Sunday, January 19, 2020

All Hail the 1948 Yankees! Wait, WHO???

Amongst the revelations regarding Cora-gate is that only three teams in major-league history have managed to lead their league in both slugging average AND fewest strikeouts.

They are:

2017 Houston Astros

1995 Cleveland Indians

1948 New York Yankees

Since the other two cheated (the Indians were obvious juicers), ONLY your 1948 New York Yankees have done this legitimately.

The '48 team remains one of your more obscure version of the Bombers.  They won 94 games, but finished third in a torrid race with two other superb team, the Indians and the Red Sox, who finished tied for first that year.  (Before the "Denny Galehouse" playoff.)

Those Yanks had a .432 SA, and just 478 strikeouts.  They were led by Joe, Joe DiMaggio (of course), who had 39 homers, 155 ribbies, and hit .320; Yogi (98 ribbies, .305), and Ol' Reliable, Tommy Henrich, who had 42 doubles, 25 homers, 100 ribbies, and hit .308).

NOBODY on the team struck out more than 86 times, and only two guys fanned more than 67 times.

The 1948 team even had the second-best staff in the league, having put together the Big Three—Reynolds, Raschi, and Lopat—that was about to lead them to 5 straight titles.

So what didn't they have?

Well, their bullpen wasn't great, after they had worked Joe Page nearly to death in winning the 1947 World Series.  And Cleveland had more starting depth thanks to Gene Bearden, a 27-year-old, knuckle-balling rookie who went 20-7, with a league-leading, 2.43 ERA.

He pitched a complete-game win in Fenway in the playoff, then threw a shutout in the World Series and got the save in the clinching game.

Just two years before, Bearden had been a top prospect in the Yankees' system, but was traded for back-up catcher Sherm Lollar, because the Yanks didn't fully trust Yogi.

Also, Cleveland had something else the Yanks didn't have:  two of the very first black players in the American League, Larry Doby, who hit .301 to start an excellent major-league career, and the great Satchel Paige, now (probably) 42, but still good enough to go 6-1, 2.48, with 2 shutouts and a save.

The moral of the story?

Never trade a promising young pitcher for a back-up catcher.  Especially when you already have Yogi on your team.

And don't be racist dickheads.

Thank you.


TheWinWarblist said...

So endeth the JuJu!


Platoni said...

CC is a goddamn treasure:

HoraceClarke66 said...

No, we GAVE him a treasure.

13bit said...

Thank you, Hoss, as always, for the historical context.

HoraceClarke66 said...

You're welcome, Bitty!

Scottish Yankee fan said...

a great read

Thanks for posting

HoraceClarke66 said...

Thanks, Scotland!

JM said...

I'm all for metal detectors wherever the Astros play.

And Hoss, nice piece. The '48 Yanks weren't chicken feed.

smurfy said...

Hey, Sherm was excellent later for the White Sox: hit twelve home runs in 1960 or so. Probably caught the '59 Go-go's(Luis, Nellie and Jim Landis for speed). But, I get your point, when you got Yogi, you got a full rostrum.