Below are more headlines from the 1945 baseball season, including Hal Newhouser becoming the American League MVP and Jackie Robinson becoming the first black player to sign a major league contract.
Snuffy Stirnweiss Lakes American League Bat Title
Snuffy Stirnweiss won the 1945 American League batting crown by a single point over Tony Cuccinello of the White Sox (with a .309 average). Six points in back of Cuccinello was White Sox outfielder Johnny Dickshot, followed by Bobby Estalella of the A's and George Myatt of Washington. None of Stirnweiss's four closest pursuers ever again played enough in the majors to qualify for a batting title.
Hal Newhouser Takes the American League MVP
Before joining the Indians, Hal Newhouser toiled 15 seasons with the Tigers. Newhouser won his second straight MVP Award in 1945, going 25-9 and leading the American League in wins, complete games (29), innings (313), shutouts (eight), strikeouts (212), and ERA (1.81). He remains the only pitcher ever to win back-to-back MVP Awards.
Happy Chandler's Term Not Much Fun
Happy Chandler's term as commissioner of baseball (1945 to 1951) was marred by several player insurrections that club owners thought he mishandled. When his time was up, they replaced him with Ford Frick, a man who could be counted on to do as they wanted.
Dick Fowler Hurls a No-Hitter
Dick Fowler's gem was the first hitless game by an A's pitcher since 1916. A severe bursitis condition plagued him all during his career and caused his early exit from the majors. His no-hitter was his only victory in 1945.
Eddie Stanky Tallies 148 Walks
Eddie Stanky hit .258 in 1945, led all National League second basemen in errors, and accumulated just 39 RBI. Nevertheless, he got an MVP vote, and he should have gotten a bunch more. In 1945, he became the first major league leader in walks to total more bases on balls (148) than hits (143). He also paced the National League in runs (128).
Branch Rickey Signs Robinson
Branch Rickey, one of the most progressive executives baseball has ever seen, made his boldest move ever in 1945. Rickey, then with the Dodgers, signed the first black player, Robinson, to a major league contract. Rickey soon signed other black stars -- Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe among them -- who contributed to the Dodger dynasty.
The next page highlights key events and details from the 1945 baseball season.
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