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Series Wrapup

Story

After finishing fourth in the senior circuit the previous year, the Cincinnati Reds celebrated the 70th anniversary of the champion 1869 Reds, baseball’s first openly professional team, by capturing their first National League pennant in 20 years in 1939.  The Reds replaced the Chicago Cubs atop the N.L. standings, finishing the campaign with a record of 97-57, 4 ½ games ahead of the second-place St. Louis Cardinals.  The Cubs slipped to fourth, 13 games behind the pennant-winners, and one-half game behind the third-place Brooklyn Dodgers.

Only two years removed from the N.L. cellar, Cincinnati proved to be an extremely well-balanced team over the course of the regular season.  The Reds finished a close second in the league with 767 runs scored, and they surrendered the fewest runs of any team in the senior circuit, allowing their opposition to cross the plate a total of only 595 times.  Ernie Lombardi, Bill Werber, Ival Goodman, and Frank McCormick all contributed significantly to the Reds on offense.  Lombardi batted .287, led the team with 20 home runs, and finished second on the club with 85 runs batted in.  Werber batted .289 and led the league with 115 runs scored.  Goodman drove in 84 runs, scored 85 others, and placed among the league leaders with 16 triples and a .323 batting average.  McCormick hit 18 home runs, scored 99 runs, placed second in the league with a .332 batting average, and topped the circuit with 128 runs batted in and 209 hits.

Meanwhile, the tandem of Paul Derringer and Bucky Walters gave the Reds an extremely formidable duo at the top of their starting rotation.  Derringer compiled a record of 25-7 and also finished among the league leaders with a 2.93 ERA, 28 complete games, and 301 innings pitched.  Walters earned N.L. MVP honors by leading all league hurlers with 27 wins, a 2.29 ERA, 137 strikeouts, 319 innings pitched, and 31 complete games.

The Reds subsequently faced an overpowering New York Yankees team in the World Series that swept them in four straight games.  The Reds found themselves outscored by a margin of 20-8 over the course of the four games, and also out-homered by a 7-0 margin.  

Although the Reds were the National League’s most well-balanced team in 1939, the runner-up St. Louis Cardinals weren’t very far behind.  The Cardinals finished second in the senior circuit in fewest runs allowed (633), and they led the league with 779 runs scored.  The trio of Enos Slaughter, Joe Medwick, and Johnny Mize paced the Cardinals on offense.  Slaughter batted .320, drove in 86 runs, scored 95 others, and led the league with 52 doubles.  Medwick placed among the league leaders with 117 runs batted in, 201 hits, 48 doubles, and a .332 batting average.  Mize was the senior circuit’s top offensive performer, leading the league with 28 home runs, a .349 batting average, 353 total bases, and a .626 slugging percentage, and also finishing near the top of the league rankings with 108 runs batted in, 104 runs scored, 197 hits, 14 triples, 44 doubles, and a .444 on-base percentage, en route to earning a second-place finish in the N.L. MVP voting.  

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

• April 17 – A new baseball tradition began, as the baseball season opened in Cincinnati, Ohio, home of Major League Baseball's oldest franchise.  The Cincinnati Reds lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 7–5.

• August 26 - The Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers played the first televised Major League Baseball Game at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field.  Red Barber served as the announcer.

• The St. Louis Cardinals' Curt Davis won 22 games and batted .381.

Billy Herman of the Chicago Cubs led the National League with 18 triples.

Mel Ott topped the circuit with a .449 on-base percentage.

• The St. Louis Cardinals led the major leagues with a .294 team batting average.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BRO 1817 5350 708 1420 653 .220 265 57 78 59 0 2033 .338 .295 .651 131 0 107
BSN 1772 5286 572 1395 534 .200 199 39 56 41 1840 .298 .257 .584 119 122
CHN 1715 5293 724 1407 671 .202 263 62 91 61 2067 .385 .289 .695 124 140
CIN 1747 5378 767 1493 714 .202 269 60 98 46 0 2176 .301 .260 .597 110 0 193
NY1 1698 5076 700 1387 645 .215 210 38 115 26 2018 .344 .290 .687 151 105
PHI 1803 5133 553 1341 510 .217 232 40 49 47 1800 .310 .298 .629 133 144
PIT 1786 5269 666 1453 617 .231 261 60 63 44 0 2023 .311 .313 .634 128 0 156
SLN 1948 5447 779 1601 732 .215 332 62 98 44 0 2351 .336 .292 .669 115 0 167

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BRO 295 84 69 1410 528 399 6000 1431 93 48.190 571 645 69 8 13 21 3
BSN 296 63 88 1359 430 513 5863 1400 63 55.870 560 654 68 11 15 20 5
CHN 292 84 70 1391 584 430 6031 1504 74 53.640 588 678 72 8 13 20 3
CIN 299 97 57 1404 637 499 5931 1340 81 63.070 510 595 86 13 9 26 6
NY1 285 66 65 1166 443 453 5117 1262 75 63.880 549 622 45 5 18 28 1
PHI 285 45 106 1326 447 579 6003 1502 106 133.310 762 856 67 3 12 38 1
PIT 310 68 85 1355 464 423 5948 1537 70 66.530 625 723 53 10 15 18 1
SLN 365 92 61 1385 603 498 5930 1377 76 49.230 552 633 45 17 32 27 4

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BRO 1659 6219 4231 1812 176 .975 0 0 0 0 9
BSN 1666 6167 4074 1912 181 .936 0 0 0 0 10
CHN 1594 6163 4175 1802 186 .966 0 0 0 0 13
CIN 1624 6210 4211 1837 162 .966 0 0 0 0 19
NY1 1555 5972 3962 1857 153 .956 0 0 0 0 10
PHI 1618 5784 3984 1629 171 .955 0 0 0 0 9
PIT 1606 6069 4049 1852 168 .956 0 0 0 0 8
SLN 1784 6020 4150 1693 177 .955 0 0 0 0 16

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1939 World Series, Billy Herman, Billy Werber, Bucky Walters, Cincinnati Reds, Curt Davis, Enos Slaughter, Ernie Lombardi, Frank McCormick, Ival Goodman, Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Mel Ott, New York Yankees, Paul Derringer, Red Barber

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