Earl Averill topped the
American League with
232 hits and tied for
the lead in triples.
Earl Averill Leads American League in Hits
In 1928, the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League featured an outfield of Smead Jolley, Roy Johnson, and Earl Averill. Johnson was rated the best prospect of the three and Jolley the best hitter, but Coast League players told Cleveland scouts that Averill was the real prize. The Indians soon learned they had made the right choice. In 1936, Averill topped the American League in hits with 232 and tied for the lead in triples with 15.
Mel Ott Leads National League in Homers
Mel Ott led the National League in home runs in 1936 with 33. An established star by the time he was 20 years of age, Ott played until he turned 38. It seems that World War II extended a career that otherwise would probably have ended several years sooner. In 1946, with all the top players back from military service, Ott hit .074 in 31 games.
Tony Lazzeri: 11 RBI in One Game
Despite clubbing 60 homers one year in the minors, Tony Lazzeri was only a moderate slugging force in the majors, never collecting more than 18 round-trippers in a season. His shining moment in the bigs came on May 24, 1936, when he drove in 11 runs in one game, a record in the American League. One writer said that interviewing the taciturn Lazzeri was "like trying to mine coal with a nail file and a pair of scissors."
Paul Waner Takes 1936 National League Bat Title
Paul Waner captured the batting title in the National League in 1936 with his .373 average, making it the 11th year in a row that he hit .309 or better. He showed no signs of slowing up the following season, rapping .354 with 219 hits, then tumbled to a .280 average in 1938. The timing was unfortunate. Pittsburgh came so close to winning in 1938 that even an average season by Waner would probably have meant a flag.
Jake Powell Excels for Two Clubs
Jake Powell's fine rookie season for the Senators in 1935 caused the Yankees to overlook his hatchet job on Hank Greenberg the following spring and trade Ben Chapman for him. Splitting the 1936 season, Powell tallied a .295 average, one home run, and 30 RBI in 210 at-bats with Washington; he had a .302 mark, seven home runs, and 48 RBI at New York.
See the next section for more 1936 baseball season headlines.
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