Below are more headlines from the 1943 baseball season, including Bill Cox betting on his own team and George Case stealing 61 bases.
Bill Cox Goes Down in Disgrace
Few owners are so brazen as to be photographed wearing their team's uniform. Then again there have been few owners like the Phil's Bill Cox. He was barred in 1943 by the commissioner for betting on his own team. Not only was Cox foolish, he was also apparently a masochist. The Phils that year won just 64 games.
Dick Wakefield Arouses the American League
Dick Wakefield led the American League in hits (200) and doubles (38) as a rookie in 1943. He was also second in the league in batting (.316) and total bases (275) and third in runs (91). In 1944, he hit .355 for a half-season and nearly carried the Tigers to the pennant. Baseball came so easily to Wakefield that he adopted a lackadaisical attitude -- one which he couldn't shed even when his career began to go down the drain.
George Case Swipes 61 Bases
George Case was an anachronism. He stole bases by the carload (61 in 1943) yet his home runs could be counted on the fingers of one hand (one homer in '43). His talents made him invaluable to the Senators, who played during the war years as if it were still the dead-ball era. In 1943, the Senators stole 142 bases but clubbed just 47 home runs. In 1944, they smacked just 33 homers.
1943 New York Yankees Earn World Title
The 1943 World Champion New York Yankees were missing Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Tommy Henrich, and Red Ruffing, all of whom were in the armed services. Among the new Yankees was rookie Snuffy Stirnweiss who hit .219 in 1943, fielded .938, and gave no hint that he would be the club's biggest wartime star.
Walker Brother Falters
There were two sets of Walker brothers playing in the majors during the war years. All four of them were outfielders. Harry Walker and Dixie Walker were the better known of the two sibling acts. A World Series hero in 1946, Harry hit just .143 for the Cardinals in the 1943 fall classic. Harry was nicknamed "The Hat" because he had a habit of tugging at his cap when he was in the batter's box.
In the next section, learn about some of the historic highlights of the 1943 baseball season.
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