1939 Season News

On May 2nd, New York Yankee Lou Gehrig, also known as "The Iron Horse" voluntarily benched himself "for the good of the team" ending his consecutive-game streak at 2,130. After being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (later renamed Lou Gehrig's Disease) the ailing first baseman continued to struggle while batting .143 with a single run batted in. Soon after, the thirty-six year-old star retired, but remained with the team as the captain. Later that season (on the Fourth of July) a tearful Gehrig spoke to 61,808 fans at Yankee Stadium stating, "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." After his moving speech, his uniform #4 was retired.

On September 21st, the National League announced that for the first time in the twentieth century games would be moved from one city to another in order to top one million paid attendance. As a result, a double header between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies was swapped from the "City of Brotherly Love" to "The Big Apple".

On June 12th, the greatest line-up in the history of baseball assembled in Cooperstown, New York for the official dedication of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, Grover Alexander, Nap Lajoie, George Sisler, Eddie Collins, Tris Speaker, Cy Young, and Connie Mack all accepted their plaques and a special six-inning game was also held at the adjacent Doubleday Field featuring the talents of many future members.

The first telecast of a Major League Baseball game took place at Ebbets Field on August 26th as the Cincinnati Reds took on the home team Brooklyn Dodgers in a doubleheader. Announcer Red Barber broadcasted the play-by-play on Channel W2XBS as both teams split with the "Bums" taking the first game 6-2 and the visitors taking the second 5-1.
1939 American League
Team Record GB
New York Yankees 106-45 -
Boston Red Sox 89-62 17.0
Cleveland Indians 87-67 20.5
Chicago White Sox 85-69 22.5
Detroit Tigers 81-73 26.5
Washington Senators 65-87 41.5
Philadelphia Athletics 55-97 51.5
St. Louis Browns 43-111 64.5
1939 National League
Team Record GB
Cincinnati Reds 97-57 -
St. Louis Cardinals 92-61 4.5
Brooklyn Dodgers 84-69 12.5
Chicago Cubs 84-70 13.0
New York Giants 77-74 18.5
Pittsburgh Pirates 68-85 28.5
Boston Bees 63-88 32.5
Philadelphia Phillies 45-106 50.5
American League Team Stats
Team W L PCT RS RS/G RA RA/G HR HRA AVG OBP SLG ERA BBA SOA FPCT DP
New York Yankees 106 45 0.702 967 6.40 556 3.68 166 85 0.287 0.370 0.451 3.31 567 565 0.978 159
Boston Red Sox 89 62 0.589 890 5.89 795 5.26 124 77 0.291 0.362 0.436 4.56 543 539 0.970 147
Cleveland Indians 87 67 0.565 797 5.18 700 4.55 85 75 0.280 0.349 0.413 4.08 602 614 0.970 148
Chicago White Sox 85 69 0.552 755 4.90 737 4.79 64 99 0.275 0.347 0.374 4.31 454 535 0.972 140
Detroit Tigers 81 73 0.526 849 5.51 762 4.95 124 104 0.279 0.426 0.426 4.29 574 633 0.967 147
Washington Senators 65 87 0.428 702 4.62 797 5.24 44 75 0.278 0.379 0.379 4.60 602 521 0.966 167
Philadelphia Athletics 55 97 0.362 711 4.68 1022 6.72 98 148 0.271 0.400 0.400 5.79 579 397 0.964 131
St. Louis Browns 43 111 0.279 733 4.76 1035 6.72 91 133 0.268 0.381 0.381 6.01 739 516 0.968 144
National League Team Stats
Team W L PCT RS RS/G RA RA/G HR HRA AVG OBP SLG ERA BBA SOA FPCT DP
Cincinnati Reds 97 57 0.630 767 4.98 595 3.86 98 81 0.278 0.339 0.405 3.27 499 637 0.974 170
St. Louis Cardinals 92 61 0.601 779 5.09 633 4.14 98 76 0.294 0.351 0.432 3.59 498 603 0.971 140
Brooklyn Dodgers 84 69 0.549 708 4.63 645 4.22 78 93 0.265 0.335 0.380 3.64 399 528 0.972 157
Chicago Cubs 84 70 0.545 724 4.70 678 4.40 91 74 0.266 0.332 0.391 3.80 430 584 0.970 126
New York Giants 77 74 0.510 703 4.66 685 4.54 116 86 0.272 0.336 0.396 4.07 477 505 0.975 152
Pittsburgh Pirates 68 85 0.444 666 4.35 721 4.71 63 70 0.276 0.336 0.384 4.15 423 464 0.972 153
Boston Bees 63 88 0.417 572 3.79 659 4.36 56 63 0.264 0.312 0.348 3.71 513 430 0.971 178
Philadelphia Phillies 45 106 0.298 553 3.66 856 5.67 49 106 0.261 0.317 0.351 5.17 579 447 0.970 133