4/19/2018, From the management: We have moved the Bullpen over to its new permanent server setup. It's a bit much to explain here, but I think it's working mostly. We have an issue where some requests are blocked due to too many images on a page. I'm working on fixing that issue today. Please let me know on User_talk:Admin if you see any issues. Thank you as always for your support.


From BR Bullpen

The 1940s were a time of significant change for baseball. The decade began with the starring performance of players like Joe DiMaggio and the emerging Ted Williams, who had Major League Baseball's last .400 batting average season in 1941. From 1942 to 1945, baseball was shaken by World War II. Over 150 players from the Japanese Professional Baseball League and the minor leagues lost their lives during the conflict. Many leagues shut down operations during the War, though Franklin D. Roosevelt encouraged the major leagues to continue functioning, which they did throughout the period. One unique league did start up during this period, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, founded in 1943, as women filled a professional baseball gap in the Midwest when so many male players went to War. In order to keep playing, major league teams had to look far and wide for ballplayers who were not engaged in the war effort. Those included players too young for the draft (Joe Nuxhall, Carl Scheib and Tommy Brown) or who were ineligible because of various physical ailments (one-armed outfielder Pete Gray was the symbol of that era, but many others had medical deferments). As a result, baseball's hierarchy was upset for a time, with the St. Louis Browns making the only World Series appearance in their history in 1944, the Washington Senators having a rare competitive season, and the Chicago Cubs reaching the Fall Classic for the last time in the 20th Century in 1945. Things returned to normal after players were released from their military obligations late in the 1945 season and came back en masse beginning in 1946.

After the War, there were a couple of major events. Jorge Pasquel and other Mexican League owners signed major league players like Max Lanier, Sal Maglie and Bobby Estalella, the top Cuban players of the era and some Negro League stars (the latter two groups had been active in Mexico for some time) to form a strong challenge to MLB supremacy. Legal entanglements arose and those white players who jumped contracts were blacklisted and barred from returning for a couple of years. The talent level was not as high as Mexico had seen in 1940-1941, when people like Josh Gibson and Cool Papa Bell were playing, but it has been the most-discussed era of the Liga.

Another key event was the signing by Branch Rickey of Jackie Robinson of the Kansas City Monarchs, a move that integrated baseball. Robinson debuted with the Montreal Royals in 1946 and four other ex-Negro Leaguers played in the Brooklyn Dodgers chain, most notably Roy Campanella. The move was opposed by many Southern fans and some leagues in the region never integrated, eventually leading to their collapse, most notably the Southern Association in the early 1960s. After leading Montreal to the International League title in 1946, Robinson made his Major League debut on Opening Day of 1947. While he encountered significant hostility, Robinson won the support of teammates and of Commissioner Happy Chandler, and by the end of the season, the American League had also integrated, with Larry Doby being the ground-breaker, while a number of other black players had made their Major League debut. The movement was so rapid that by the end of the decade, the Negro Leagues were on the verge of collapse, as all of its prominent players had been signed to contracts in organized baseball.

Many minor leagues were started and re-started after the War, creating a brief golden age for the minors which would be cut short in the dark age 1950s due in large part to television changing Americans' entertainment habits.

The Caribbean Series got its start with the 1949 Caribbean Series in Gran Stadium. The Series matched the top teams from the top four winter leagues.

Years American League National League Postseason Japan Negro Leagues
1940 1940 AL 1940 NL 1940 WS 1940 in Japan 1940 in the Negro Leagues
1941 1941 AL 1941 NL 1941 WS 1941 in Japan 1941 in the Negro Leagues
1942 1942 AL 1942 NL 1942 WS 1942 in Japan 1942 in the Negro Leagues
1943 1943 AL 1943 NL 1943 WS 1943 in Japan 1943 in the Negro Leagues
1944 1944 AL 1944 NL 1944 WS 1944 in Japan 1944 in the Negro Leagues
1945 1945 AL 1945 NL 1945 WS 1945 in Japan 1945 in the Negro Leagues
1946 1946 AL 1946 NL 1946 WS 1946 in Japan 1946 in the Negro Leagues
1947 1947 AL 1947 NL 1947 WS 1947 in Japan 1947 in the Negro Leagues
1948 1948 AL 1948 NL 1948 WS 1948 in Japan 1948 in the Negro Leagues
1949 1949 AL 1949 NL 1949 WS 1949 in Japan 1949 in the Negro Leagues

