Saturday, April 10, 2010

PTWSW #49: The 1952 New York Yankees

Manager: Casey Stengel
Record: 95-59
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Owner: Dan Topping & Del Webb
GM: George Weiss
Coaches: Frankie Crosetti, Bill Dickey, Jim Turner

Future Hall of Famers: Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Mize, Phil Rizzuto

All-Stars: Hank Bauer, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Gil McDougald, Vic Raschi, Allie Reynolds, Phil Rizzuto

Team Leaders, Batting

BA:
Mickey Mantle, .311
OBP: Gene Woodling, .397
SLG: Mickey Mantle, .530
OPS: Mickey Mantle, .924 (AL leader)
2B: Mickey Mantle, 37
3B: Phil Rizzuto, 10
HR: Yogi Berra, 30
RBI: Yogi Berra, 98
BB: Mickey Mantle, 75
SB: Phil Rizzuto, 17

Team Leaders, Pitching

W:
Allie Reynolds, 20
SO: Allie Reynolds, 160 (AL leader)
ERA: Allie Reynolds, 2.06 (AL leader)
IP: Allie Reynolds, 244.1
CG: Allie Reynolds, 24
SHO: Allie Reynolds, 6 (AL leader)
K/BB: Allie Reynolds, 1.65
SV: Johnny Sain, 7

Tidbits

Oldest Player: Johnny Mize (b. January 7, 1913)

Youngest Player: Mickey Mantle (b. October 20, 1931)

First to Leave Us: Ray Scarborough (d. July 1, 1982)

Last Survivor: Six are still alive as of September 30, 2015: Bobby Brown, Bob Cerv, Bob Kuzava, Irv Noren, Art Schallock, and Charlie Silvera.

First in Majors: Johnny Mize (debut April 16, 1936)

Last in Majors: Mickey Mantle (final game September 28, 1968)

First to Play For the Franchise: Charlie Keller (April 22, 1939). The veteran Keller returned to the Yankees for two games in September after suffering through two injury-plagued seasons with Detroit.

Last to Play For the Franchise: Mickey Mantle (September 28, 1968)

Pre-union Team: The 1946 Indians (Bob Kuzava, Allie Reynolds, Gene Woodling) and 1950 Senators (Bob Kuzava, Irv Noren, Ray Scarborough) each had three.

Reunion Team: The 1955 Orioles had seven: Bob Kuzava, Ed Lopat, Jim McDonald, Bill Miller, Art Schallock, Kal Segrist and Gene Woodling. Surprisingly, only four of those seven were part of the record-setting November 1954 blockbuster where a total of 17 players were swapped.

Season Summary

After winning three straight World Series the Yankees continued their run as the class of the American League in 1952. Sophomore Mickey Mantle had his first great season, taking over in center field for Joe DiMaggio and leading the AL with a 162 OPS+. The Yankees tied Cleveland for the best team OPS+, and were second only to the White Sox in ERA+. Their pitching staff was slightly below-average in walk rate, but their good strikeout rate and strong team defense helped make up for it. They were never out of first place after June 14, though the Indians once again stayed on their heels the whole way. The Yanks' lead was never more than five games during that period, and they won the pennant by only two.

The Yankees opposed the Brooklyn Dodgers in the World Series for the fourth time in twelve years. The teams alternated wins in the first six games, Brooklyn taking the odds and New York claiming the evens. Only one of the first six matches was decided by more than two runs, that being the Yankees' 7-1 victory in Game 2. Game 7 was another close one, and the most memorable play of the Series came in the seventh inning. With the Yankees leading 4-2 the Dodgers had the bases loaded and two out. On a tricky infield popup the pitcher and first baseman lost track of the ball, forcing young second baseman Billy Martin to run in for a diving catch that ended the inning and preserved the lead. The Dodgers didn't threaten in the final two innings, giving the Bronx Bombers their fourth straight World Series title.

The Yankees set two team records for a World Series: most home runs (10) and most pitching strikeouts (49). Vic Raschi and Allie Reynolds contributed 18 punchouts each to the hurlers' cause.


