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Series Wrapup

Story

The St. Louis Cardinals continued to rule the National League in 1944, capturing their third straight pennant by finishing the campaign with a record of 105-49 that equaled the mark they posted one year earlier.  The Cardinals so outclassed the rest of the league that they held on to first place for all but four days during the season.  Their 105 wins made them the first National League club to surpass 100 victories for three straight years.  Pittsburgh finished a distant second, 14 ½ games behind the pennant-winners, while Cincinnati came in third, 16 games off the pace.

The Cardinals dominated the senior circuit in every imaginable way.  They led the N.L. with 772 runs scored and also allowed the fewest runs of any team in the league (490).  Mort Cooper anchored the club’s pitching staff, placing among the league leaders with 22 wins, a 2.46 ERA, and 22 complete games, while topping the circuit with seven shutouts.  Max Lanier and Ted Wilks both won 17 games and compiled earned run averages well below 3.00.  Harry Brecheen rounded out the St. Louis starting rotation, finishing the campaign with a record of 16-5 and a 2.85 ERA.

St. Louis also had the National League’s best player in Stan Musial, who finished a close second in the batting race with a mark of .347.  Musial also knocked in 94 runs, scored 112 others, amassed 14 triples, and led the league with 197 hits, 51 doubles, a .440 on-base percentage, and a .549 slugging percentage.  Yet the members of the BBWAA surprisingly named Musial’s teammate Marty Marion league MVP instead, even though the Cardinals shortstop posted relatively modest offensive numbers.  Marion finished the year with a .267 batting average, only 63 runs batted in, and just 50 runs scored.  Johnny Hopp finished second on the club with a .336 batting average and 106 runs scored.  Meanwhile, Ray Sanders led the team with 102 runs batted in.  

The Cardinals faced the surprising Browns in a World Series played entirely within the confines of Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis.  The Browns put up a good fight in the Fall Classic that came to be known as the “Streetcar Series.”  But defensive miscues cost them dearly, and the Cardinals went on to take the Series in six games.

While the Cardinals clearly established themselves as the class of the National League in 1944, Stan Musial received stiff competition from Chicago’s Bill Nicholson as the circuit’s top player.  Nicholson led the league with 33 home runs, 122 runs batted in, 116 runs scored, and 317 total bases.  He also batted .287, compiled a .391 on-base percentage, and placed second in the league with 93 bases on balls and a .545 slugging percentage, en route to earning a second-place finish in the league MVP voting.  Unfortunately for Nicholson, the Cubs finished fourth in the league, 30 games behind the pennant-winning Cardinals.   

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

• April 27 - Boston Braves pitcher Jim Tobin tossed a no-hitter in a 2-0 win over the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Tobin also homered in the contest, making him the first pitcher to hit a home run while throwing a no-hitter.

• May 15 - Clyde Shoun pitched a no-hitter, leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 1-0 win over the Boston Braves.

• June 10 – 15-year-old pitcher Joe Nuxhall made his major league debut for the Cincinnati Reds.  Nuxhall remains the youngest person ever to play in a major league game.  After giving up five runs to the Cardinals in 2/3 of an inning, Nuxhall was removed from the game.  

• July 11 - At Forbes Field, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the National League defeated the American League, 7-1, in the All-Star Game.

• August 10 - Red Barrett of the Boston Braves threw a shutout with just 58 pitches - a record for fewest pitches in a nine-inning game.  The game lasted 75 minutes.  Barrett gave up only two hits.  He did not strike out or walk any batters, and he threw an average of only two pitches per batter.

• Emit Verban led the Cardinals with a .412 batting average in the World Series.

• Brooklyn's Dixie Walker led the National League with a .357 batting average.

• New York Giants rookie Bill Voiselle won 21 games and led the league with 161 strikeouts.  By working 313 innings, he also became the last rookie in Major League history to pitch 300 or more innings.

• Giants reliever Ace Adams appeared in 60 or more games for a then-record third consecutive year.

• Adams led the major leagues with 13 saves.

• The Cardinals led the major leagues in batting (.275), runs scored (772), home runs (100), fielding (.982), and ERA (2.68).

• The Carpenter family assumed ownership of the Phillies.

• Ed Heusser of the Cincinnati Reds led the National League with a 2.38 ERA.

• Pittsburgh’s Johnny Barrett led the National League with 28 stolen bases and 19 triples.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BRO 1920 5393 689 1450 631 .228 255 51 56 45 0 1975 .348 .277 .657 109 0 117
BSN 1872 5282 593 1299 558 .189 250 39 79 37 0 1864 .288 .254 .568 92 0 112
CHN 1833 5462 701 1425 639 .195 236 46 71 53 0 1966 .300 .260 .583 105 0 105
CIN 1678 5271 573 1340 528 .182 229 31 51 51 0 1784 .313 .230 .617 126 0 99
NY1 1901 5306 682 1398 644 .204 191 47 93 39 0 1962 .316 .274 .619 121 0 115
PHI 1762 5300 539 1332 495 .201 199 42 55 32 0 1780 .339 .246 .656 114 0 109
PIT 1949 5429 743 1442 706 .236 248 80 70 87 0 2060 .374 .300 .707 122 0 79
SLN 1757 5474 772 1507 722 .214 274 59 100 37 0 2199 .311 .285 .609 96 0 124

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BRO 342 63 91 1367 487 660 6177 1471 75 235.590 711 833 50 4 13 36 2
BSN 287 65 89 1388 454 527 6005 1430 80 78.410 566 681 70 12 12 16 2
CHN 313 75 79 1399 535 452 6007 1481 75 74.050 558 669 70 11 13 25 0
CIN 251 89 65 1399 359 384 5763 1292 60 142.230 462 536 93 17 12 9 0
NY1 355 67 87 1365 499 587 6061 1413 116 76.490 650 780 47 4 21 38 2
PHI 309 61 92 1394 496 459 5992 1407 49 87.750 564 657 66 10 6 28 4
PIT 298 90 63 1414 452 435 6096 1466 65 55.250 540 662 77 10 19 12 1
SLN 270 105 49 1425 637 468 5838 1228 55 44.490 424 490 89 26 12 13 4

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BRO 1723 5869 4095 1577 197 .954 0 0 0 0 12
BSN 1676 6237 4159 1896 182 .965 0 0 0 0 6
CHN 1654 6266 4202 1878 186 .952 0 0 0 0 10
CIN 1557 6261 4194 1929 138 .914 0 0 0 0 5
NY1 1683 6071 4095 1797 179 .960 0 0 0 0 11
PHI 1610 6229 4177 1875 177 .950 0 0 0 0 13
PIT 1745 6296 4248 1857 191 .963 0 0 0 0 11
SLN 1655 6066 4276 1678 112 .985 0 0 0 0 9

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1944 World Series, Ace Adams, Bill Nicholson, Bill Voiselle, Clyde Shoun, Dixie Walker, Ed Heusser, Harry Brecheen, Jim Tobin, Joe Nuxhall, Johnny Barrett, Johnny Hopp, Marty Marion, Max Lanier, Mort Cooper, Ray Sanders, Red Barrett, St. Louis Browns, St. Louis Cardinals, Stan Musial, Ted Wilks

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