News of the Day The 1949 season was one of the most prosperous ever for many major league clubs. The New York Yankees were picked by most sporting magazines to finish fourth. And yet they won the World Series.
The Yankees edged out the Boston Red Sox by a mere one game to capture the American League pennant. And, surprising, the Brooklyn Dodgers also edged out the second place St Louis Cardinals by a mere game. The Yankees toppled the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1949 World Series in five games. ======================================= Final 1949 American League Standings: New York Yankees 97-57... Boston Red Sox 96-58, 1 GB... Cleveland Indians 89-65, 8 GB... Detroit Tigers 87-67, 10 GB... Philadelphia Athletics 81-73, 16 GB... Chicago White Sox 63-91, 34 GB... St Louis Browns 53-101, 44 GB... Washington Senators 50-104, 47 GB Final 1949 National League Standings: Brooklyn Dodgers 97-57... St. Louis Cardinals 96-58, 1 GB... Philadelphia Phillies 81-73, 16 GB... Boston Braves 75-79, 22 GB... New York Giants 73-81, 24 GB... Pittsburgh Pirates 71-83, 26 GB... Cincinnati Reds 62-92, 35 GB... Chicago Cubs 61-93, 36 GB ======================================== 1949 - All-Stars and Veterans: Dick Fowler, Pitcher, Philadelphia Athletics - the big 6-foot-4, right-hander had his career best year in 1949 - his 15-11 mark enabled Connie Mack's club to move over .500 last year. Fowler posted a fine 3.74 ERA in 31 games. Gil Hodges, 1st Baseman, Brooklyn Dodgers - considered one of the best fielding 1st basemen in the big-leagues, his .995 pct was tops in the NL, accepting 1,423 chances with only 7 errors. Hodges rates as one of baseball's best clutch hitters... in 1949 he hit 23 doubles, 23 home runs, 115 RBIs, scored 94 runs while hitting a solid .285. George Kell, 3rd Baseman, Detroit Tigers - voted by the fans as a starter in the All-Star game... became baseball's first-ever third baseman to win a batting crown in '49 by hitting a .3429 to nose out slugger Ted Williams by a mere .0002 percentage. Andy Pafko, Center-fielder, Chicago Cubs - the brilliant fielding 'Handy Andy' was the main man of the Cubs' offense during the 1940s. One of baseball's top performers, Pafko crashed 29 doubles and 18 home runs while batting .281 in '49... And, after all these years is still regarded as one of the Cubs' fans most popular player ever... thanks for the memories... and thanks for sending an 8x11 autograph photo to a 10-year old boy back in 1951. ========================================== ERA Leaders: NL - Dave Koslo, New York Giants 2.50 ERA In 212 innings... AL - Mel Parnell, Boston Red Sox 2.78 ERA in 295 innings... Winning Pct by Pitchers - NL Ted Wilks, St Louis Cardinals 10-3, .769 pct... AL - Ellis Kinder, Boston Red Sox, 23-6, .793 pct. ========================================== Luke Appling, Shortstop, Chicago White Sox - set a major league career record in 1949 by playing in 2,198 games at short... Nicknamed: - 'Old Aches and Pain'... Appling hit .301, the 16th time he hit over .300 in his career. Tommy Henrich, 1st Baseman, New York Yankees - selected by the 'Baseball Writers Association' as the top first baseman in the majors... 'Old Reliable' has played 10 seasons for the Yankees and always seems to deliver the hits in the clutch... is considered the team's go-to-guy... in 115 games, hit .287, with 20 doubles, 24 homers, 90 runs, 85 RBIs. Stan Musial, Outfielder, St Louis Cardinals - everybody's All-Star, the living legend finished second in the NL in batting with .338 (behind Jackie Robinson's .342)... Musial not only copped a goodly share of 1949 batting honors, but fielded better than any other NL outfielder... making only three errors in 339 chances, an outstanding .991` fielding pct. Stan Musial is regarded by many as one of the finest players in the history of baseball. =========================================== 1949 Home Run Leaders: NL - Ralph Kiner, Pittsburgh Pirates 54... Stan Musial, St. Louis Cardinals 36... Hank Sauer, Chicago Cubs 31... Bobby Thompson, New York Giants 27... Sid Gordon, New York Giants 27... Del Ennis, Philadelphia Phillies 25 AL- Ted Williams, Boston Red Sox 43... Vern Stephens, Boston Red Sox 39... Larry Doby, Cleveland Indians 