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Early Years

1869 • 1845-1868

See also
Sources

The following are the baseball events of the year 1949 throughout the world.  


Champions

Major League Baseball

Other champions

  • First Caribbean World Series: Almendares (Cuba)
  • College World Series: Texas
  • Little League World Series: Hammonton, New Jersey
  • Negro League Baseball All-Star Game: East, 4-0
  • All-American Girls Professional Baseball League: Rockford Peaches over South Bend Blue Sox (4-0)

Awards and honors

Major League Baseball final standings

American League final standings

American League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
1st New York Yankees 97   57 .630    --
2nd Boston Red Sox 96   58 .623   1.0
3rd Cleveland Indians 89   65 .578   8.0
4th Detroit Tigers 87   67 .565 10.0
5th Philadelphia Athletics 81   73 .526 16.0
6th Chicago White Sox 63   91 .409 34.0
7th St. Louis Browns 53 101 .344 44.0
8th Washington Senators 50 104 .414 47.0

National League final standings

National League
Rank Club Wins Losses Win %   GB
1st Brooklyn Dodgers 97   57 .630    --
2nd St. Louis Cardinals 96   58 .623   1.0
3rd Philadelphia Phillies 81   73 .526 16.0
4th Boston Braves 75   79 .487 22.0
5th New York Giants 73   81 .474 24.0
6th Pittsburgh Pirates 71   83 .461 26.0
7th Cincinnati Reds 62   92 .403 35.0
8th Chicago Cubs 61   93 .396 36.0

Events

January-March

  • January 12 - The New York Giants are fined $2,000, and manager Leo Durocher $500, for signing Freddie Fitzsimmons as a coach while he was still under contract to the Boston Braves. Fitzsimmons gets a $500 fine and a 30-day spring training suspension.
  • January 27 - Fred Saigh buys out the interest of Robert Hannegan and now controls 90 percent of the St. Louis Cardinals stock. Saigh and Hannegan had swung the deal in 1947 with only $60,300 in cash in a $four million deal. Hannegan came out with $866,000 profit in two years.
  • January 28 - The New York Giants sign their first black players, Negro Leaguers Monte Irvin (OF) and Ford Smith (P). They are assigned to minor league Jersey City. Irvin will star for the Giants but Smith never makes the major leagues.
  • February 2 - Brothers Bill DeWitt and Charlie DeWitt gain control of the St. Louis Browns by acquiring 57 percent of the stock from Dick Muckerman for $one million.
  • February 9 - A federal appeals court orders the $300,000 suit against Major League Baseball by Mexican League jumper Danny Gardella back to a lower court for trial.
  • March 2 - Joe DiMaggio leaves the New York Yankees' spring training camp to have an ailing right heel examined at Johns Hopkins Hospital. DiMaggio is told that no surgery is needed and he returns to Florida, but the heel will continue to bother him. The star is hitting just 7-for-31 in the Grapefruit League.
  • March 8 - Max Lanier and Fred Martin, late of the Mexican League, file a $2.5 million suit against the major leagues. A federal judge on April one will deny their right to be reinstated.

April

  • April 8 - Dissension rumors surround the NL title-holder Boston Braves after manager Billy Southworth calls a closed meeting of the club in a South Carolina hotel.
  • April 19:
    • At pregame ceremonies marking the season opener in Yankee Stadium, a granite monument to Babe Ruth is unveiled in center field. Plaques honoring Lou Gehrig and Miller Huggins are also presented. Mrs. Babe Ruth, Mayor William O'Dwyer, and Governor Thomas E. Dewey are at the game.
    • In Brooklyn, the Dodgers pay tribute to Jack "Shorty" Laurice, the "number one" fan and leader of the Ebbets Field "Sym-phony" band. Laurice died in 1948.
    • Before 53,000 at Tiger Stadium, Detroit Tigers rookie Johnny Groth homers twice in his first three at-bats against theChicago White Sox.
  • April 24 - Lloyd Merriman of the Cincinnati Reds hits a home run and a triple in his first major league game.
  • April 28 - A New York fan charges Leo Durocher with assault after the Giants lose 15–2 to Brooklyn. Commissioner Happy Chandler suspends Durocher but he is absolved on May 3. Chandler criticizes teams for lax security that allows fans on the field.
  • April 30 - Rocky Nelson hits an "inside-the-glove" two-run home run in short center-left field to turn a ninth inning 3–1 Chicago Cubs lead into a 4–3 St. Louis Cardinals victory. Cubs center fielder Andy Pafko's catch is ruled a trap by umpire Al Barlick, as Pafko races in, holding the ball high as runners circle the bases.

