1939 Baseball Season Highlights
The 1939 baseball season includes some of the most famous moments in World Series history, including the Hall of Fame dedication and some impressive baseball stats. The highlights below represent some of the most memorable moments during the 1939 baseball season.
- The New York Yankees win the American League flag by 17 games for an American League record fourth straight pennant.
- The Cincinnati Reds win in the National League two years after finishing in cellar.
- The New York Yankees sweep the 1939 World Series and have now won 28 of their last 31 World Series games.
- Rookie Charlie Keller becomes the 1939 World Series hero, hitting .438 with six RBI.
- Four different Yankees pitchers win a World Series game, the first time this has happened.
- Cincinnati Reds manager Bill McKechnie has now won flags for three different teams.
- Joe DiMaggio is American League MVP.
- Cincinnati Reds Bucky Walters is National League MVP.
- Walters leads majors with 27 wins; teammate Paul Derringer wins 25.
- DiMaggio leads majors with .381 BA.
- Lou Gehrig's string of 2,130 straight games played ends on May 2.
- Gehrig gives his famous farewell address at Yankee Stadium after he learns he has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
- On August 26, the first major league game is televised -- the Boston Reds vs. Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field.
- The Hall of Fame is officially dedicated and opens on June 12.
- Gehrig is voted into the Hall of Fame in 1939 by special ballot.
- On May 16, the first American League night game is played -- Cleveland Indians vs. Oakland A's at Shibe Park.
- Lefty Grove wins the last of his major league record nine ERA crowns.
- Boston rookie Ted Williams leads majors in RBI with 145 -- the most ever by a major league rookie.
- DiMaggio becomes the last righty hitter to top .380 in a season.
- Detroit Tigers swaps six players to Browns for Bobo Newsom and three other players.
- The use of netting in gloves is outlawed -- only leather webbing is allowed.
- Radio income now represents 7.3 percent of the average club's revenue.
- The 25-player limit, reduced to 23 during the Depression, is restored.
- Gehrig is the first player to have his uniform number retired.
- The American League wins the All-Star Game 3-1 at Yankee Stadium.
- On August 4, White Sox Mike Kreevich grounds into four DPs.
- Red Rolfe scores at least one run in a record 18 consecutive games.
- Red Sox Jim Tabor hits a record two grandslams in a game on July 4.
- Eighteen years after his major league debut, Atlanta Brave Johnny Cooney hits his first major league homer on Sept. 24; he hits another the next day.
- Jimmie Foxx leads American League in homers (35), SA (.694), and OBP (.464).
- Rolfe tops American League in runs (139), hits (213), and doubles (46).
Check out the next section for more highlights from the 1939 baseball season.
To learn more about baseball, see:
- 1938 Baseball Season
- 1940 Baseball Season
- Baseball History
- How Baseball Works
- How the Baseball Hall of Fame Works
- How Minor League Baseball Teams Work
- Babe Ruth