1946 Leaders & Numbers

Move over, Snuffy Stirnweiss: The real stars were back from the war and were hardly skipping a beat. Ted Williams overcame desperate defensive shifts and contentious voters to pick up his first (and long overdue) MVP. Bobby Doerr reclaimed his pre-war role as Williams’ faithful sidekick in Boston. For now, home runs were a luxury for Stan Musial; he led the NL in singles, doubles and triples. Hank Greenberg paced the majors in homers, but also became the first player ever to park 40 over the fence while hitting under .300. Mickey Vernon never got to .300 during the 1940s—except in 1946 with an eye-popping burst of hitting that won him the AL batting title. After three years serving in the Army, Pete Reiser resumed his hazardous baseball life in the outfield trenches and, for the most part, survived without major injury. When last seen on the mound, Howie Pollet was on his way to the 1943 NL ERA crown—before the military grabbed him. Three years later, he got to finish the job. Bob Feller’s 36 complete games were the most since the deadball era; his 348 strikeouts were thought to be one more than Rube Waddell’s 1904 record, until historians later ramped Waddell back ahead by one. Johnny Sain, who would tutor a bunch of future pitchers into 20-game winners, was his own first student. Hal Newhouser proved that his wartime stats were no fluke and neutralized the best of the best—with only Williams getting in his way of an unprecedented third straight MVP. Bill Bevens’ brief and wild career peaked mostly because he kept his control in check.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1946
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB GD
1. Stan Musial St. Louis 156 .365 624 124 228 50 20 16 103 73 3 7 7
2. Enos Slaughter St. Louis 156 .300 609 100 183 30 8 18 130 69 2 9 7
3. Dixie Walker Brooklyn 150 .319 576 80 184 29 9 9 116 67 1 14 9
4. Johnny Mize New York 101 .337 377 70 127 18 3 22 70 62 5 3 5
5. Whitey Kurowski St. Louis 142 .301 519 76 156 32 5 14 89 72 5 2 10
6. Phil Caverretta Chicago 139 .294 510 89 150 28 10 8 78 88 3 2 16
7. Pete Reiser Brooklyn 122 .277 423 75 117 21 5 11 73 55 1 34 3
8. Del Ennis Philadelphia 141 .313 540 70 169 30 6 17 73 39 4 5 8
9. Tommy Holmes Boston 149 .310 568 80 176 35 6 6 79 58 3 7 15
10. Johnny Hopp Boston 129 .333 445 71 148 23 8 3 48 34 5 21 7
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1946
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB CS GD
1. Ted Williams Boston 150 .342 514 142 176 37 8 38 123 156 2 0 0 12
2. Hank Greenberg Detroit 142 .277 523 91 145 29 5 44 127 80 0 5 1 17
3. Charlie Keller New York 150 .275 538 98 148 29 10 30 101 113 4 1 4 5
4. Mickey Vernon Washington 148 .353 587 88 207 51 8 8 85 49 0 14 10 12
5. Joe DiMaggio New York 132 .290 503 81 146 20 8 25 95 59 2 1 0 13
6. Bobby Doerr Boston 151 .271 583 95 158 34 9 18 116 66 1 5 6 18
7. Rudy York Boston 154 .276 579 78 160 30 6 17 119 86 1 3 2 16
8. Johnny Pesky Boston 153 .335 621 115 208 43 4 2 55 65 3 9 8 8
9. Stan Spence Washington 152 .292 578 83 169 50 10 16 87 62 4 1 7 14
10. Jeff Heath Washington-St. Louis 134 .278 482 69 134 32 7 16 84 73 1 0 6 3
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1946
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Johnny Sain Boston 2.21 20 14 .588 2 37 34 265 249 65 87 3 2 2
2. Howie Pollet St. Louis 2.10 21 10 .677 5 40 32 266 264 62 86 1 5 0
3. Harry Brecheen St. Louis 2.49 15 15 .500 3 36 30 231.1 236 64 67 1 4 0
4. Johnny Schmitz Chicago 2.61 11 11 .500 2 41 31 224.1 202 65 94 3 2 1
5. Murray Dickson St. Louis 2.88 15 6 .714 1 47 19 184.1 184 59 56 3 4 0
6. Ewell Blackwell Cincinnati 2.45 9 13 .409 0 33 25 194.1 163 53 79 4 4 0
7. Kirby Higbe Brooklyn 3.03 17 8 .680 1 42 29 210.2 196 71 107 6 1 0
8. Schoolboy Rowe Philadelphia 2.12 11 4 .733 0 17 16 136 121 32 21 0 6 0
9. Hank Wyse Chicago 2.68 14 12 .538 1 40 27 201.1 227 60 52 2 3 1
10. Fritz Ostermueller Pittsburgh 2.84 13 10 .585 0 27 25 193.1 208 61 56 1 3 0
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1946
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Hal Newhouser Detroit 1.94 26 9 .743 1 37 34 292.2 245 63 98 8 1 0
2. Bob Feller Cleveland 2.18 26 15 .634 4 48 42 371.1 310 90 153 3 3 0
3. Spud Chandler New York 2.10 20 8 .714 2 34 32 257.1 221 60 90 3 1 1
4. Tex Hughson Boston 2.75 20 11 .645 3 39 35 278 297 85 51 1 2 0
5. Bill Bevens New York 2.23 16 13 .552 0 31 31 249.2 246 62 78 0 1 0
6. Dizzy Trout Detroit 2.34 17 13 .567 3 38 32 276.1 277 72 97 2 3 1
7. Boo Ferriss Boston 3.25 25 6 .806 3 40 35 274 316 99 71 1 3 0
8. Bobo Newsom Philadelphia-Washington 2.93 14 13 .519 1 34 31 236.2 245 77 90 3 7 0
9. Jesse Flores Philadelphia 2.32 9 7 .563 1 29 15 155 171 40 38 0 1 1
10. Ed Lopat Chicago 2.73 13 13 .500 0 29 29 231 270 70 48 1 1 1

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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1946 Awards


NL MVP
Stan Musial, St. Louis

AL MVP
Ted Williams, Boston