1942 Leaders & Numbers

The tireless Enos Slaughter, best remembered as a gritty second banana to Cardinal stars like Johnny Mize and Stan Musial, was nearly second to nobody in the NL in 1942. Ted Williams again was undeniably second to no one in the AL, except among MVP voters—who found their excuse in Joe Gordon. Mize brought long-sought slugging protection for Mel Ott, who led the Giants in homers for the 14th straight year (he’d stretch that mark to 17). Charlie Keller, nicknamed King Kong despite a slight height more worthy of Fay Wray, drove opponents ape by reaching 100 in runs, RBIs and walks for the third straight year. Rookie shortstop sensation Johnny Pesky convinced Joe Cronin that he could sit down and manage full-time—but the war would force Pesky to wait four years to provide an encore. Mort Cooper was nothing more than an average, competent starter until he traded in his screwball for a forkball; he obviously got the better end of the deal. Red Sox pitchers of recent years greatly benefited from the team’s generous offensive support, but Tex Hughson’s second-year performance would have thrived even with low-rent hitting. The war made Johnny Beazley a one-year wonder; he hurt his arm in the service and never came close to paralleling his 1942 numbers. Well-preserved knuckler Ted Lyons, now pitching every Sunday on six days’ rest, completed every start and won the only ERA crown of his 21-year career. Jim Bagby Jr. came as close as he ever would to the 31 games won by his father in 1920. The second year back for 36-year-old Ray Starr after an eight-year absence in the bigs made for his finest time.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1942
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB GD
1. Mel Ott New York 152 .295 549 118 162 21 0 30 93 109 3 6 8
2. Johnny Mize New York 142 .305 541 97 165 25 7 26 110 60 5 3 8
3. Enos Slaughter St. Louis 152 .318 591 100 188 31 17 13 98 88 6 9 6
4. Stan Musial St. Louis 140 .315 467 87 147 32 10 10 72 62 2 6 3
5. Dolph Camilli Brooklyn 150 .252 524 89 132 23 7 26 109 97 3 10 10
6. Bill Nicholson Chicago 152 .294 588 83 173 22 11 21 78 76 8 8 7
7. Pete Reiser Brooklyn 125 .310 480 89 149 33 5 10 64 48 2 20 0
8. Elbie Fletcher Pittsburgh 145 .289 506 86 146 22 5 7 57 105 6 0 4
9. Stan Hack Chicago 140 .300 553 91 166 36 3 6 39 94 0 9 2
10. Bob Elliott Pittsburgh 143 .296 560 75 166 26 7 9 89 52 2 2 12
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1942
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB CS GD
1. Ted Williams Boston 150 .356 522 141 186 34 5 36 137 145 4 3 2 12
2. Charlie Keller New York 152 .292 544 106 159 24 9 26 108 114 2 14 2 5
3. Joe DiMaggio New York 154 .305 610 123 186 29 13 21 114 68 2 4 2 9
4. Joe Gordon New York 147 .322 538 88 173 29 4 18 103 79 1 12 6 22
5. Chet Laabs St. Louis 144 .275 520 90 143 21 7 27 99 88 0 0 3 12
6. Walt Judnich St. Louis 132 .313 457 78 143 22 6 17 82 74 4 3 2 7
7. Stan Spence Washington 149 .323 629 94 203 27 15 4 79 62 1 5 2 7
8. Johnny Pesky Boston 147 .331 620 105 205 29 9 2 51 42 2 12 7 8
9. George Case Washington 125 .320 513 101 164 26 2 5 43 44 3 44 6 8
10. Dom DiMaggio Boston 151 .286 622 110 178 36 8 14 48 70 6 16 10 9
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1942
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Mort Cooper St. Louis 1.78 22 7 .759 0 37 35 278.2 234 55 68 5 5 0
2. Johnny Beazley St. Louis 2.13 21 6 .778 3 43 23 215.1 193 51 73 7 3 0
3. Johnny Vander Meer Cincinnati 2.43 18 12 .600 0 33 33 244 206 66 102 4 1 0
4. Larry French Brooklyn 1.83 15 4 .789 0 38 14 147.2 130 30 36 1 5 0
5. Curt Davis Brooklyn 2.35 15 6 .714 2 32 26 206 209 54 51 1 7 0
6. Bucky Walters Cincinnati 2.66 15 14 .517 0 34 32 253.2 247 75 73 2 5 0
7. Whit Wyatt Brooklyn 2.73 19 7 .731 0 31 30 217.1 212 66 63 1 7 1
8. Ray Starr Cincinnati 2.67 15 13 .536 0 37 33 276.2 258 82 106 0 3 0
9. Claude Passeau Chicago 2.68 19 14 .576 0 35 34 278.1 323 83 74 4 3 0
10. Paul Derringer Cincinnati 3.06 10 11 .476 0 29 27 208.2 215 71 49 0 4 0
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1942
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Tiny Bonham New York 2.27 21 5 .808 0 28 27 226 232 57 24 1 1 0
2. Tex Hughson Boston 2.59 22 6 .786 4 38 30 281 288 81 75 1 1 1
3. Ted Lyons Chicago 2.10 14 6 .700 0 20 20 180.1 200 42 26 3 2 0
4. Hank Borowy New York 2.52 15 4 .789 1 25 21 178.1 175 50 66 3 0 1
5. Jim Bagby Jr. Cleveland 2.96 17 9 .654 1 38 35 270.2 324 89 64 1 1 0
6. Johnny Humphries Chicago 2.68 12 12 .500 0 28 28 228.1 254 68 59 0 7 2
7. Spud Chandler New York 2.38 16 5 .762 0 24 24 200.2 215 53 74 4 4 1
8. Hal Newhouser Detroit 2.45 8 14 .364 5 38 23 183.2 149 50 114 2 2 0
9. Red Ruffing New York 3.21 14 7 .667 0 24 24 193.2 213 69 41 0 3 0
10. Johnny Niggeling St. Louis 2.65 15 11 .577 0 28 27 206.1 203 61 93 7 11 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.


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1942 Awards


NL MVP
Mort Cooper, St. Louis

AL MVP
Joe Gordon, New York