|1941 Season News
Taft Wright, an outfielder with the Chicago White Sox, set an American League record on May 20th after driving in at least one run in thirteen consecutive games. During the streak, Wright recorded twenty-two runs batted in although in six of the games he knocked in a run without a hit.
Joe DiMaggio's fifty-six game hitting streak finally ended on July 17th thanks to solid pitching by Cleveland Indians pitchers Al Smith and Jim Bagby. Despite stopping the "Yankee Clipper", the Tribe was unable to stop the rest of New York and lost 6-5 in front of 60,000 fans.
The Chicago Cubs became the first Major League Baseball franchise to install an organ for fan entertainment. It was one of the only innovations ever to be introduced at Wrigley Field, which later boasted a "backward" reputation as the last ballpark ever to install lights.
The New York Giants became the first team to use plastic batting helmets during a June 6th double header against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Although the batters appeared comfortable in their new headgear at the plate, they still went on to lose both games 5-4 and 4-3.
Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Hugh Mulcahy became the first Major Leaguer drafted into the Armed Forces for WW II. An All-Star in 1940, Mulcahy would pitch less than one-hundred innings after he returned from the war. Over the next two years over one-hundred major leaguers were drafted and two (Elmer Gedeon and Harry O'Neill) were killed in action.
Thirty-seven year-old New York Yankee Lou Gehrig, also known as "The Iron Horse" died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (later renamed Lou Gehrig's Disease) on June 2nd. His legacy on the field included a lifetime batting average of .340, fifteenth all-time highest, and he amassed more than four-hundred total bases on five occasions. A player with few peers, Gehrig is still one of only seven players with more than one-hundred extra-base hits in one season. During his career he averaged one-hundred forty-seven RBIs a year and his one-hundred eighty-four RBIs in 1931 still remains the second highest single season total in American League history. Always at the top of his game, Gehrig won the Triple Crown in 1934, with a .363 average, forty-nine home runs, and one-hundred sixty-five RBIs, and was chosen Most Valuable player in both 1927 and 1936. Unbelievable for a man of his size, #4 stole home fifteen times, and he batted .361 in thirty-four World Series games with ten home runs, eight doubles, and thirty-five RBIs. He also holds the record for career grand slams with twenty-three. Gehrig hit seventy-three, three-run home runs, as well as one-hundred sixty-six two-run shots, giving him the highest average of RBIs (per homer) of any player with more than three-hundred home runs.
|American League Team Stats|
|New York Yankees||101||53||0.656||830||5.39||631||4.10||151||81||0.269||0.343||0.419||3.53||598||589||0.973||196|
|Boston Red Sox||84||70||0.545||865||5.62||750||4.87||124||88||0.283||0.364||0.430||4.19||611||574||0.972||139|
|Chicago White Sox||77||77||0.500||638||4.14||649||4.21||47||89||0.255||0.319||0.343||3.52||521||564||0.971||145|
|St. Louis Browns||70||84||0.455||765||4.97||823||5.34||91||120||0.272||0.329||0.376||4.72||549||454||0.975||156|
|National League Team Stats|
|St. Louis Cardinals||97||56||0.634||734||4.80||589||3.85||70||85||0.272||0.337||0.377||3.19||502||659||0.973||146|
|New York Giants||74||79||0.484||667||4.36||706||4.61||95||90||0.260||0.323||0.371||3.94||539||566||0.974||144|