Tuesday, December 29, 2009

PTWSW #30: The 1933 New York Giants

Manager: Bill Terry
Record: 91-61
Ballpark: Polo Grounds
Owner: Charles Stoneham
Coaches: Tommy Clarke, Al Smith, Frank Snyder (Interesting fact: Smith was a 25-year-old pitcher who made his Major League debut the next season. In 1933 his role was throwing for batting practice.)

Future Hall of Famers: Carl Hubbell, Travis Jackson, Mel Ott, Bill Terry

All-Stars: Carl Hubbell, Lefty O'Doul, Hal Schumacher, Bill Terry

Team Leaders, Batting

Bill Terry, .322
OBP: Bill Terry, .375
SLG: Mel Ott, .467
OPS: Mel Ott, .834
2B: Mel Ott, 36
3B: Johnny Vergez, 6
HR: Mel Ott, 23
RBI: Mel Ott, 103
BB: Mel Ott, 75 (NL leader)
SB: Kiddo Davis, 10

Team Leaders, Pitching

Carl Hubbell, 23 (NL leader)
SO: Carl Hubbell, 156
ERA: Carl Hubbell, 1.66 (NL leader)
IP: Carl Hubbell, 308.2 (NL leader)
CG: Carl Hubbell, 22
SHO: Carl Hubbell, 10 (NL leader)
K/BB: Carl Hubbell, 3.32 (NL leader)
SV: Hi Bell, Carl Hubbell, 5

(They didn't call Hubbell "The Meal Ticket" for nothing.)


Oldest Player:
Dolf Luque (b. August 4, 1890)

Youngest Player: Jack Salveson (b. January 5, 1914)

First to Leave Us: Hi Bell (d. June 7, 1949)

Last Survivor: Harry Danning (d. November 29, 2004)

First in Majors: Dolf Luque (debut May 20, 1914)

Last in Majors: Mel Ott (final game July 11, 1947)

First to Play For the Franchise: Travis Jackson (September 27, 1922)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Mel Ott (July 11, 1947)

Pre-union Team: The 1925-29 Reds had Hughie Critz, Chuck Dressen and Dolf Luque; the 1930 Cardinals had Hi Bell, Gus Mancuso and Homer Peel; and the 1931-32 Robins/Dodgers had Watty Clark, Dolf Luque (1931), Lefty O'Doul and Paul Richards (1932).

Reunion Team: Many had two, none had more.


Carl Hubbell, NL MVP

Season Summary

1932 had been a season of change for the Giants. John McGraw, their iconic manager, had resigned in June amidst health problems shortly after his team fell into last place. Managerial duties were then bestowed upon first baseman Bill Terry, a future Hall of Famer and by then a veteran star. When sixth place was the best finish the Giants could muster, Terry knew he had to clean house for 1933. His philosophy? Improve the defense. With several talented pitchers already on the roster (their team strikeout-to-walk ratio was second-best in 1932), a little aid in the field was sure to put them over the top. Gone were poor fielders like catcher Shanty Hogan, shortstop Doc Marshall and center fielder Freddie Lindstrom. Replacing them were superior glovemen Gus Mancuso, Blondy Ryan and Kiddo Davis, respectively. To say that the strategy worked would be an understatement. The team DER jumped from fifth-best to number one. Their ERA+ jumped from a second-worst 97 to a league-leading 118. Their offense took a slight hit, with their team OPS+ decreasing by four points (96 to 92), but the improved run prevention more than made up for it.

The Giants didn't run away with the pennant. They were never out of first after June 4, but the Cardinals, Cubs and Pirates all made them sweat at various points. The Giants made a spectacular trade on June 16 when they sent backup first baseman Sam Leslie (who wasn't going to unseat Terry) to Brooklyn for Watty Clark and Lefty O'Doul. Clark didn't do much, but O'Doul added valuable outfield depth with a 146 OPS+ after the trade. New York spent the last month and a half with a fairly comfortable lead, and they won the pennant by five games.

The Giants hadn't been in the World Series since 1924, when they fell to the Washington Senators. The 1933 Fall Classic rematched them with those same Senators. This time the Giants would have their revenge, beating the Nats in five games. Carl Hubbell, who'd been awarded the NL MVP for his 23-12 record and 1.66 ERA, validated the voters' decision by pitching masterfully in both his starts. Washington scored three runs off him in the 20 innings he pitched, but none was earned. The Giants won both games. New York won Games 4 and 5 in extra innings, with Blondy Ryan's eleventh-inning single and Mel Ott's tenth-inning homer the victorious blows. 43-year-old Dolf Luque, the troop's eldest soldier, pitched out of a jam in the bottom of the tenth in Game 5 to seal the Giants' world championship.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives
Baseball Between the Numbers

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