Despite huge efforts throughout the season by Bob Feller, Cleveland couldn't grab the American League pennant in 1940. It went instead to Detroit. Read about some of the headlines from the 1940 baseball season below.
Floyd Giebell Secures American League Pennant
Floyd Giebell beat Bob Feller 2-0 on the last weekend of the season to clinch the 1940 American League flag for Detroit. It was Ladies Day in Cleveland and thousands of women came to the park armed with fruit and vegetables, prepared to bombard the Tigers into submission. Instead they saw Giebell win for the last time in the majors.
Lou Boudreau Wins Fielding Title
In 1940, his final full season, Lou Boudreau was already a polished shortstop, good enough to cop his first of five consecutive fielding crowns. Boudreau topped the American League in fielding average every year between 1940 and 1948, except 1945 when he played only 97 games owing to an injury.
Charlie Keller's a Killer in Pinstripes
Charlie Keller, who led the American League in walks with 106 in 1940, was one of New York's biggest Bombers from 1939 through 1943. As a rookie in the 1939 World Series, Keller batted .438 with three home runs. And from 1940 through '43, he averaged 28 homers, 102 RBI, 102 runs, and 107 walks per season.
Red Ruffing Falls to 15-12
In 1940, Red Ruffing completed his 11th year as a mainstay of the Yankees pitching staff. It was the first time in five years he didn't win 20 games, as he finished 15-12. Ruffing was a durable hurler, going 273-225 in his career, but was never truly exceptional, as evidenced by his 3.80 career ERA. Nevertheless, Ruffing won seven World Series games, second-most of all time.
Stan Hack Posts .317 BA
According to the current rule to determine a batting leader, Stan Hack would have won the 1940 National League hitting crown (.317 in 603 at-bats). At the time, however, Debs Garms of the Pirates, who had just 358 at-bats, was declared the victor (.355). Despite leading the National League in pinch hits the following year, Garms was back in the minors in 1942. Hack would again hit .317 in 1941 but would finish only fourth in the National League bat race.
Jimmy Ripple on the Wane
Although just age 30, Jimmy Ripple was on the decline by 1940. That year's World Series -- in which he totaled six RBI -- was the final mark he left on the game. Ripple had to play six seasons with the Montreal Royals in the International League before the Giants finally gave him his first major league look in 1936.
Find even more 1940 baseball season headlines in the next section.
To learn more about baseball, see:
- 1939 Baseball Season
- 1941 Baseball Season
- Baseball History
- How Baseball Works
- How the Baseball Hall of Fame Works
- How Minor League Baseball Teams Work
- Babe Ruth