 1439 748 .212 230 72 115 27 23 2158 .334 .308 .660 122 0 86
PHA 1713 5198 633 1311 581 .190 218 52 61 37 33 1816 .306 .258 .583 117 144
SLA 1760 5145 564 1238 526 .231 189 52 90 69 49 1801 .358 .289 .667 118 76
WS1 1739 5112 496 1234 459 .203 186 48 42 53 51 1642 .351 .251 .634 131 72

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BOS 341 83 71 1392 586 575 5972 1383 84 88.280 589 669 64 11 19 36 6
CHA 339 70 84 1392 522 603 6041 1384 76 52.550 562 661 47 8 27 35 1
CLE 339 80 74 1402 590 628 5917 1244 94 178.240 536 588 55 13 29 29 6
DET 295 85 69 1400 648 531 6007 1382 79 113.860 555 642 77 15 18 27 1
NYA 295 97 57 1375 691 628 5860 1221 95 72.350 518 568 73 13 21 16 2
PHA 281 78 76 1391 493 597 5885 1291 85 38.310 543 614 70 12 15 14 2
SLA 295 59 95 1364 552 604 5965 1426 103 66.940 656 744 50 6 13 17 2
WS1 297 64 90 1363 551 579 5951 1408 63 70.660 601 675 67 14 12 16 5

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BOS 1666 6043 4172 1734 137 .962 0 0 0 0 11
CHA 1631 6155 4173 1827 155 .964 0 0 0 0 13
CLE 1729 6087 4207 1776 104 .976 0 0 0 0 7
DET 1642 6083 4182 1746 155 .960 0 0 0 0 8
NYA 1597 5751 4121 1521 109 .975 0 0 0 0 11
PHA 1584 6006 4174 1689 143 .937 0 0 0 0 5
SLA 1617 5927 4096 1697 134 .970 0 0 0 0 11
WS1 1589 5863 4081 1640 142 .963 0 0 0 0 7

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1947 World Series, Al Gionfriddo, Al Lopez, Allie Reynolds, American League, Babe Ruth, Bill Bevens, Bill McCahan, Bob Feller, Brooklyn Dodgers, Cookie Lavagetto, Don Black, George Kell, Hank Greenberg, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Joe Page, Johnny Lindell, Larry Doby, Larry MacPhail, Lou Boudreau, New York Yankees, Spec Shea, Spud Chandler, Ted Williams, Tommy Henrich, Yogi Berra

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