May

  • May 1 - Elmer Valo becomes the first AL player to hit two bases-loaded triples in a game when he leads the Philadelphia Athletics to a 15–9 win in the first of two games against the Washington Senators. Valo will have a third bases-loaded triple during the season, to tie the AL mark of Shano Collins set in 1918. The A's take game 2, 7–3, called after seven innings.
  • May 3 - Taking advantage of the shortened fence installed by Chicago White Sox GM Frank Lane, the Washington Senators belt seven home runs – and need them all – in beating Chicago, 14–12 in 10 innings. This is the only time a team has collected seven homers in an extra-inning contest. Clyde Vollmer leads the hit parade with a pair, followed by Mark Christman, Gil Coan, Al Evans, Eddie Robinson and Bud Stewart. The Sox get homers from Joe Tipton and Gus Zernial.
  • May 4:
    • Chicago White Sox infielder Floyd Baker, who will play 874 games in his 13-year major league career, hits his only career home run off pitcher Sid Hudson, into "Home Run Lane", named for the new fence installed by Sox GM Frank Lane, in an 8–7 loss to the Washington Senators.
    • A day after the two teams played to a 13-inning, 14-14 tie, the Detroit Tigers beat the Boston Red Sox 5–1 behind Virgil Trucks' three-hitter. The Tigers shell Boston pitcher Mickey Harris for 14 hits in five 2/3 innings.
  • May 5:
    • Charlie Gehringer, star second baseman of the Detroit Tigers from 1925 though 1941, is selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame. Two days later, the Old-Timers committee will select Kid Nichols and Mordecai Brown.
    • At the Polo Grounds, Johnny Mize pounds a 10th-inning home run and the New York Giants beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 3–2 to sweep their three-game series. The homer off Murry Dickson is the 300th for Mize. Reliever Hank Behrman, in for Sheldon Jones, pitches out of tight jams in the 9th and 10th innings to win the game. Wally Westlake is stranded in the 10th after reaching Behrman for a leadoff triple.
    • Before the start of a series with the New York Yankees, the Chicago White Sox abandon their trick left-field fence. The 5-foot chicken wire fence, erected to cut the distance by 20 feet, resulted in 11 home runs in eight games, but opponents hit seven of them. The AL will subsequently rule that fences cannot be moved more than once a season. The Yankees still win today, 7–5, to go 13–3. Tommy Henrich has the only homer, while Johnny Lindell, Yankees left fielder, twice makes catches that would've cleared the wire fence. Allie Reynolds, with help from Joe Page, is the winning pitcher.
    • At Cleveland, Bob Feller, making his first start since pitching two innings in the season opener and coming up with a sore shoulder, beats the Boston Red Sox 7–3. Cleveland scores six runs in the second inning, including a three-run home run by Ken Keltner off Jack Kramer. On the next pitch, rookie Minnie Miñoso, making his second start, hits his first major-league homer. Ted Williams and Bobby Doerr hit 8th-inning homers for the Red Sox, while Joe Gordon adds a homer in the 5th for Cleveland.
    • The Boston Red Sox acquire Al Zarilla from the St. Louis Browns for Stan Spence and cash consideration.
  • May 6 - Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Bobby Shantz makes a sensational debut, tossing nine hitless innings in relief in a 13-inning 5–4 Athletics win over the Detroit Tigers. Shantz finally gives up two hits and a run in the 13th, but old-timer Wally Moses, now back with the A's, saves him with a two-run home run in the bottom of the 13th.
  • May 8:
    • At Shibe Park, the Cincinnati Reds score five runs in the ninth inning to take a 7–3 lead, but the Philadelphia Phillies tie to go into extra innings. Cincinnati then scores seven runs in the 12th to win 14–7.
    • May 8 - Longtime St. Louis Cardinals owner Sam Breadon dies. Robert Hannegan, the man to whom he sold the club, will die on October 6.
  • May 9:
    • At Tiger Stadium, the Detroit Tigers set back the first-place New York Yankees 4–1, behind the five-hit pitching of Ted Gray. Vic Raschi also allows just five hits, including a home run by Dick Wakefield, in taking the loss.
    • The first-place New York Giants win their seventh game in a row as pitcher Sheldon Jones stops the Chicago Cubs 7–2. Aided by ten walks and home runs by Sid Gordon and Willard Marshall, the Giants pin the loss on starter Ralph Hamner, who allows one hit in three innings.
  • May 14 - Roy Sievers hits a home run and a double to drive in four runs, leading the St. Louis Browns' 8–3 victory over the Detroit Tigers. Slick-fielding Detroit first baseman Paul Campbell ties a major league record by making two unassisted double plays. While with minor league Montreal in 1941, Campbell started 26 DPs at 1B.
  • May 15 - In the first game of a doubleheader at Comiskey Park, Chicago White Sox pitchers Bill Wight and Al Gettel shut out the Cleveland Indians 10–0 and 2–0.
    • Boston Braves pitcher Vern Bickford stops the Brooklyn Dodgers 4–0, allowing just four singles. One is by Gil Hodges, extending his hitting streak to 17 games. Jim Russell switch-hits a home run and double to pin the loss on Morrie Martin. The Braves start Al Lakeman at first base in place of Earl Torgeson, who separated his shoulder yesterday when he attempted to block Jackie Robinson on a double play. Torgeson will be operated on tomorrow and will be sidelined several months.
  • May 22 - Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Don Newcombe makes his first major league start a dandy, shutting out the Cincinnati Reds 3–0 in the first game of a doubleheader at Crosley Field. It's the first shutout in an NL debut in eleven years and extends Brooklyn's win streak at Cincinnati to 19 games going back to June 1947. Newcombe gives up hits to the first two batters, then allows just three more hits while walking none. He drives in two runs as well. In the second game, Ken Raffensberger then matches Newcombe by firing a one-hitter to beat Brooklyn 2–0, tossing only 83 pitches. The only hit is a leadoff single by Gil Hodges in the eighth inning. Raffensberger pitched two one-hitters against the Dodgers in the 1948 season.
  • May 24 - Striking out the last six St. Paul batters, Maurice McDermott of minor league Louisville fans a total of 20 for a new league record. McDermott wins 3–1, striking out the side in the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 8th, and 9th innings.
  • May 27 - The Cleveland Indians start the season so badly, 12–17, that owner Bill Veeck arranges a "Second Opening Day." Behind pitcher Al Benton, Cleveland make it a success, beating the Chicago White Sox 4–0. The Indians do rise to second place, within two 1/2 games of the top, but they will finish third, eight games back.
  • May 28 - Chicago White Sox rookie left fielder Gus Zernial breaks his collarbone making a diving catch against the Cleveland Indians. He will be out of action for two months. Cleveland push across a run in the ninth inning against Howie Judson to take a 3–2 victory. Early Wynn is the winning pitcher.

