Below are more headlines from the 1946 baseball season, including players returning from the war and the great pitching of Bob Feller.
Bob Feller Racks Up 348 Strikeouts
Bob Feller struck out 348 batters in 1946. He would have fanned even more had he been able to pitch against his teammates. In 1946, Cleveland batters fanned only 16 fewer times than the Browns, the most strikeout-prone team in the majors.
Feller, who won 26 games and spun a no-hitter in 1946, overpowered hitters with his curve, his slider, and, of course, his blazing fastball. Manager Bucky Harris once told his team how to bat against Feller: "Go up and hit what you see. And if you don't see anything, come on back."
Ted Williams Hits Through Shift
One has to wonder how much the "Williams Shift" affected the lifetime stats of Ted Williams. From 1946 on, opponents regularly applied the shift, and Williams still pulled the ball in their direction, hitting .342 in '46. Williams was also hurt by the deep right field fence in Fenway Park, as well as the nearly five years he lost to armed service. Still, he hit .344 with 525 homers in his career.
Warren Spahn, Johnny Sain: Boston's Best
Both Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain debuted with the Braves in 1942, missed 1943 through 1945 due to the war, and rejoined the Braves in 1946. From 1946 through 1951, Boston boasted a 20-game winner -- be it Spahn or Sain. The rest of the staff, unfortunately, never measured up to the two aces, inspiring fans to chant, "Spahn and Sain and pray for rain."
Harry Walker Hits .412 in the 1946 World Series
Harry Walker hit .412 in the 1946 World Series and got the hit that won the championship for the Cardinals, but his performance failed to atone for his .236 average during the season. The following spring, he was shipped to the Phils. Walker became the first player to win a batting crown during a season in which he was traded (.363 in the '47 season).
The next page highlights key events and details from the 1946 baseball season.
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