Leveling the 1930s Playing Field, Part 1:  The Seasons

Last spring, we explored the history of the comparative styles of baseball offered by the American and National Leagues. In so doing, we noted that the period from 1931-1942 marked the most dramatic difference ever between the leagues in terms of scoring; the AL was consistently the higher-scoring league, by margins rarely if ever matched before or since. Here’s the gist it:

The 1920s had featured higher and higher scoring, and the 1930 season was the highest, with record-setting levels in both leagues. Suddenly in 1931, things changed — but only in the National League.

In the American League, scoring continued along its merry way throughout the 1930s, consistently exceeding 1920s levels. In 1936 the AL posted the highest-scoring season in its history. Often, today, the 1930s are referred to as an extremely high-scoring era, and this is true — for the American League.

But the 1930s National League was quite a different story. Run scoring in the NL in 1931 dropped by 1.2 runs per team per game, the largest single-season decline in major league history, taking the NL back down to a scoring level it hadn’t seen since 1920. In every year from 1931 through 1942, the American League outscored the National. Never was the difference in scoring less than 8%, and it was as much as 26%. Among the 15 greatest scoring difference seasons between the leagues in history, eight occurred between 1931 and 1942.

Wondering about the explanation for this extraordinary historical oddity, we focused primarily on the baseball itself:

I think there’s only one possible explanation: the baseball. Each league in those days authorized and used its own private-label baseball; there was no such thing as a single standard “major league” ball. Given the evidence, I don’t think there’s any possible conclusion to draw but this: whether intentionally or not, the National League used a distinctly less lively baseball than the American League from 1931 through 1942.

And we concluded with this:

… this is something very important to keep in mind when assessing players of the 1931-42 era. We may tend to see the best hitters of that time as being in the AL (Gehrig, Foxx, Greenberg, etc.), with the NL’s best hitters (Ott, Klein, Medwick, etc.) as not quite measuring up. Maybe the best hitters were American Leaguers, but a careful scoring-environment context assessment needs to be applied in order to be certain.

All these months later, we’ve decided to finally get around to taking up that challenge we presented ourselves last April: here we’ll present an attempt at a “careful scoring-environment context assessment” look at the achievements of the best players of the 1930s.

In doing further research, I’ve come to two conclusions I wasn’t ready to make earlier. First, while I remain very confident that the different-resiliency baseball is the primary variable causing the very different scoring levels between the leagues in that period, the research I conducted in preparing the “Eddie, Eddie, Eddie and the American League Walkathon” piece alerted me to a second important factor as well: AL umpires were calling a much more batter-friendly strike zone than NL umps in the 1930s, just as they would be through the height of the AL walk boom of 1947-56. (To be clear, in the 1930s it might be just as correct to phrase it as NL umps calling a particularly pitcher-friendly zone.)

The second conclusion is that the era in which the two league’s baseballs were so differently constructed was actually only 1931 through 1941, and doesn’t include 1942. Upon closer examination, it’s clear that the WWII-era “balata ball” was in use in both leagues for all or most of 1942. The difference in scoring between the leagues in ’42 was minor compared to that of 1931-41. So our examination here won’t include 1942.

So, my fundamental assertion is that the enormous difference between league scoring environments in 1931-41 was a function of (a) different baseballs, and (b) different de facto strike zones.

These ball and zone differences yielded raw stats for hitters and pitchers that make for problematic comparisons between the leagues. So how to address that challenge? While league-normalized metrics such as OPS+, ERA+, Win Shares, and the like account for different scoring environments, in boiling raw stat lines down to a simple, abstract single figure, they’re all too efficient. They do a good job at summing the end-of-the-day differences in value between players, but they don’t allow us to see the broader details of just how players would have appeared and compared, given a standard environment. In short, uber-stats solve the essential problem — but they also miss the interesting fun, and perhaps the tangential insights, that only a complete stat line can provide.

So here’s what I did instead. I took the overall major league average rate in the basic categories for each season from 1931 through 1941: runs, hits, doubles, triples, homers, walks, and strikeouts. I then adjusted the stats for each league to that season’s major league-wide norm, whether up or down, to create a scenario in which each year, both leagues achieved identical per-game rates of runs, hits, doubles, triples, homers, walks, and strikeouts. Each player’s stats in these key categories were thus adjusted proportionally. (For details on the precise percentage adjustments, please see the References and Resources section below.)

So let’s have a look at how key players in the 1931-41 period might have appeared, if instead of the two leagues offering distinctly different scoring conditions, they had presented identical scoring environments. This time we’ll focus on each individual season, and next time we’ll assess the impact on the careers of key players.

1931

Major league offense cools off considerably from the extraordinary spike that had occurred in 1929 and, especially, 1930. Levels of runs, hits, and home runs are just about exactly back to where they had been throughout most of the 1920s.

Earl Webb of the Boston Red Sox — an undistinguished journeyman before 1931 –sets a major league record with 65 doubles, surpassing the mark of 64 that had been achieved by Cleveland’s George Burns just five years before. But no major hitting star in either league has a career year; no new personal bests are achieved by any of the game’s best hitters in a significant category.

This isn’t the case among pitchers, however. Lefty Grove, who had emerged as the major leagues’ best pitcher in 1930, has an even better season in 1931.