June

  • June 2 - At Shibe Park, the Philadelphia Phillies hit five home runs during the same inning (the 8th) in a 12–3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, tying the major league mark set by the 1939 New York Giants. Andy Seminick belts two, while Del Ennis, Willie Jones and Schoolboy Rowe have one each. Jones adds a triple as Granny Hamner's double jumps the extra bases total to 18, still a record. Seminick collects three HR overall.
  • June 5 - Commissioner Happy Chandler lifts the ban on all players who jumped to the Mexican League, starting in 1946. Only Sal Maglie will make a significant mark after the exile. Lou Klein will be the first jumper to make a major-league box score, successfully pinch-hitting on June 16.
  • June 10 - Frank Frisch, who began the season as coach of the New York Giants, replaces Charlie Grimm as manager of the last-place Chicago Cubs.
  • June 15:
    • Eddie Waitkus of the Philadelphia Phillies is shot by 19-year-old Ruth Steinhagen at Chicago's Edgewater Beach Hotel. She will later be placed in a mental hospital. Waitkus battles for his life and will come back to play the following season.
    • San Francisco Seals rookie outfielder Dino Restelli joins the Pittsburgh Pirates and hits seven home runs in his first 39 at bats. He will finish with 12, hitting .250 in 72 games, and is out of the NL the next year.
  • June 16 - The Boston Braves bring up 19-year-old Del Crandall from International League Evansville and make him their regular catcher.
  • June 29 - Mickey Owen and Luis Olmo rejoin the Brooklyn Dodgers from Mexican League exile.

July

  • July 6 - Cincinnati Reds catcher Walker Cooper, acquired recently from the Giants, collects six hits in seven at bats, including three home runs, and scores five times in a 23–4 Cincinnati victory over the Chicago Cubs.
  • July 8 - Hank Thompson and Monte Irvin are the first black players in Giants franchise history. Thompson starts at second base, and Irvin pinch-hits in the eighth inning. Thompson was also the first black to play for the St. Louis Browns in 1947, 12 days after Larry Doby's AL debut with the Cleveland Indians.
  • July 24:
    • The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 14–1. This win gives St. Louis three straight victories at Ebbets Field, as they take over the lead Brooklyn has held through most of the season.
    • Four members of the Duluth club in the Northern League are killed, and 14 are injured, seven critically, in a bus-truck crash near St. Paul, Minnesota. All told, five are dead including manager George Treadwell, three players, and the driver of the truck. The injured include Mel McGaha, future major league manager in the 1960s, and Elmer Schoendienst, brother of Cardinals infielder Red Schoendienst. The tragedy recalls the bus crash three years ago in Spokane which took the lives of nine players.
  • July 28:
    • A 12-for-25 run raises Jackie Robinson's NL-leading average to .364. He will win the batting title at .342.
    • Detroit Tigers pitcher Dizzy Trout hits a ninth-inning grand slam against the Washington Senators as the Tigers win 13–7 at Griffith Stadium.
  • July 31 - At Crosley Field, Sid Gordon of the New York Giants blasts two home runs in the second inning of game two, as the Giants sweep the Cincinnati Reds, 10–0 and 9–0, behind pitchers Larry Jansen and Adrián Zabala.

August

  • August 6 - Luke Appling appears in his 2,154th game as a shortstop, surpassing the major league mark set by Rabbit Maranville. Appling will finish his career with 2,218 games at SS.
  • August 8 - Carl Furillo returns to the Brooklyn Dodgers lineup after an injury and hits .431 in the final eight weeks of the season. He will finish at .322, fourth best in the NL.
  • August 9 - Dom DiMaggio's 34-game hitting streak is on the line against Vic Raschi and the New York Yankees. Hitless in his first four at bats, Dom hits a sinking line drive in the eighth inning that his brother Joe catches at his shoetops. The Boston Red Sox win 6–3 to move 5 1/2 games behind the Yankees. Dom had started his streak after going hitless against Raschi.
  • August 15 - Reports of clubhouse troubles trail the Boston Braves all season. Owner Lou Perini prevails on manager Billy Southworth to take a leave of absence. The team spurts briefly under Johnny Cooney but finishes under .500, in fourth place. Braves players vote Southworth only a half-share of last year's World Series earnings but commissioner Happy Chandler restores the full share.
  • August 21 - A barrage of bottles from the Shibe Park stands as protest of a decision by umpire George Barr over a trapped fly ball results in the first forfeiture in the major leagues in seven years. The New York Giants, who receive this 4–0 forfeit over the Philadelphia Phillies, gave one away in 1942 when hordes of youngsters invaded the Polo Grounds field.
  • August 27 - Former Mexican League jumpers Max Lanier and Fred Martin drop their $2.5 million suit against Major League Baseball.

September

  • September 9 - Despite terrorizing the NL with his bat and baserunning during the season, Jackie Robinson is picked off base by Dave Koslo, the fourth time this year New York Giants pitchers have nabbed him.
  • September 13 - For the second time in his career, Ralph Kiner hits home runs in four consecutive at bats, over two games. Kiner performed the same feat in 1947. The two home runs today are numbers 33 and 34. Kiner's 1949 total will include 25 on the road, 29 at Forbes Field, 14 of them in the bullpen enclosure still known as Greenberg Gardens.
  • September 15 - Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Tiny Bonham dies following an appendectomy and stomach surgery, just 18 days after his last pitching performance, an 8–2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies. Mrs. Bonham will receive the first benefits under the players pension plan, $90 a month for 10 years.
  • September 20 - Jackie Robinson steals home in a 5–0 Brooklyn Dodgers victory against the Chicago Cubs. It is his fifth steal of home this year and the 13th in his three years in the NL. That is the most in the majors since Ben Chapman stole his 15th and last in 1940, his 11th season.
  • September 25:
    • The St. Louis Cardinals, in first place for two months, win their final home game, and the Dodgers lose to the Phillies, maintaining the Cards' 1 1/2 game lead.
    • Despite 71 injuries that kept players out of games, Casey Stengel and his New York Yankees have been in first place all season. But today the Boston Red Sox move into a tie for first place with a 4–1 victory over Allie Reynolds. Ted Williams hits his 43rd home run, and Mel Parnell wins his 25th game of the season. Parnell is 16-3 at Fenway Park this year. Joe DiMaggio listens to the game from a hospital, bedridden with pneumonia. The Yankees return to New York and are greeted at Grand Central Station by a huge crowd of fans, including Mrs. Babe Ruth, who predicts, "Whoever wins tomorrow should go all the way."
  • September 26 - Before 67,434 at Yankee Stadium, the Boston Red Sox survive a rhubarb-filled 7–6 win when Johnny Pesky scores on a disputed squeeze play. Leading by one game, the Red Sox will visit the Washington Senators in a three-game series before their last two games of the year against the New York Yankees.
  • September 27 - The Boston Red Sox, winners of 16 out of the last 19 with the Senators, win the opener at Griffith Stadium 6–4.
  • September 28:
    • Facing Ray Scarborough, the Senators' top pitcher, the Boston Red Sox take a 1–0 lead into the ninth inning only to have the Senators tie it up. Mel Parnell, in relief for Boston, bounces a curve ball past catcher Birdie Tebbetts, and the winning run scores from third base.
    • The New York Yankees, taking 2 out of 3 games from the Philadelphia Athletics, stay one game behind the Boston Red Sox with two games left.
    • Called up from Triple-A Toronto in mid-September, Eddie Sanicki of the Phillies gets his third hit of the season. All three are home runs. On September 14, Sanicki had homered with two men on his first big-league at bat, against Rip Sewell of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

