The American League featured an outstanding pennant race in 1948 as New York, Boston, and Cleveland battled down to the last day. The Red Sox beat the Yankees twice on the final weekend of the season to force a one-game playoff with the Indians. Rookie knuckleballer Gene Bearden got the start for Cleveland and beat the Red Sox 8-3 as the Indians took the pennant.
Led by 24-game winner Johnny Sain, the Boston Braves easily outlasted the Dodgers, Cardinals, and Pirates to meet Cleveland in the World Series.
The pitching of Bob Lemon and Bearden was too much for Boston as the Indians won the World Series in six games, their first championship in 28 seasons.
Cleveland SS Lou Boudreau hit .355 with 18 homers, 106 RBI, and 116 runs scored to win the AL MVP while Stan Musial (.376, 39 HR, 131 RBI, 135 R) handily beat Sain and Rookie of the Year Alvin Dark for the top award in the National League.
Red Sox OF Ted Williams won the AL batting title with a .369 average, and Yankees OF Joe DiMaggio led the league with 39 homers and 155 RBI. Johnny Mize and Ralph Kiner led the National League with 40 home runs apiece.
Milestones and Moments from 1948:
Pie Traynor and Herb Pennock were elected to the Hall of Fame in 1948…Babe Ruth’s number 3 was retired by the Yankees in June…Cleveland starter Bob Lemon threw a no-hitter on June 30, one of his ten shutouts in 1948…Casey Stengel was hired after the season as the manager of the Yankees.
Individual Broadcasts, Debuts, Players . . .