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1940 Baseball Season

More 1940 Baseball Season Headlines

Following are more headlines from the 1940 baseball season, including stats on Johnny Mize's stellar season.

Joe DiMaggio Continues to Reign

Joe DiMaggio terrorized virtually every American League pitcher except Cleveland's Mel Harder. Unable to account for his success, Harder said, "I'm just grateful I had good luck against him. It kept me around for a long time." In his 20 seasons with the Tribe, Harder won 223 games (a dozen in 1940). DiMaggio led the circuit in batting in 1940 with a .352 average.

Hank Greenberg Serves American League, Army

Hank Greenberg was the American League MVP in 1940 (129 runs scored, 41 home runs, 384 total bases, 150 RBI, .670 slugging average) and played just 19 games the following year before departing to start his military training. Greenberg missed over four full seasons while he served in World War II.

Willis Hudlin: A Travelin' Man

Willis Hudlin pitched just eight games in a Washington uniform. In fact, all but 16 of his 491 major league appearances came with Cleveland, for whom he won 157 games over 15 seasons. In 1929, Hudlin beat the Yankees 4-3 in the first major league game involving two teams wearing numbered uniforms. In 1940, he became the first player since 1904 to play for four teams in one year.

Injuries Bench Ernie Lombardi

Injuries curtailed the playing time of Ernie Lombardi for much of the 1940 regular season and again in the 1940 World Series. His unavailability forced the Reds to activate 40-year-old coach Jimmy Wilson for the fall classic. Behind the plate in six of the seven contests, Wilson hit .353 and nabbed the only stolen base in the 1940 World Series.

Johnny Mize Misses the Triple Crown

Johnny Mize paced the National League in every major slugging department in 1940, including home runs (43) and RBI (137). Moreover, his .314 batting average was just three points behind that of Stan Hack, now recognized by some historians as the bat leader that year. If their view is accepted, Mize's 1940 baseball season is the closest any National League player has come to winning a Triple Crown since 1937.

Del Baker Scales New Heights

Del Baker, a former catcher and long-time coach, piloted the Tigers for four and a half seasons before being canned following a fifth-place finish in 1942.

On the next page, find out more about the 1940 baseball season by reading through dozens of highlights.

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