With the National League experimenting with a livelier ball once again in 1930, offensive numbers exploded throughout the senior circuit. The St. Louis Cardinals became the first team in the league to score more than 1,000 runs, and the Philadelphia Phillies allowed their opposition to cross the plate a league-record 1,199 times. The league as a whole batted over .300, and N.L. batters established a new league mark by hitting a total of 892 home runs. Only one National League hurler, Brooklyn’s Dazzy Vance, posted an ERA lower than 3.87, with the circuit’s composite ERA swelling to 4.97.
Individually, Chicago’s Hack Wilson established a new N.L. record by hitting 56 home runs. He also knocked in an all-time record 190 runs. New York’s Bill Terry batted .401, becoming in the process the last batter in the senior circuit to reach the .400-plateau. Terry also tied Lefty O’Doul’s 1929 N.L. mark by accumulating 254 hits. Philadelphia’s Chuck Klein drove in 170 runs, scored 158 others, and banged out 59 doubles. Chicago’s Kiki Cuyler scored 155 runs, while teammate Woody English crossed the plate another 152 times.
The efforts of Wilson, Cuyler, and English helped the Cubs finish a close second to St. Louis in the run-scoring derby. Chicago scored 998 runs, crossing the plate only six fewer times than the league-leading Cardinals. However, the Cardinals surrendered almost 100 fewer runs to the opposition, allowing them to edge out the Cubs for first place in the senior circuit. Winning 22 of their final 26 contests, the Cardinals finished the regular season with a record of 92-62, just two games ahead of the second-place Cubs. The Giants finished third, only five games back, while Brooklyn finished fourth, six games off the pace.
Featuring an extraordinarily well-balanced lineup, the Cardinals posted a team batting average of .314. All eight members of the Cardinals’ starting lineup compiled a batting average in excess of .300. Frankie Frisch and Chick Hafey served as the team’s top two hitters. Frisch knocked in 114 runs, scored 121 others, and batted .346. Hafey hit 26 homers, drove in 107 runs, scored 108 others, and batted .336. Meanwhile, Bill Hallahan and Burleigh Grimes anchored the Cardinals’ pitching staff. Hallahan led the team with 15 victories, while Grimes posted 13 wins and an outstanding 3.01 ERA after coming over from Boston in mid-June.
St. Louis subsequently faced Connie Mack’s powerful Philadelphia Athletics ball club in the World Series. Although the St. Louis pitching staff held Philadelphia’s lineup to a team batting average of just .197, Cardinals’ batters had a difficult time coping with the offerings of Lefty Grove and George Earnshaw. The two Philadelphia aces led their team to a six-game triumph, posting all four of their club’s victories, while compiling a combined ERA of 1.02.
Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:
• September 20 – Bill Terry collected six hits in nine trips to the plate during a double header to raise his season average to .402. He followed that up by going five-for-seven in a double header the next day to see his average go as high as .406. Terry ended the season with a .401 batting average. He remains the last National Leaguer to bat over .400.
• November 25 – The Sporting News, acting to fill the Most Valuable Player void, announced its selection of New York Giants first baseman Bill Terry as the National League’s MVP.
• October 2 - St. Louis Cardinals outfielder George Watkins became the first National League player to homer in his first World Series at-bat.
• Gabby Hartnett of the Chicago Cubs set a 20th-century record for catchers by compiling a .630 slugging percentage. Hartnett finished the year with 37 home runs, 122 runs batted in, and a .339 batting average.
• Brooklyn’s Dazzy Vance’s 2.61 ERA was 1.15 runs per-game better than the next-lowest ERA in the National League.
• Pittsburgh’s Adam Comorosky led the majors with 23 triples.
• Philadelphia’s Chuck Klein set National League records for runs scored (158), total bases (445), and runs produced (288). He also finished the season with 40 home runs, 170 runs batted in, 250 hits, and a .386 batting average.
• Klein registered a 20th-century National League record 44 assists by an outfielder.
• Dodger Babe Herman's .393 batting average was the highest of the 20th century by a National League runner-up.
• Philadelphia pitchers surrendered a record 1,199 runs and posted an all-time high 6.71 team ERA. Opponents batted .342 against Philadelphia’s pitching staff.
• The National League as a whole posted a 20th-century record .303 batting average and .448 slugging percentage.
• Cincinnati's Hod Ford was the only National League regular to hit below .250.
• The Cubs slugged a major league record .481.
• The Giants hit a major league record .319.
• Chicago’s Guy Bush surrendered a post-1901 National League record 155 earned runs by a pitcher.
• George Watkins set a major league rookie record by batting .373. His .621 slugging percentage also established a record for rookies.
• Boston’s Wally Berger set National League rookie records with 38 homers and 119 RBIs (since broken).
• Chicago’s Kiki Cuyler led the major leagues with 37 steals.
• The Pirates’ 119 triples made them the last National League team to hit 100 three-baggers in a season.
• Cubs pitcher Hal Carlson died of an intestinal hemorrhage.
• Defending N.L. batting champion Lefty O’Doul posted a mark of .383.
• New York’s Fred Lindstrom batted .379 and accumulated 231 hits.
- 1930 World Series, Adam Comorosky, Babe Herman, Bill Hallahan, Bill Terry, Burleigh Grimes, Chick Hafey, Dazzy Vance, Frankie Frisch, Freddie Lindstrom, Gabby Hartnett, George Watkins, Guy Bush, Hack Wilson, Hal Carlson, Hod Ford, Kiki Cuyler, Mel Ott, Pat Malone, Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals, Wally Berger, Woody English