In 1943, the Yankees won the American League pennant, and teams adjusted to changes due to World War II. Here are some of the headlines from the 1943 baseball season:
Joe McCarthy Finishes On Top Again
Joe McCarthy guided the Yankees to their third straight American League pennant and second World Championship in 1943. He was so miffed that the club sold pitcher Hank Borowy to the Cubs against his wishes that he left the team for three weeks in 1945 and even offered to resign. A month and a half into the 1946 baseball season, with the Yankees off to a slow start, McCarthy's resignation was accepted.
The 1943 St. Louis Cardinals Move Training Digs
The Cardinals, as did all 16 major league teams, had to forsake their regular training site in St. Petersburg, Florida, and conduct their preseason drills closer to home during the war. The Indians, for one, trained at Purdue University.
The 1943 New York Yankees Miss Phil Rizzuto, Joe DiMaggio
The temporary departure of stars like Phil Rizzuto and Joe DiMaggio ended the Yankees' run of seven pennants in eight seasons. In 1944, and even more in 1945, Joe McCarthy had to do some of his best managing just to preserve his record of never finishing out of the first division.
Stan Musial Slugs .562
Stan Musial participated in four World Series in his first four full seasons in the majors. He then played 17 more years without ever appearing in another. In 1943, Musial led the National League in slugging average at .562 despite hitting just 13 home runs. The following year, he repeated as the National League slugging leader, although his home run total fell to 12.
Arky Vaughan Quits the 1943 Brooklyn Dodgers
Still at his peak -- 305 average, 66 RBI, and a National League-leading 112 runs scored -- Arky Vaughan quit the Dodgers rather than play under Leo Durocher. Nowadays, he could have become a free agent, but in 1943 Vaughan had no other choice. He came out of retirement in 1947 to play again for Brooklyn after Durocher was suspended for the season.
Bill Nicholson: 29 HRs, 128 RBI
Purchased from Chattanooga of the Southern Association. Bill Nicholson joined the Cubs in July 1939 and almost immediately demonstrated that he would soon be one of the National League's top sluggers. During World War II, he twice led the National League in both home runs and RBI. In 1943, he led the league with 29 dingers and 128 RBI.
Spud Chandler Leads American League in Wins
Spud Chandler's .717 career winning percentage is the highest in history for a 100-game winner. All of Chandler's 152 decisions came with the Yankees. A lackluster record in the minors delayed his major league debut, and a fragile arm idled him for long stretches after he made it. Chandler went 20-4 in '43, leading the American League in wins and ERA (1.64).
See the next page for more headines from the 1943 baseball season.
To learn more about baseball, see:
- 1942 Baseball Season
- 1944 Baseball Season
- Baseball History
- How Baseball Works
- How the Baseball Hall of Fame Works
- How Minor League Baseball Teams Work
- Babe Ruth