Acknowledgements:

Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives

Saturday, April 3, 2010

PTWSW #48: The 1951 New York Yankees

Manager: Casey Stengel
Record: 98-56
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Owner: Dan Topping and Del Webb
GM: George Weiss
Coaches: Frankie Crosetti, Bill Dickey, Tommy Henrich, Jim Turner

Future Hall of Famers: Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Mize, Phil Rizzuto

All-Stars: Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Ed Lopat, Phil Rizzuto

Team Leaders, Batting

BA:
Gil McDougald, .306
OBP: Gil McDougald, .396
SLG: Yogi Berra, .492
OPS: Gil McDougald, .884
2B: Gil McDougald, 23
3B: Gene Woodling, 8
HR: Yogi Berra, 27
RBI: Yogi Berra, 88
BB: Gene Woodling, 62
SB: Phil Rizzuto, 18

Team Leaders, Pitching

W:
Ed Lopat, Vic Raschi, 21
SO: Vic Raschi, 164 (AL leader)
ERA: Ed Lopat, 2.91
IP: Vic Raschi, 258.1
CG: Ed Lopat, 20
SHO: Allie Reynolds, 7 (AL leader)
K/BB: Vic Raschi, 1.59
SV: Allie Reynolds, 7

Tidbits

Oldest Player:
Johnny Mize (b. January 7, 1913)

Youngest Player: Mickey Mantle (b. October 20, 1931)

First to Leave Us: Clint Courtney (d. June 16, 1975)

Last Survivor: Five are still living as of September 30, 2015: Bobby Brown, Bob Cerv, Bob Kuzava, Art Schallock, and Charlie Silvera.

First in Majors: Johnny Mize (debut April 16, 1936)

Last in Majors: Mickey Mantle (final game September 28, 1968)

First to Play For the Franchise: Joe DiMaggio (May 3, 1936)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Mickey Mantle (September 28, 1968)

Pre-union Team: The 1946 Browns (Tom Ferrick, Jack Kramer, Bob Muncrief, Fred Sanford) and 1946 Indians (Tom Ferrick, Bob Kuzava, Allie Reynolds, Gene Woodling) each had four.

Reunion Team: The 1952 Senators had five: Tom Ferrick, Jackie Jensen, Bob Porterfield, Spec Shea and Archie Wilson.

Accomplishments

Yogi Berra, AL MVP
Gil McDougald, AL Rookie of the Year
Allie Reynolds, no-hitters on July 12 and September 28

Season Summary

After two straight World Series titles things looked pretty rosy for the Yankees. They were the deepest team in the league, and promising youngsters Mickey Mantle and Gil McDougald were joining the lineup. Their primary weapon was offense. They led the league in runs per game and OPS+, tied the Indians for the home run lead and finished second only to the White Sox in stolen bases (with a much better success rate). On run prevention they were pretty darn good too, allowing the second-fewest runs per game, having one of the better team ERA+'s and leading in strikeout-to-walk ratio. Their DER was the AL's third-best.

The first half of the season saw a tight four-team race between the Yankees, White Sox, Red Sox, and Indians. The White Sox dropped out with a late-July slump, and in early August the Red Sox had a slump of their own which secured their spot in third place, though they remained within striking distance for the rest of the season. That left the Indians as the Yankees' main challenger. The two teams went back and forth until Cleveland ran out of steam in September. The Indians lost 10 of their last 14 games while the Yankees kept surging, and New York clinched on September 28 by sweeping Boston in a doubleheader.

The Yankees' World Series opponent was the New York Giants, who'd mounted an unlikely September comeback to tie the Dodgers for first place, then beaten Dem Bums in a best-of-three series to decide the pennant. Bobby Thomson's three-run homer in the final game of the playoff lifted the Giants to victory, and they were still riding that momentum when they faced the Yankees. After three games the National Leaguers led the Series 2 to 1, but a rainout delayed Game 4 an extra day. The Yankees seemed to regroup after that, winning the next two behind brilliant pitching performances by Allie Reynolds and Ed Lopat. The Giants, trailing by three runs in the ninth inning of Game 6, loaded the bases with nobody out, but could only push two across the plate. Right fielder Hank Bauer (filling in for an injured Mantle), made a sliding catch of Sal Yvars' line drive for the final out, giving the Yanks their third straight World Championship.

It was the final World Series for Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio, who officially announced his retirement that December. Young Mantle would be shifted to center field as the Yankee Clipper's direct successor.

Acknowledgements:

Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives