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1939 in baseball

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This year in baseball

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See also
Sources

The following are the baseball events of the year 1939 throughout the world.  


Champions

Major League Baseball

Other champions

Awards and honors

MLB Statistical Leaders

  American League National League
Type Name Stat Name Stat
AVG Joe DiMaggio .381 Johnny Mize .349
HR Jimmie Foxx 35 Johnny Mize 28
RBI Ted Williams 145 Frank McCormick 128
Wins Bob Feller 24 Bucky Walters 27
ERA Lefty Grove 2.54 Bucky Walters 2.29

Major League Baseball final standings

American League final standings

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
1st New York Yankees 106   45 .702    --
2nd Boston Red Sox 89   62 .589   17.0
3rd Cleveland Indians 87   67 .565   20.5
4th Chicago White Sox 86   69 .555   22.0
5th Detroit Tigers 61   73 .526   26.5
6th Washington Senators 65   87 .428   41.5
7th Philadelphia Athletics 55   97 .362   51.5
8th St. Louis Browns 43   111 .279   64.5

National League final standings

National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
1st Cincinnati Reds 97   57 .630    --
2nd St. Louis Cardinals 92   61 .601   4.5
3rd Brooklyn Dodgers 84   69 .549   12.5
4th Chicago Cubs 84   70 .545   13.0
5th New York Giants 77   74 .510   18.5
6th Pittsburgh Pirates 68   85 .444   28.5
7th Boston Bees 63   88 .417   32.5
8th Philadelphia Phillies 45   106 .298   50.5

Events

  • April 20 - The Boston Red Sox show off their prize rookie Ted Williams before 30,278 in Opening Day at Yankee Stadium, delayed two days because of rain. After striking out twice, Williams collects a double off pitcher Red Ruffing, who wins 2–0. Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig makes an error, goes hitless, and lines into two double plays in the only game featuring the two great sluggers. Other notables in what will become a historic box score include Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr, Red Rolfe, and losing pitcher Lefty Grove. The Yankees score their first run on a home run by Dickey and their second tally on an error by Foxx. Boston has baserunners in each inning, but Ruffing tosses just the second opening day shutout in Yankees history. Four umpires work the game including third base umpire George Pipgras, the starting pitcher for the Yankees in the 1929 opener; his opponent for the Red Sox that day was Ruffing.
  • April 30 - Lou Gehrig goes hitless in four at-bats against the Washington Senators and is now hitting just .143. He had just played his 2,130th consecutive major league game. No one knew it would be the very last of his career.
  • July 4 - Lou Gehrig day was held at Yankee Stadium. Numerous people, including many from other major league teams, came forward to give Gehrig gifts and to shower praise on the dying slugger. The Yankees retired his uniform number 4; the first player in major league history to be afforded that honor. Babe Ruth even showed up and ended their long-standing feud by giving his old teammate a hug. After the presentations, Gehrig approached the microphone, and addressed the crowd: "Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been to ballparks for seventeen years and I have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.
  • December 6 - In a trade of veteran shortstops, or "worn-out shortstops," as one newspaper described it, the Chicago Cubs acquire Billy Rogell from the Detroit Tigers for Dick Bartell. Rogell, who injured his arm playing handball the previous year, hits just .136 before hanging up his spikes. The Tigers will release "Rowdy Richard" five games into the 1941 season, but he will stick with the New York Giants until 1946.

Births

January-June

July-December

Deaths

  • January 13 - Jacob Ruppert, 71, Yankees owner since 1914
  • January 19 - Cliff Heathcote, 40, NL outfielder who batted .275 over 15 seasons
  • January 25 - Abner Dalrymple, 81, star outfielder of the 1880s, leadoff hitter for five Chicago pennant winners
  • March 8 - Scott Stratton, 69, pitcher, primarily with Louisville, who posted a 34-win season in 1890 which included 15 straight victories
  • March 28 - Fred Goldsmith, 82, pitcher who steadfastly maintained that he had first thrown the curveball in 1870, six years earlier than Candy Cummings who gained credit for the development
  • May 24 - Barney Pelty, 58, pitcher for the St. Louis Browns and one of the first Jewish players in the AL
  • June 17 - Allen Sothoron, 46, spitball pitcher who spent most of his career with the St. Louis Browns and Cardinals
  • July 7 - Deacon White, 91, star bare-handed catcher and third baseman for six championship teams in the 1870s and 1880s, and the fourth player to collect 1000 hits
  • September 25 - Frank LaPorte, 59, infielder who batted .300 three times and led the Federal League in RBIs in 1914
  • December 3 - Frank Killen, 69, winner of 164 games from 1891-1900, including two 30-win seasons
  • December 18 - Heywood Broun, 51, sportswriter and editor in New York City since the early 1910s
  • December 26 - Clyde Engle, 55, utility player who scored the tying run for Boston in the 10th inning of Game 8 of the 1912 World Series, after his earlier pop fly had been dropped

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