October

November

December

Movies

  • Take Me Out to the Ball Game
  • The Stratton Story
  • It Happens Every Spring
  • The Kid from Cleveland

Births

January-June

  • January 3 - Gary Lavelle
  • January 15 - Luis Alvarado
  • January 15 - Bobby Grich
  • January 22 - Mike Caldwell
  • January 31 - Fred Kendall
  • January 31 - Jim Willoughby
  • February 3 - Bake McBride
  • February 6 - Richie Zisk
  • February 11 - Ben Oglivie
  • February 12 - Len Randle
  • February 18 - John Mayberry
  • February 27 - John Wockenfuss
  • March 15 - Jim Kern
  • April 30 - Phil Garner

July-December

  • July 21 - Al Hrabosky
  • July 28 - Vida Blue
  • August 9 - Ted Simmons
  • August 13 - Andre Thornton
  • August 22 - Doug Bair
  • September 1 - Garry Maddox
  • September 13 - Rick Dempsey
  • September 16 - Mike Garman
  • September 16 - Roger Moret
  • October 26 - Mike Hargrove
  • October 26 - Steve Rogers
  • November 16 - Leon Brown
  • December 14 - Bill Buckner
  • December 20 - Cecil Cooper
  • December 20 - Oscar Gamble
  • December 24 - Frank Taveras
  • December 28 - John Milner

Deaths

  • January 9 - Harry McIntire, 69, NL pitcher for Brooklyn and Chicago, lost 20 games three times
  • February 10 - Johnny Bates, 66, outfielder for four NL teams, hit .305 for the Phillies in 1910
  • March 11 - Eric McNair, 39, infielder for four AL teams, hit .324 for the White Sox in 1939
  • March 15 - Bill Cissell, 45, middle infielder who struggled to overcome the high expectations of his $123,000 purchase from the minors in 1927
  • March 30 - Bill Bernhard, 78, one of the first pitchers to jump from the NL to the AL, later a 20-game winner for Cleveland and a minor league manager
  • April 4 - George Suggs, 66, pitcher, twice winner of 20 games
  • May 8 - Sam Breadon, 72, owner of the St. Louis Cardinals from 1920 to 1947
  • June 12 - Oliver Marcelle, 53, star third baseman in the Negro Leagues
  • June 25 - Buck Freeman, 77, outfielder who led both NL and AL in home runs, batted .300 four times
  • July 23 - John Anderson, 75, Norwegian outfielder who led NL in triples and AL in steals
  • August 22 - Chief Zimmer, 88, catcher for 19 seasons, 13 with the Cleveland Spiders, batted .300 four times
  • September 12 - Sherry Smith, 58, pitcher who lost a 14-inning game 2-1 to Babe Ruth in 1916 World Series, pitched 3-hitter in 1920 Series
  • September 15 - Tiny Bonham, 36, All-Star pitcher, won 103 games for Yankees and Pirates; died following an appendectomy
  • October 2 - Wildfire Schulte, 67, right fielder for the Cubs, won NL's 1911 MVP award, stole home 22 times
  • October 20 - Dick Rudolph, 62, spitball pitcher won 121 games for Boston Braves, also first and last games of 1914 World Series
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