1945 Leaders & Numbers

Tommy Holmes managed a feat more impressive than his 37-game hitting streak: Leading the NL in home runs while striking out just nine times. Snuffy Stirnweiss capped his brief reign as the AL’s best by winning the batting title on the final day. Longtime Cub first baseman Phil Cavarretta continued his ascent from star to superstar against weakened wartime pitching. Along with Caverretta, Eddie Lake—a .220 career hitter minus his 1945 numbers—was going to miss that diluted pitching. Peacetime would also bring an end to the inflated, belated stardom of aging vets Wally Moses, Joe Kuhel, Augie Galan, Claude Passeau and Stan Hack. One-year stardom came to the man self-described as the ugliest in baseball—and you'd also have a sense of humor if your name was Johnny Dickshot. The Braves anted up $60,000 to go with unsung pitcher Red Barrett to get established ace Mort Cooper; Barrett shined, Cooper floundered, and the Cardinals laughed all the way to the bank. Hal Newhouser thoroughly dominated the AL stat charts and deservedly became the only pitcher ever to wear back-to-back MVP crowns. Hank Wyse, in his one glorious campaign before the returning regulars turned him back into a frog, anchored baseball’s toughest pitching staff in Chicago. Ditto for Roger Wolff, who won 20 at Washington a year after a 4-15 mark, and a year before finishing at 5-8. Dutch Leonard’s knuckler wasn’t just effective, it was very much in control; he averaged one walk per six innings pitched. Boo Ferriss set the pace for his magnificent rookie year by not allowing a run over his first 22 innings.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1945
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB GD
1. Tommy Holmes Boston 154 .352 636 125 224 47 6 28 117 70 4 15 11
2. Phil Caverretta Chicago 132 .355 498 94 177 34 10 6 97 81 3 9 10
3. Augie Galan Brooklyn 152 .307 576 114 177 36 7 9 92 114 2 13 10
4. Dixie Walker Brooklyn 154 .300 607 102 182 42 9 8 124 75 5 6 10
5. Whitey Kurowski St. Louis 133 .323 511 84 165 27 3 21 102 45 5 1 10
6. Goody Rosen Brooklyn 145 .325 606 126 197 24 11 12 75 50 3 6 4
7. Mel Ott New York 135 .308 451 73 139 23 0 21 79 71 8 1 6
8. Stan Hack Chicago 150 .323 597 110 193 29 7 2 43 99 1 12 4
9. Buster Adams Philadelphia-St. Louis 154 .287 634 104 182 29 1 22 109 62 3 3 10
10. Johnny Barrett Pittsburgh 142 .256 507 97 130 29 4 15 67 79 0 25 5
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1945
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB CS GD
1. Snuffy Stirnweiss New York 152 .309 632 107 195 32 22 10 64 78 1 33 17 9
2. Roy Cullenbine Detroit 154 .272 536 83 146 28 5 18 93 113 3 2 0 11
3. Nick Etten New York 152 .285 565 77 161 24 4 18 111 90 4 2 3 21
4. Vern Stephens St. Louis 149 .289 571 90 165 27 3 24 89 55 1 2 1 11
5. Joe Kuhel Washington 142 .285 533 73 152 29 13 2 75 79 1 10 5 7
6. Eddie Lake Boston 133 .279 473 81 132 27 1 11 51 106 1 9 7 9
7. Jeff Heath Cleveland 102 .305 370 60 113 16 7 15 61 56 1 3 1 6
8. Wally Moses Chicago 140 .295 569 79 168 35 15 2 50 69 2 11 5 4
9. Bob Johnson Boston 143 .280 529 71 148 27 7 12 74 63 1 5 3 13
10. Johnny Dickshot Chicago 130 .302 486 74 147 19 10 4 58 48 1 18 3 16
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1945
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Claude Passeau Chicago 2.46 17 9 .654 1 34 27 227 217 62 59 2 2 1
2. Hank Wyse Chicago 2.68 22 10 .688 0 38 34 278.1 323 83 55 3 5 0
3. Preacher Roe Pittsburgh 2.87 14 13 .519 1 33 31 235 261 75 46 2 1 0
4. Red Barrett Boston-St. Louis 3.00 23 12 .657 2 45 34 284.2 341 95 54 1 2 0
5. Ray Prim Chicago 2.40 13 8 .619 2 34 19 165.1 169 44 23 3 1 0
6. Harry Brecheen St. Louis 2.52 15 4 .789 2 24 18 157.1 151 44 44 0 5 0
7. Ken Burkhart St. Louis 2.90 18 8 .692 2 42 22 217.1 233 70 66 3 3 0
8. Hal Gregg Brooklyn 3.47 18 13 .581 2 42 34 254.1 236 98 120 7 8 0
9. Bucky Walters Cincinnati 2.68 10 10 .500 0 22 22 168 184 50 51 3 2 0
10. Nick Strincevich Pittsburgh 3.31 16 10 .615 2 36 29 228.1 256 84 49 2 3 0
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1945
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Hal Newhouser Detroit 1.81 25 9 .735 2 40 36 313.1 254 63 110 10 0 2
2. Roger Wolff Washington 2.12 20 10 .667 2 33 29 250 221 59 53 1 1 0
3. Dutch Leonard Washington 2.12 17 7 .708 1 31 29 216 223 51 35 2 2 0
4. Steve Gromek Cleveland 2.55 19 9 .677 1 33 30 251 247 71 66 0 4 1
5. Nels Potter St. Louis 2.47 15 11 .577 0 32 32 255.1 242 70 68 1 1 0
6. Boo Ferriss Boston 2.96 21 10 .667 2 35 31 264.2 281 87 85 4 7 1
7. Al Benton Detroit 2.02 13 8 .619 3 31 27 191.2 196 43 63 3 2 0
8. Thornton Lee Chicago 2.44 15 12 .556 0 29 28 228.1 226 62 76 1 10 1
9. Allie Reynolds Cleveland 3.20 18 12 .600 4 44 30 247.1 248 88 130 1 5 1
10. Al Hollingsworth St. Louis 2.70 12 9 .571 1 26 22 173.1 176 52 68 2 0 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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1945 Awards


NL MVP
Phil Caverretta, Chicago

AL MVP
Hal Newhouser, Detroit