24... Tommy Henrich, New York Yankees 24... Sam Chapman, Philadelphia Athletics 24... Eddie Joost, Philadelphia Athletics 23... Dick Kokos, St Louis Browns 23 =========================================== Al Evans, Catcher, Washington Senators - the veteran backstop led American League catchers with a .992 fielding mark in 107 games, collected 372 chances and made just 3 errors... hit a respectable .271 with 42 RBIs... too bad he's mired on the last place Senators. Pee Wee Reese, Shortstop, Brooklyn Dodgers - the veteran captain and All-Star of the 'Boys of Summer' plays shortstop extraordinary... played in 155 games and led the league in fielding... only 18 miscues in 788 chances for .997, tops in the NL. Reese hit .279, slugged 27 doubles and 16 home runs, 73 RBIs and led the NL with 132 runs scored. Bob Dillinger, 3rd Baseman, St. Louis Browns - selected for the All-Star game because of his fielding genius... hit a high .324 in 1949. Blasted 22 doubles, 13 triples and stole 20 bases. Played 137 games for the Brownies. Lou Brissie, Pitcher LH, Philadelphia Athletics - the curveball specialist was 16-11, 4.28 ERA last year... fanned 118 batters and walked 118... hurled 229 innings, his sophomore year in the majors... pitched two innings in this season's All-Star game (1949). ========================================= Top Fielders American League - 1949 Floyd Baker, Third Baseman, Chicago White Sox - in '49 he beat out George Kell for top fielding percentage (.977)... an aggressive hot corner man, Floyd Baker goes after everything... made only 9 bobbles in 384 chances. Dale Mitchell, Outfielder, Cleveland Indians - took first place fielding honors for outfield flyhawks nosing out Detroit's Hoot Evers by an eyelash - .9942 to .9939... Dale Mitchell committed only two errors in 349 chances. Phil Rizzuto, Shortstop, New York Yankees - 'Mr. Scooter Rizzuto' turned in one of the finest ever performances at short... The great defensive whiz of the Yankees had a .971 FA, with only 23 errors in 792 chances. One of the top shortstops in baseball history. ======================================== Elmer Valo, Outfielder, Philadelphia Athletics - a first-class veteran who's been a spectacular ballhawk for almost 10 years with the A's... in '49 he led the team in stolen bases with 14 and in batting with .283. In 547 at bats, Elmer Valo lined 27 doubles, 12 triples, 5 homers, scored 86 runs, 85 RBIs. George Munger, Pitcher, St Louis Cardinals - the flame throwing right-hander's record was 15-8 last season... including a one-hitter. Struck out 82 in 188 innings of work and posted a fine 3.88 ERA... Munger pitched hitless/scoreless ball in one inning of work in this year's 1949 All-Star game. Art Houtteman, Pitcher RH, Detroit Tigers - the 6ft 2inch power pitcher chalked up a 15-10 W/L record in 34 games... pitched 204 innings, collected 85 strike outs. Virgil Trucks, Pitcher RH, Detroit Tigers - was winning pitcher in this year's All-Star game - 'Fireball' Trucks led the league with 153 strike outs and finished second in ERA with a nice 2.81... led Tigers' staff in wins going 19-11 in 1949. Carl Schieb, Pitcher RH, Philadelphia Athletics - One of Connie Mack's ace pitchers... in 38 games, 183 innings, Schieb finished the year at 9-12, 5.11 ERA... the fastballer is being counted on to improve greatly... a good hitting pitcher, he's been used as a pinch-hitter, too... hit .236 in 72 at bats with two doubles, 10 RBIs. ======================================== Top Fielders National League - 1949 Red Schoendienst, 2nd Baseman, St. Louis Cardinals - set two new NL fielding marks in '49... his .987 percentage was highest ever recorded for second baseman... and the Red-Head set a record for consecutive chances without an error with 285 in a row. Roy Campanella, Catcher, Brooklyn Dodgers - in his second full season Campy led all NL catchers in fielding percentage with .985, led in games with 127, led in total chances with 750 and committed only 11 errors. Grady Hattan, 3rd Baseman, Cincinnati Reds - had an outstanding year defensively at the hot corner with a .975 pct in 444 chances, made only 11 errors... getting better every year. Baseballhistorian.com - The Keeper of Baseball History - All Rights Reserved