08 March 2008

1932 American League

It was the Yankees' only pennant from 1929-35, due to the A's dynasty and the lack of a solid Yankee pitching staff, as well as the twilight of Babe Ruth. Still, the triple crown winner (Jimmie Foxx) will get the MVP. The Yankees had a 13-game margin over three-time previous winner Philadelphia, and 14 games over Washington, in a year of haves and have-nots. Chicago and Boston both lost over 100 games. Cleveland was 4th, Detroit 5th, and St. Louis 6th. The Depression was hitting some teams particularly hard.

Dale Alexander was the batting titlist, under the rules of the time, with a .367 average. He played 124 games, with 392 at bats. He won the championship since he played 100 games, but did not have 3.1 plate appearances per game as is now required. Foxx was second at .364. Foxx led the league with 58 home runs (challenging Ruth's single-season record) and 169 RBI. He also led in runs with 151, slugging, and OPS. Babe Ruth led in on-base, Eric McNair in doubles, Joe Cronin in triples, and Al Simmons in hits. Ben Chapman led in steals.

Alvin "General" Crowder led the league with 26 wins, and Lefty Grove was second with 25. Grove led in ERA 2.84, and was also second in strikeouts with 188 to Red Ruffing's 190. Ruffing was second with a 3.09 ERA, Ted Lyons third at 3.28. Fred "Firpo" Marberry led the league with 13 saves.

Win Shares leaders, players; Jimmie Foxx (Philadelphia) 40, Lou Gehrig (New York) 38, Babe Ruth (New York) 36, Joe Cronin (Washington) 33, Earl Averill (Cleveland) and Mickey Cochrane (Philadelphia) 30, Heinie Manush (Washington) 28, Tony Lazzeri (New York) 27, Charlie Gehringer (Detroit) and Earle Combs (New York) 25.

WS leaders, pitchers; Lefty Grove (Philadelphia) 33, General Crowder (Washington) 30, Wes Ferrell (Cleveland) and Red Ruffing (New York) 26, Clint Brown and Mel Harder (Cleveland) 21, Monte Weaver (Washington) 19, Lefty Gomez (New York) and Lefty Stewart (St. Louis) 17.

WARP3: Foxx 9.3 (peak year), Ruth 8.5, Gehrig and Cronin 7.8, Cochrane 7.2, Lazzeri 5.2, Willie Kamm (Cleveland) 4.8, Joe Vosmik (Cleveland) 4.7, Ossie Bluege (Washington) 4.4, Gehringer and Max Bishop (Philadelphia) 3.7, Averill and Dale Alexander (Boston) 3.5.

Pitchers, Grove 7.5, Ruffing 6.3, Ted Lyons (Chicago) 5.9, Ferrell 5.4, Crowder 5.2, Stewart 4.3, Harder 4.2, Brown 3.9 (best year), and Tommy Bridges (Detroit) 3.2.

WAR leaders, position players: Foxx 12.1, Ruth 9.4, Gehrig 8.9, Cronin 6.7, Cochrane 6.3, Lazzeri 5.9, Manush 5.8, Averill 5.7, Combs 5.5, Simmons and Gehringer 5.4, Chapman 5.2, Vosmik 4.9. Pitchers: Grove 8.5, Crowder 6.6, Ruffing 6.0, Ferrell 5.7, Harder 5.0, Lyons 4.7, Bridges and Brown 3.9, Stewart 3.6, Allen and Sorrell 3.4.

Actual MVP voting (top 12):
Place Name Team Points
1 Jimmie Foxx PHA 75
2 Lou Gehrig NYY 55
3 Heinie Manush WSH 41
4 Earl Averill CLE 37
5 Lefty Gomez NYY 27
6 Joe Cronin WSH 26
6 Babe Ruth NYY 26
8 Tony Lazzeri NYY 21
9 Charlie Gehringer DET 13
9 Al Simmons PHA 13
11 Dale Alexander TOT 10
11 Bill Cissell TOT 10

Best player: Jimmie Foxx. He was technically behind Dale Alexander in average, but Alexander would not qualify under today's rules: too few PA. Foxx's line was .364-58-169, and there was a lot of excitement in his challenge to Ruth's record of 60 homers. I'll put Gehrig #2 with his .349-34-151 stats, and Ruth #3 at .341-41-137. Mickey Cochrane #4 at .293-23-112, and Joe Cronin #5 as the triples leader.

Best pitcher: Lefty Grove, leader in ERA and CG, 2nd in wins and strikeouts. Grove was 25-10, 2.84. General Crowder ranks #2 at 26-13, 3.33, while Red Ruffing was #3 and 18-7, 3.03. Wes Ferrell #4, Mel Harder #5. Lefty Gomez won a lot of games (24) but didn't pitch all that well.

Best rookie: Johnny Allen, 17-4, 3.70 ERA for the Yankees.

Best manager: Joe McCarthy led that Yankee team, finally putting together a pitching staff.

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