1935 Baseball Season

Late in the 1935 baseball season, both defending pennant-winners were leading comfortably when the surprising Chicago Cubs put on a 21-game winning streak that propelled them into first place; they finished at 100-54, four games ahead of the Cardinals and 81/2 up on New York.

Joe Medwick
Joe "Ducky" Medwick
led the National League
in total bases (365) and
runs produced (235).

Chicago led the National League in runs scored and fewest runs allowed. Billy Herman topped the league in hits with 227, scored 113 runs, and batted .341 (tied for third-best in the league behind Pirates shortstop Arky Vaughan at .385 and St. Louis' Ducky Medwick at .353).

The infield corners were held down by 18-year-old Phil Cavarretta (a .275 average) and 25-year-old Stan Hack (a .311 average). Outfielder Augie Galan drew 87 walks, stole a league-best 22 bases, led in runs scored with 133, and batted .314 with 41 doubles. Catcher Gabby Hartnett, the National League's MVP, hit .344.

Chicago's deep, balanced pitching staff included Larry French and Bill Lee, who tied for fourth in ERA at 2.96, 20-game winner Lon Warneke, and Charlie Root. Lefty Roy Henshaw and righty Tex Carleton made six pitchers in double figures in wins.

The Dean brothers went a combined 47-24 with Dizzy leading all National League pitchers in wins, innings, complete games, and strikeouts. Cy Blanton and Bill Swift were one and two in ERA at 2.59 and 2.69 for also-ran Pittsburgh.

The career of baseball's greatest player, Babe Ruth, came to a close in 1935. Ruth was released by New York and moved to the Boston Braves, a team that finished with the worst record (38-115) since the Philadelphia A's went 36-117 in 1916. He retired 28 games into the season, batting .181 with six homers; in one final display of the old Ruthian form, the Babe hit career homers number 712, 713, and 714 in a game against Pittsburgh on May 25.

He retired with a .342 lifetime average, tenth on the all-time list. He led the league in runs eight times, home runs 12 times, RBI six times, and bases on balls 11 times. He had a career on-base average of .474 and a .690 slugging mark -- figures that would lead any league most years.

Detroit took the American League pennant with a 93-58 record, three games better than the Yankees at 89-60. MVP Hank Greenberg was the Tigers' big banger, hitting .328 with 121 runs, 46 doubles, 16 triples, and 36 home runs (tied for the league lead with Jimmie Foxx); he drove in 170 runs, 51 more than runner-up Lou Gehrig.

Charlie Gehringer was fifth in hitting at .330 and scored 123 runs, second only to Gehrig. Outfielder Pete Fox batted .321 and scored 116 runs.

As a team, Detroit scored 919 runs, 101 more than the second-place team. Tommy Bridges, Schoolboy Rowe, and Eldon Auker all recorded ERAs below 4.00 and, together with 36-year-old General Crowder, gave the Tigers four pitchers with between 16 and 21 wins.

In Boston, Lefty Grove made a comeback to finish 20-12 with the American League's lowest ERA, 2.70; teammate Wes Ferrell led the American League with 25 wins. Washington's Buddy Myer took the batting crown at .349, one point ahead of Cleveland's Joe Vosmik, who led the league in hits with 216, doubles with 47, and triples with 20.

The Tigers began the 1935 World Series down 1-0. When Greenberg left game two with a season-ending injury, things looked bleak. Bridges, Rowe, and Crowder won games two, three, and four, however; and, after losing to Warneke 3-1 in game five, Detroit clinched the 1935 World Series on Bridges's second win, 4-3.

In the top of the ninth of the final game, with the score tied three-all, Hack led off with a triple but stayed put as shortstop Bill Jurges, pitcher French, and Galan failed to drive him in. When the Tigers won the game in the bottom of the inning, Cubs skipper Charlie Grimm was widely second-guessed for having let the pitcher bat.

Check out the next page for some of the headlines from the 1935 baseball season.

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