Further Reading[edit]

  • Mark Z. Aaron and Bill Nowlin, eds.: Who's on First: Replacement Players in World War II, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2015. ISBN 978-1-933599-91-5
  • Gary Bedingfield: Baseball in World War II Europe, Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC, 2000. ISBN 978-0738503219
  • Steven R. Bullock: Playing for Their Nation: Baseball and the American Military during World War II, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2004.
  • Gene Fehler: Tales From Baseball's Golden Age, Sports Publishing LLC, Champaign, IL, 2000. ISBN 978-1582612478
  • David Finoli: For the Good of the Country: World War II Baseball in the Major and Minor Leagues, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2002.
  • Donald Honig: Baseball When the Grass Was Real: Baseball from the '20s to the '40s Told by the Men Who Played It, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 1993 (originally published in 1975). ISBN 0803272677
  • Donald Honig: Baseball Between the Lines: Baseball in the '40s and '50s as Told by the Men Who Played It, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 1993 (originally published in 1976). ISBN 0803272685
  • Bill James: "The 1940s", in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, The Free Press, New York, NY, 2001, pp. 197-219.
  • Andy Jurinko and Christopher Jennison: Golden Boys: Baseball Portraits, 1946-1960, Skyhorse Publishing, New York, NY, 2012. ISBN 978-1616084509
  • Roger Kahn: The Era, 1947-1957: When the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers Ruled the World, Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2002 (originally published in 1993). ISBN 0803278055
  • Anne R. Keene: The Cloudbuster Nine: The Untold Story of Ted Williams and the Baseball Team that Helped Win World War II, Sports Publishing LLC, New York, NY, 2018. ISBN 978-1-68358-207-6
  • Brent Kelley: The Pastime in Turbulence: Interviews with Baseball Players of the 1940s, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2001. ISBN 978-0-7864-0975-4
  • John Klima: The Game Must Go On: Hank Greenberg, Pete Gray, and the Great Days of Baseball on the Home Front in WWII, Thomas Dunne Books, New York, NY, 2015. ISBN 978-1-2500-6479-0
  • Bill Marshall: Baseball's Pivotal Era, 1945-1951, The University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 1999.
  • William B. Mead: Even the Browns: Baseball During World War II, Dover Publications, Mineola, NY, 2010 (originally published in 1978).
  • Bill Nowlin, ed.: Van Lingle Mungo: The Man, The Song, The Players, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2014, pp. 8-12. ISBN 978-1-933599-76-2
  • Jeff Obermeyer: Baseball and the Bottom Line in World War II: Gunning for Profits on the Home Front, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2013. ISBN 978-0-7864-7043-3
  • Philip Roth: The Great American Novel, Vintage Books, New York, NY, 1995 (originally published in 1973) ISBN 978-0679749066
  • Bryan Soderholm-Difatte: The Golden Era of Major League Baseball: A Time of Transition and Integration, Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group, Lanham, MD, 2015. ISBN 978-1-4422-5221-9
  • Rick Swaine: The Black Stars Who Made Baseball Whole: The Jackie Robinson Generation in the Major Leagues, 1947–1959, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2006. ISBN978-0-7864-2316-3
  • James D. Szalontai: Teenager on First, Geezer at Bat, 4-F on Deck: Major League Baseball in 1945, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2009.
  • Donald R. Wells: Baseball's Western Front: the Pacific Coast League during World War II, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2004. ISBN 978-0-7864-1998-2

Related Sites[edit]

  • [1] Article on the effect of World War II on star batters' statistics in The Hardball Times.

19th Century
1850s   1857 1858 1859
1860s 1860 1861 1862 1863 1864 1865 1866 1867 1868 1869
1870s 1870 1871 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 1879
1880s 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889
1890s 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
20th Century
1900s 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908 1909
1910s 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1918 1919
1920s 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924 1925 1926 1927 1928 1929
1930s 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934 1935 1936 1937 1938 1939
1940s 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944 1945 1946 1947 1948 1949
1950s 1950 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
1960s 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
1970s 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
1980s 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990s 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
21st Century
2000s 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
2010s 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
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