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Series Wrapup

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB R RA Rdiff pythWL Home Road
1 CLE 97 58 .626 --- 5.4 3.6 1.7 104-51 48-30 49-28
2 BOS 96 59 .619 1.0 5.9 4.6 1.2 94-61 55-23 41-36
3 NYY 94 60 .610 2.5 5.6 4.1 1.5 98-56 50-27 44-33
4 PHA 84 70 .545 12.5 4.7 4.8 0.0 76-78 36-41 48-29
5 DET 78 76 .506 18.5 4.5 4.7 -0.2 74-80 39-38 39-38
6 SLB 59 94 .386 37.0 4.3 5.5 -1.1 60-93 34-42 25-52
7 WSH 56 97 .366 40.0 3.8 5.2 -1.4 55-98 29-48 27-49
8 CHW 51 101 .336 44.5 3.6 5.3 -1.7 51-101 27-48 24-53

 

World Series
World Series (4-2) Cleveland Indians over Boston Braves

Story

Ted Williams and 1948 MVP Lou BoudreauA close three-team pennant race developed in the American League over the course of the 1948 season, with the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, and New York Yankees all contending for the league title.  The defending-champion Yankees were an extremely well-balanced club, placing second in the junior circuit in both runs scored (857) and fewest runs allowed (633).  They had a solid starting rotation that included Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds, and Eddie Lopat, each of whom surpassed 16 victories.  New York’s starting lineup also featured two of the league’s most productive offensive players.  Tommy Henrich batted .308, hit 25 home runs, knocked in 100 runs, collected 42 doubles, and led the league with 138 runs scored and 14 triples.  Meanwhile, Joe DiMaggio batted .320, scored 110 runs, and topped the circuit with 39 homers and 155 runs batted in, en route to earning a second-place finish in the A.L. MVP voting.

In the end, though, Boston’s superior hitting and Cleveland’s league-leading pitching staff relegated New York to a close third-place finish.  The Red Sox and Indians battled right down to the wire, finishing the regular season with identical records of 96-58.  With a one-game playoff between the two teams needed to determine the pennant-winner, a coin flip made the Red Sox the home team for the decisive contest.  Almost 30 years to the day before Bucky Dent’s memorable home run over Fenway Park’s Green Monster, Cleveland shortstop Lou Boudreau won the pennant for his team by going four-for-four, with two home runs, during an 8-3 Cleveland victory.  The Indians captured their first league championship in 28 years, finishing the campaign with a record of 97-58, just one game ahead of Boston.  New York finished third, only 2 ½ games off the pace.

Boudreau’s brilliant performance punctuated his great season.  The slick-fielding shortstop earned A.L. MVP honors by hitting 18 home runs, driving in 106 runs, scoring 116 others, and placing second in the league with a .355 batting average and a .453 on-base percentage.  Second baseman Joe Gordon, third baseman Ken Keltner, and outfielder Dale Mitchell helped Boudreau make the Indians the third-highest scoring team in the junior circuit.  Gordon batted .280 and finished among the league leaders with 32 home runs and 124 runs batted in.  Keltner had his finest season, batting .297, hitting 31 homers, and knocking in 119 runs.  Mitchell finished near the top of the league rankings with 204 hits and a .336 batting average.   

Still, the Indians’ greatest strength lay in their pitching staff, which surrendered only 568 runs to the opposition over the course of the season.  Bob Lemon finished 20-14 with a 2.82 ERA, and he led the league with 293 innings pitched, 20 complete games, and 10 shutouts.  Rookie left-hander Gene Bearden compiled an outstanding 20-7 record and a league-leading 2.43 ERA, while throwing 229 innings, 15 complete games, and six shutouts.  Bob Feller won 19 games, placed among the league leaders with 280 innings pitched and 18 complete games, and led all A.L. hurlers with 164 strikeouts.  

It took exceptional pitching for the Indians to barely edge out the Red Sox for the top spot in the American League.  Boston had baseball’s most potent offense, scoring a major-league high 907 runs during the season.  Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, and Vern Stephens combined to produce 81 home runs and 375 RBIs in the middle of Boston’s batting order.  Williams hit 25 homers, drove in 127 runs, scored 124 others, and led the league with a .369 batting average and a .497 on-base percentage.  Doerr batted .285, hit 27 home runs, and knocked in 111 runs.  Stephens homered 29 times, drove in 137 runs, and scored 114 others.  Johnny Pesky and Dom DiMaggio also made significant contributions to Boston’s powerful offense.  Pesky batted .281 and scored 124 runs.  DiMaggio batted .285, knocked in 87 runs, and finished second in the league with 127 runs scored.  Only a mediocre pitching staff prevented the Red Sox from winning their second pennant in three years.

After dashing the hopes of Red Sox fans, the Indians proceeded to make it a clean sweep of Boston, defeating the Braves in six games in the World Series.  Although Bob Feller lost both his starts, Gene Bearden hurled a shutout in Game Three and Bob Lemon posted two victories for the Tribe.  The Indians won the Series despite posting a team batting average of just .199.

