Skein Ends for Tommy Holmes
Braves outfielder Tommy Holmes went hitless against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 12, 1945. His then-modern National League record streak of 37 consecutive games in which he hit safely came to an end that day against Hank Wyse. The previous pitcher to cipher Holmes was also a Cub -- Claude Passeau, on June 2.
Hank Greenberg Leads the 1945 Detroit Tigers
Hank Greenberg's return from the army spelled a pennant for Detroit, as he racked up 13 home runs and 60 RBI in just 270 at-bats in 1945. The man who had been occupying Greenberg's left field post in the interim -- Jimmy Outlaw -- hit just 34 RBI in 446 at-bats.
Stan Musial Gone, the 1945 St. Louis Cardinals Endure
With Stan Musial gone in 1945, the Cardinals moved Johnny Hopp from center field to Musial's slot in right, stationed Buster Adams in center, and replaced the also-departed Danny Litwhiler in left with a rookie shortstop. The rookie was Red Schoendienst, who topped the National League in stolen bases in 1945 with 26. The following year, Red was moved to second base. Had Musial played in 1945, he probably would have tallied at least 170 hits. If so, he would have finished his career with more than 3,800 hits.
One-Armed Pete Gray Debuts, Hits .218
Pete Gray poses with his parents prior to a game in 1945. The one-armed outfielder was the Southern League's MVP in 1944, but could not cut it in the majors. He hit just .218 in his sole season in the bigs. Outfielders played him so shallow that many of his line drives and potential bloop hits were caught. When the stars returned from the armed forces in 1946, Gray was let go. Pete lost his arm in a truck accident as a child.
Charlie Keller Sparks the 1945 New York Yankees
After two years of war duty, Charlie Keller's late-season return to the Yankees was an instant tonic. He hit .301 in 163 at-bats to finish out the season.
Bert Shepard Pitches with One Leg
Bert Shepard was the only one-legged player in major league history. A pilot in World War II, he was outfitted with an artificial limb after losing his leg in combat. He allowed just one earned run in a five-and-one-third-inning relief stint for the Senators in 1945. It was the only major league game he ever pitched.
On the next page you'll find more highlights from the 1945 baseball season.
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