1939 Leaders & Numbers

Enter the Splendid Splinter: Ted Williams made it loud and clear that he’d be no rookie any pitcher could solve the second time around. Two years before Williams got past .400, Joe DiMaggio nearly did it himself—but slumped through a sinus infection over the last three weeks to drop below the magic barrier. Johnny Mize won his first and only batting title while raising his four-year career average to .346. Frank McCormick was clearly the unheralded hero of the Reds, playing stellar first base, notching 200 hits for the second straight year and racking up more homers (18) than strikeouts (16). Dolph Camilli, whose brother died boxing Max Baer, continued to knock out opposing pitchers with his slugging theatrics. Bucky Walters, a sloppy third baseman over his first five years in the bigs, reveled with his second calling on the mound—and proved he could still hit by batting .325. Bob Feller became the majors’ youngest 20-game winner until Dwight Gooden. Dutch Leonard set the mark for wins by anyone named Dutch Leonard—though his unrelated namesake still had him one up on ERA with an all-time low 0.96 mark in 1914. Red Ruffing continued to be as automatic as the Yankees, finishing the decade with records of 20-12, 20-7, 21-7 and 21-7 for the four-time champs. Lefty Grove ended the 1930s just a win shy of 200 for the decade, and tallied his ninth and last career ERA title at age 39. Curt Davis, obtained in the deal that sent Dizzy Dean to the Cubs, made the $185,000 the Cardinals also received seem like highway robbery.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1939
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB GD
1. Johnny Mize St. Louis 153 .349 564 104 197 44 14 28 108 92 4 0 9
2. Joe Medwick St. Louis 150 .332 606 98 201 48 8 14 117 45 2 6 15
3. Dolph Camilli Brooklyn 157 .290 565 105 164 30 12 26 104 110 4 1 12
4. Frank McCormick Cincinnati 156 .332 630 99 209 41 4 18 128 40 2 1 23
5. Mel Ott New York 125 .308 396 85 122 23 2 27 80 100 1 2 5
6. Ival Goodman Cincinnati 124 .323 470 85 152 37 16 7 84 54 7 2 6
7. Enos Slaughter St. Louis 149 .320 604 95 193 52 5 12 86 44 5 2 11
8. Billy Herman Chicago 156 .307 623 111 191 34 18 7 70 66 5 9 24
9. Cookie Lavagetto Brooklyn 153 .300 587 93 176 28 5 10 87 78 5 14 19
10. Hank Lieber Chicago 112 .310 365 65 113 16 1 24 88 59 1 4 14
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1939
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB CS GD
1. Ted Williams Boston 149 .327 565 131 185 44 11 31 145 107 2 2 1 10
2. Jimmie Foxx Boston 124 .360 467 130 168 31 10 35 105 89 2 4 3 17
3. Joe DiMaggio New York 120 .381 462 108 176 32 6 30 126 52 4 3 0 11
4. Hank Greenberg Detroit 138 .312 500 112 156 32 7 33 112 91 2 8 3 8
5. Bob Johnson Philadelphia 150 .338 544 115 184 30 9 23 114 99 0 15 5 12
6. George Selkirk New York 128 .306 418 103 128 17 4 21 101 103 8 12 5 3
7. Red Rolfe New York 152 .329 648 139 213 46 10 14 80 81 1 7 6 6
8. Hal Trosky Cleveland 122 .335 448 89 150 31 4 25 104 52 1 2 3 6
9. George McQuinn St. Louis 154 .316 617 101 195 37 13 20 94 65 2 6 5 11
10. Charlie Gehringer Detroit 118 .325 407 86 132 29 6 16 86 68 1 4 3 7
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1939
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Bucky Walters Cincinnati 2.29 27 11 .711 0 39 36 319 295 81 109 8 6 3
2. Paul Derringer Cincinnati 2.93 25 7 .781 0 38 35 301 366 98 35 2 3 0
3. Bob Bowman St. Louis 2.60 13 5 .722 9 51 15 169.1 165 49 60 3 1 1
4. Gene Thompson Cincinnati 2.54 13 5 .722 2 42 11 152.1 148 43 55 1 3 0
5. Hugh Casey Brooklyn 2.93 15 10 .600 1 40 25 227.1 267 74 54 4 11 0
6. Curt Davis St. Louis 3.63 22 16 .579 7 49 31 248 333 100 48 2 3 1
7. Luke Hamlin Brooklyn 3.64 20 13 .606 0 40 36 269.2 336 109 54 2 0 0
8. Carl Hubbell New York 2.75 11 9 .550 2 29 18 154 183 47 24 2 2 0
9. Claude Passeau Philadelphia-Chicago 3.28 15 13 .536 3 42 35 274.1 296 100 73 0 5 0
10. Bill Lee Chicago 3.44 19 15 .559 0 37 36 282.1 349 108 85 4 1 1
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1939
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Bob Feller Cleveland 2.85 24 9 .727 1 39 35 296.2 266 94 142 14 3 1
2. Lefty Grove Boston 2.54 15 4 .789 0 23 23 191 204 54 58 0 1 0
3. Ted Lyons Chicago 2.76 14 6 .700 0 21 21 172.2 183 53 26 0 1 0
4. Red Ruffing New York 2.93 21 7 .750 0 28 28 228.1 256 76 75 3 3 0
5. Dutch Leonard Washington 3.54 20 8 .714 0 34 34 269.1 321 106 59 6 5 0
6. Bobo Newsom St. Louis-Detroit 3.58 20 11 .645 2 41 37 291.2 329 116 126 4 3 0
7. Johnny Rigney Chicago 3.70 15 8 .652 0 35 29 218.2 238 90 84 3 2 1
8. Lefty Gomez New York 3.41 12 8 .600 0 26 26 198 206 75 84 3 3 0
9. Tommy Bridges Detroit 3.50 17 7 .708 2 29 26 198 219 77 61 4 6 0
10. Bump Hadley New York 2.98 12 6 .667 2 26 18 154 162 51 85 4 3 0

Brown type indicates league leader.
Notes: Walks (BB) do not include intentional walks (IB). For pitchers, caught stealing (CS) also includes pickoffs.
How does This Great Game determine the best hitters and pitchers? Find out here.


Forward to 1940 Leaders & Numbers


Back to 1938 Leaders & Numbers


share this page with a friendShare this page with a friend.

Have a comment, question or request? Contact us at This Great Game.

© 2016 This Great Game.

1939 Awards


NL MVP
Bucky Walters, Cincinnati

AL MVP
Joe DiMaggio, New York