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Series Wrapup

Story

Blessed with a powerful lineup and arguably the American League’s best pitching staff, the Cleveland Indians seemed poised to replace the New York Yankees atop the A.L. standings heading into the 1952 campaign.  Further enhancing Cleveland’s chances were the offseason retirement of Joe DiMaggio and the military inductions of starting Yankee infielders Bobby Brown and Jerry Coleman.  However, when all was said and done, the Yankees captured their fourth consecutive league championship under manager Casey Stengel, finishing the year with a record of 95-59, two games ahead of the second-place Indians.  

The Indians failed to put an end to New York’s successful title run even though they had perhaps more talent than any other team in baseball.  Al Rosen, Larry Doby, Luke Easter, Dale Mitchell, and Bobby Avila led an offense that scored a league-leading 763 runs.  Rosen hit 28 home runs, led the American League with 105 runs batted in, batted .302, and scored 101 runs.  Doby topped the circuit with 32 homers and 104 runs scored, knocked in another 104 runs, and batted .276.  Easter finished second to his teammate with 31 homers and drove in 97 runs.  Mitchell finished second in the league with a .323 batting average.  Avila batted an even .300 and scored 102 runs.

Meanwhile, Cleveland’s starting rotation included three 20-game winners for the second year in a row.  Early Wynn compiled a 2.90 ERA and finished second in the league with 23 victories, en route to earning a fifth-place finish in the MVP voting.  Mike Garcia finished 22-11, placed second in the league with a 2.37 ERA and 292 innings pitched, and tied for the league lead with six shutouts.  Bob Lemon posted an identical 22-11 record, compiled a 2.50 ERA, and led all A.L. hurlers with 28 complete games and 310 innings pitched.

Nevertheless, the Yankees equaled their own American League mark by winning their fourth straight pennant.  New York finished second in the league to Cleveland with 727 runs scored and ended up allowing the fewest runs of any team in the league (557), en route to compiling a circuit-best 3.14 team ERA.  Taking over in center field for the retired Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle had a solid sophomore campaign, hitting 23 home runs, knocking in 87 runs, scoring 94 others, and batting .311.  Yogi Berra clearly established himself as New York’s offensive leader in DiMaggio’s absence, hitting 30 homers, driving in 98 runs, scoring 97 others, and batting .273.  Mantle and Berra finished third and fourth, respectively, in the league MVP balloting.    

Placing second in the voting was the man who anchored New York’s league-leading pitching staff.  Allie Reynolds had the finest season of his career, compiling a record of 20-8, throwing 24 complete games, tying for the league lead with six shutouts, and leading all A.L. hurlers with a 2.06 ERA and 160 strikeouts.

New York’s quest for a record-tying fourth consecutive world championship was met with a great deal of resistance by the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series.  The Dodgers took a three-games-to-two lead in the Fall Classic, with the remaining games scheduled to be played in Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field.  Duke Snider nearly won Game Six single-handedly, accounting for both Brooklyn runs with a pair of homers.  But the Yankees and Vic Raschi came out on top by a score of 3-2 after Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle hit home runs in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively.  Mantle’s sixth-inning solo shot put the Yankees ahead to stay in the decisive seventh contest, with reliever Bob Kuzava preserving New York’s 4-2 lead by retiring the last eight Dodger batters.  Yankee second baseman Billy Martin saved the day by making a lunging, knee-high catch of a wind-blown infield popup off the bat of Jackie Robinson with two men out and the bases loaded.  Johnny Mize earned Series MVP honors by hitting three home runs, driving in six runs, and batting .400.

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

• April 23 - Bob Cain and the St. Louis Browns defeated Bob Feller and the Cleveland Indians, 1–0, in a game in which both pitchers threw a one-hitter.

• April 30 - Ted Williams hit a two-run home run to break a 3-3 tie on "Ted Williams Day" at Fenway Park.  The contest marked Williams' final game of the season before his departure for the Korean War to serve as a Marine fighter pilot.

• May 29 - Boston Red Sox pitcher Mickey McDermott faced 27 batters and fired a one-hitter to beat the Washington Senators, 1–0, at Fenway Park. Mel Hoderlein's fourth-inning single proved to be Washington's only hit.  Hoderlein was thrown out trying to stretch the hit into a double.

