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Series Wrapup

Story

With the introduction of a less lively baseball, the major leagues returned to somewhat of a balance between offense and defense in 1931.  Still, hitters maintained something of an upper hand, with the National League batting .277 as a whole over the course of the campaign.

The St. Louis Cardinals captured their second straight N.L. pennant, finishing a full 13 games ahead of the second-place New York Giants, with a record of 101-53.  Once again the senior circuit’s most well-balanced team, St. Louis finished second in the league in both runs scored (815) and runs allowed (614).  Bill Hallahan and Paul Derringer headed the St. Louis starting rotation, posting a combined record of 37-17.  Meanwhile, 37-year-old Burleigh Grimes finished third on the club with 17 victories.

Chick Hafey, Jim Bottomley, and Frankie Frisch led the Cardinals on offense.  Hafey hit 16 home runs, knocked in 95 runs, scored 94 others, and edged out Bill Terry for the batting title with a mark of .349.  (Hafey actually batted .3489, while Terry hit .3486).  Although limited by injury to only 108 games, Bottomley finished right behind Hafey and Terry in the batting race with a mark of .348.  Frisch captured N.L. MVP honors by batting .311, driving in 82 runs, scoring 96 others, and topping the circuit with 28 stolen bases.

The Cardinals subsequently entered the World Series seeking to gain a measure of revenge against a Philadelphia Athletics team that defeated them in six games in the previous year’s Fall Classic.  Although Philadelphia outscored St. Louis 22-19 over the course of the seven-game affair, the Cardinals emerged victorious, thanks to the inspired play of 27-year-old rookie centerfielder Pepper Martin.  The “Wild Horse of the Osage” batted .500, knocked in five runs, stole five bases, and played brilliantly in the outfield, to lead his team to the second world championship in franchise history.

While the Cardinals were the National League’s best team and the  members of the BBWAA named Frankie Frisch league MVP, the circuit’s top two players performed for other teams.  Philadelphia’s Chuck Klein, who placed second to Frisch in the balloting, led the league with 31 homers, 121 runs batted in, and 121 runs scored, and he also batted .337.  Meanwhile, in addition to placing a close second to Chick Hafey in the batting race, New York’s Bill Terry finished among the league leaders with 112 runs batted in, 213 hits, and 43 doubles.  He also topped the circuit with 121 runs scored and 20 triples.  

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:

• April 27 - Boston Braves centerfielder Wally Berger tied a modern record with four assists in a 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

• December 11 - The Chicago Cubs traded future Hall of Famer Hack Wilson and pitcher Bud Teachout to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Burleigh Grimes.  After hitting 56 home runs, driving in a major-league record 190 runs, and batting .356 the previous season, Wilson slumped to 13 homers, 61 runs batted in, and a .261 batting average in 1931.

• Burleigh Grimes and Bill Hallahan both won two games for the Cardinals in the World Series.

• No National League pitcher won 20 games, marking the first time that either of the two leagues failed to have a 20-game winner.

Bill Walker of the Giants won his second National League ERA title (2.26).  Walker’s New York teammate, Carl Hubbell, finished second in the league with a mark of 2.65.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BRO 1727 5309 681 1464 633 .235 240 77 71 45 0 2071 .345 .297 .661 0 0 69
BSN 1781 5296 533 1367 490 .210 221 59 34 46 1808 .298 .259 .585 123
CHN 1748 5451 828 1578 765 .270 340 66 84 49 2302 .369 .365 .735 125
CIN 1791 5343 592 1439 562 .219 241 70 21 24 1883 .300 .267 .585 93
NY1 1672 5289 759 1534 719 .209 245 64 101 83 0 2210 .284 .287 .593 0 0 53
PHI 1764 5375 684 1502 649 .197 299 52 81 42 0 2148 .312 .261 .622 0 0 100
PIT 1676 5360 636 1425 597 .226 243 70 41 59 0 1931 .336 .288 .645 0 0 130
SLN 1758 5435 815 1554 751 .216 353 74 60 114 2235 .316 .304 .653 90

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BRO 295 79 73 1355 546 351 5829 1520 56 49.510 579 678 64 8 18 17 1
BSN 278 64 90 1380 419 406 5915 1465 66 51.080 598 681 78 12 9 20 2
CHN 300 84 70 1384 541 524 6060 1448 54 45.660 612 710 80 8 8 23 2
CIN 287 58 96 1345 317 399 5819 1545 51 62.260 630 742 70 7 6 14 3
NY1 222 73 53 1111 415 355 4759 1130 57 62.380 426 507 69 13 9 17 2
PHI 318 66 88 1361 499 511 6108 1603 75 108.280 692 827 60 6 16 29 6
PIT 252 75 79 1392 345 442 6000 1489 55 58.00.00 565 691 89 9 5 23 5
SLN 265 101 53 1385 626 449 5926 1470 65 32.920 531 614 80 17 20 35 1

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BRO 1584 6068 4067 1814 187 .968 0 0 0 0 10
BSN 1634 6196 4139 1887 170 .962 0 0 0 0 9
CHN 1610 6162 4156 1837 169 .943 0 0 0 0 15
CIN 1599 6029 4035 1829 165 .957 0 0 0 0 9
NY1 1548 5951 4067 1729 155 .965 0 0 0 0 8
PHI 1619 6088 4081 1797 210 .958 0 0 0 0 9
PIT 1548 6158 4165 1799 194 .954 0 0 0 0 7
SLN 1615 6097 4150 1787 160 .962 0 0 0 0 6

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1931 World Series, Bill Hallahan, Bill Terry, Bill Walker, Bud Teachout, Burleigh Grimes, Carl Hubbell, Chick Hafey, Chuck Klein, Dizzy Dean, Frankie Frisch, Hack Wilson, Jim Bottomley, Paul Derringer, Pepper Martin, St. Louis Cardinals, The Wild Horse Of The Osage, Wally Berger

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