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

June 13 - The New York Yankees retired Babe Ruth’s uniform number 3 during a special pre-game ceremony at Yankee Stadium.  The appearance marked Ruth’s last at the Stadium, which celebrated its 25th anniversary.  The legendary slugger died of throat cancer two months later, on August 16.

June 30 - Bob Lemon pitched a no-hitter as the Cleveland Indians defeated the Detroit Tigers, 2-0.

July 13 – The American League defeated the National League by a score of 5-2 in the All-Star Game.

July 18 - Chicago White Sox left-fielder Pat Seerey hit four home runs in a game against the Philadelphia Athletics, to become the fifth Major League player to accomplish the feat.  The White Sox won, 12-11, in 11 innings.

October 11 - The Cleveland Indians defeated the Boston Braves, 4–3, in Game Six of the World Series to win their second World Championship title, four games to two.  In Game Four, Larry Doby became the first black player to hit a home run in the World Series.  The Braves returned to the Fall Classic after a 34 year absence, while the Indians made their first Series appearance in 28 years.  

October 12 - The New York Yankees hired Casey Stengel to be their manager beginning with the 1949 season.

• The Indians became the first team in major league history to draw more than two million fans at home.

Lou Boudreau tied a loop record by leading American League shortstops in fielding average for the eighth time.

Eddie Joost of the A's set a new American League record by leading off six games with a home run.

Hal Newhouser led the American League with 21 wins.

Lou Boudreau became the first shortstop in American League history to hit over .350 and drive in more than 100 runs in the same season.

Cleveland owner Bill Veeck signed Satchel Paige.  The 42-year-old Negro League veteran posted a record of 6-1, along with a 2.47 ERA.

Boston's Dom DiMaggio set an American League record (since broken) with 503 outfield putouts.

Snuffy Stirnweiss established a new major league record for second basemen by compiling a .993 fielding average.

St. Louis' Bob Dillinger paced the American League with 207 hits and 28 steals.

Cleveland led the American League with a .282 team batting average, a 3.22 team ERA, and a .982 fielding average.

The Hall of Fame inducted Herb Pennock and Pie Traynor.

Cleveland pitcher Don Black suffered a brain aneurysm while batting in a game and nearly died.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BOS 1684 5363 907 1471 854 .214 277 40 121 38 17 2191 .364 .315 .738 144 0 66
CHA 1816 5192 558 1303 532 .181 172 39 55 46 47 1718 .298 .227 .555 119 73
CLE 1898 5446 840 1534 801 .225 242 54 155 54 44 2349 .363 .310 .706 132 0 85
DET 1858 5235 700 1396 661 .254 219 58 78 22 32 1965 .394 .326 .731 134 130
NYA 1786 5324 857 1480 806 .246 251 75 139 24 24 2298 .343 .362 .717 136 0 78
PHA 1693 5181 729 1345 684 .204 231 47 68 40 32 1874 .361 .277 .648 137 120
SLA 1955 5303 671 1438 625 .225 251 62 63 63 44 2002 .353 .289 .669 130 0 113
WS1 1909 5111 578 1245 537 .250 203 75 31 76 48 1691 .354 .318 .693 124 0 84

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BOS 296 96 59 1377 513 592 6032 1445 83 96.470 644 720 70 11 13 26 6
CHA 364 51 101 1345 403 673 6025 1454 89 86.260 731 814 35 2 23 32 6
CLE 352 97 58 1411 593 625 5934 1246 82 126.220 505 567 66 23 30 16 3
DET 341 78 76 1376 678 589 5993 1367 92 54.860 635 725 60 5 22 31 2
NYA 316 94 60 1367 654 641 5902 1289 94 45.700 569 633 62 15 24 27 7
PHA 291 84 70 1369 486 638 6048 1456 86 59.930 673 735 74 7 18 35 4
SLA 398 59 94 1374 531 737 6185 1513 103 98.820 764 849 35 4 20 47 2
WS1 355 56 97 1358 446 734 6139 1439 81 133.280 702 795 42 3 22 19 0

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BOS 1577 6055 4143 1796 116 .961 0 0 0 0 5
CHA 1626 6056 4033 1863 160 .964 0 0 0 0 15
CLE 1745 6192 4229 1849 114 .969 0 0 0 0 8
DET 1666 5922 4123 1644 155 .974 0 0 0 0 13
NYA 1636 5722 4108 1494 120 .975 0 0 0 0 13
PHA 1584 5930 4108 1709 113 .970 0 0 0 0 7
SLA 1751 6024 4119 1737 168 .959 0 0 0 0 7
WS1 1699 5890 4074 1662 154 .970 0 0 0 0 12

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1948 World Series, Allie Reynolds, American League, Bill Veeck, Bob Dillinger, Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Bobby Doerr, Casey Stengel, Cleveland Indians, Dale Mitchell, Dom DiMaggio, Don Black, Ed Lopat, Eddie Joost, Gene Bearden, Hal Newhouser, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Johnny Pesky, Ken Keltner, Larry Doby, Lou Boudreau, Mike Garcia, Pat Seerey, Satchel Paige, Snuffy Stirnweiss, Ted Williams, Tommy Henrich, Vern Stephens, Vic Raschi

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