• November 30 – On a local New York TV program, Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers accused New York Yankee management of being racist for failing to bring up a black player.  Yankees executive George Weiss subsequently denied the allegations.

• Philadelphia’s Ferris Fain won his second consecutive American League batting title with a mark of .327.

• Philadelphia's Harry Byrd captured A.L. Rookie of the Year honors.

• Philadelphia’s Bobby Shantz won the A.L. MVP Award.  The left-hander finished 24-7, with a 2.48 ERA, 27 complete games, 280 innings pitched, five shutouts, and a league-leading .774 winning percentage for the fourth-place Athletics.

• Virgil Trucks of Detroit no-hit Washington 1-0 on May 15.

• Trucks tossed his second no-hitter of the season against the Yankees on August 25, blanking New York 1-0.

• Walt Dropo tied a major league record with 12 hits in 12 consecutive at-bats.

• The Hall of Fame inducted Harry Heilmann and Paul Waner.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BOS 1848 5246 668 1338 628 .215 233 34 113 59 47 1978 .381 .299 .724 133 66
CHA 1956 5316 610 1337 560 .183 199 38 80 61 38 1852 .313 .239 .580 121 0 121
CLE 1877 5330 763 1399 721 .216 211 49 148 46 39 2152 .340 .303 .664 124 0 84
DET 1901 5258 557 1278 529 .215 190 37 103 27 38 1851 .342 .276 .639 146 0 80
NYA 1783 5294 727 1411 670 .229 221 56 129 52 42 2131 .340 .311 .678 93 0 94
PHA 1764 5163 664 1305 632 .198 212 35 89 52 43 1854 .314 .271 .594 152 0 102
SLA 1994 5353 604 1340 574 .184 225 46 82 30 34 1903 .342 .253 .613 112 0 86
WS1 1775 5357 598 1282 555 .178 225 44 50 48 37 1745 .283 .239 .542 137 0 79

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BOS 330 76 78 1374 624 623 5950 1332 107 74.170 580 658 53 7 24 27 3
CHA 346 81 73 1417 774 578 5952 1251 86 49.700 512 568 53 13 28 31 1
CLE 298 93 61 1409 671 556 5973 1278 94 63.620 519 606 80 16 18 29 2
DET 338 50 104 1388 702 591 6046 1394 111 89.850 656 738 51 10 14 37 4
NYA 297 95 59 1380 666 581 5799 1240 94 61.240 482 557 72 17 27 16 2
PHA 292 79 75 1383 562 526 5981 1402 113 94.00.00 639 723 73 11 16 21 2
SLA 336 64 90 1399 581 598 6077 1388 111 117.080 640 733 48 6 18 26 4
WS1 294 78 76 1430 574 577 6128 1405 78 132.690 536 608 75 10 15 23 1

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BOS 1703 6081 4116 1820 145 .965 0 0 0 0 10
CHA 1771 6061 4248 1690 123 .965 0 0 0 0 6
CLE 1711 6106 4217 1734 155 .977 0 0 0 0 5
DET 1718 6095 4165 1778 152 .961 0 0 0 0 13
NYA 1647 6063 4146 1790 127 .920 0 0 0 0 5
PHA 1622 6056 4150 1766 140 .975 0 0 0 0 11
SLA 1774 6021 4185 1681 155 .967 0 0 0 0 12
WS1 1622 6048 4278 1638 132 .966 0 0 0 0 11

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
Al Rosen, Allie Reynolds, American League, Billy Martin, Bob Cain, Bob Feller, Bob Kuzava, Bob Lemon, Bobby Avila, Bobby Brown, Bobby Shantz, Casey Stengel, Cleveland Indians, Dale Mitchell, Duke Snider, Early Wynn, Ed Lopat, Ferris Fain, George Weiss, Harry Byrd, Harry Heilmann, Jackie Robinson, Jerry Coleman, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Mize, Larry Doby, Luke Easter, Mel Hoderlein, Mickey Mantle, Mickey McDermott, Mike Garcia, New York Yankees, Paul Waner, Ted Williams, Vic Raschi, Virgil Trucks, Walt Dropo, Yogi Berra

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