League Leaders (ML LEADER IN CAPS):

Runs, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, 153
Runs, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, and Bill Terry, Giants, 130

RBI, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, 172
RBI, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, 130

Total Bases, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, 397
Total Bases, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, 358

Home Runs, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, and BABE RUTH, Yankees, 43
Home Runs, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, 34

Walks, AL: BABE RUTH, Yankees, 118
Walks, NL: Mel Ott, Giants, 88

Batting Average, AL: AL SIMMONS, Athletics, .387
Batting Average, NL: Chick Hafey, Cardinals, .352

On-Base Percentage, AL: BABE RUTH, Yankees, .484
On-Base Percentage, NL: Paul Waner, Pirates, .409

Slugging Average, AL: BABE RUTH, Yankees, .679
Slugging Average, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, .601

OPS, AL: BABE RUTH, Yankees, 1.163
OPS, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, 1.105

Strikeouts, AL: LEFTY GROVE, Athletics, 171
Strikeouts, NL: Wild Bill Hallahan, Cardinals, 163

Strikeouts/9 Innings, AL: Bump Hadley, Senators, 6.06
Strikeouts/9 Innings, NL: DAZZY VANCE, Dodgers, 6.31

Hits/9 Innings, AL: LEFTY GOMEZ, Yankees, 7.54
Hits/9 Innings, NL: Carl Hubbell, Giants, 7.75

Walks/9 Innings, AL: HERB PENNOCK, Yankees, 1.31
Walks/9 Innings, NL: Syl Johnson, Cardinals, 1.54

Hits + Walks/9 Innings, AL: LEFTY GROVE, Athletics, 9.45
Hits + Walks/9 Innings, NL: Carl Hubbell, Giants, 10.41

ERA, AL: LEFTY GROVE, Athletics, 1.93
ERA, NL: Bill Walker, Giants, 2.43

Best Hitter in the Major Leagues: No one really makes a case to challenge either the number three hitter in the Yankee batting order, or their cleanup man. Between Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, however, it’s a very close call. The teammates tie for the major league lead in home runs, with 43, and they also both hit 30 doubles. Gehrig bests Ruth in several counting stat categories: runs (153 to 139), hits (209 to 197), triples (15 to 3), RBI (172 to 153), and total bases (397 to 361). But the Babe draws a few more walks than Gehrig (118 to 108), and clearly outpaces the younger man in the rate stats: BA (.370 to .338), OBP (.484 to .437), SLG (.679 to .643), and therefore OPS (1.163 to 1.080). On balance the nod goes to the 36-year-old Sultan of Swat.

Best Pitcher in the Major Leagues: Not a close call by any means. Lefty Grove goes an astonishing 31-4, with 5 saves, and a major-league-leading 171 strikeouts against just 57 walks. His 1.93 ERA is the best in the majors since 1923. It’s Grove’s best year yet, and no other pitcher in either league remotely approaches him.

1932

24-year-old Jimmie Foxx of the Athletics bursts into superstardom, blasting 56 homers to challenge Ruth’s mark. In the National League, two records are broken: Chuck Klein establishes a new NL standard with 163 runs scored, while Paul Waner hits 62 doubles, becoming the first National Leaguer to reach 60.

A bright new pitching star arrives in the form of 21-year-old brash rookie Jerome “Dizzy” Dean, who goes 18-15, giving up 123 walks, but leading the majors in strikeouts with 196.

League Leaders (ML LEADER IN CAPS):

Runs, AL: Jimmie Foxx, Athletics, 142
Runs, NL: CHUCK KLEIN, Phillies, 163

RBI, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Athletics, 159
RBI, NL: Don Hurst, Phillies, 153

Total Bases, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Athletics, 430
Total Bases, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, 427

Home Runs, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Athletics, 56
Home Runs, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, and Mel Ott, Giants, 40

Walks, AL: Babe Ruth, Yankees, 111
Walks, NL: MEL OTT, Giants, 120

Batting Average, AL: Jimmie Foxx, Athletics, .364
Batting Average, NL: LEFTY O’DOUL, Dodgers, .368

On-Base Percentage, AL: BABE RUTH, Yankees, .470
On-Base Percentage, NL: Mel Ott, Giants, .438

Slugging Average, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Athletics, .734
Slugging Average, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, .657

OPS, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Athletics, 1.191
OPS, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, 1.070

Strikeouts, AL: Red Ruffing, Yankees, 186
Strikeouts, NL: DIZZY DEAN, Cardinals, 196

Strikeouts/9 Innings, AL: RED RUFFING, Yankees, 6.45
Strikeouts/9 Innings, NL: Dizzy Dean, Cardinals, 6.16

Hits/9 Innings, AL: Johnny Allen, Yankees, 7.60
Hits/9 Innings, NL: STEVE SWETONIC, Pirates, 7.39

Walks/9 Innings, AL: Clint Brown, Indians, 1.46
Walks/9 Innings, NL: BILL SWIFT, Pirates, 1.32

Hits + Walks/9 Innings, AL: Lefty Grove, Athletics, 10.39
Hits + Walks/9 Innings, NL: CARL HUBBELL, Giants, 9.76

ERA, AL: Lefty Grove, Athletics, 2.67
ERA, NL: LON WARNEKE, Cubs, 2.53

Best Hitter in the Major Leagues: Klein has a phenomenal year. Baker Bowl influence notwithstanding, a .348, 50-double, 16-triple, 40-homer season is one impressive season, and Klein throws in a league-leading 20 stolen bases for good measure. Mel Ott’s .318, 40-homer, 120-walk performance is quite noteworthy as well. But the top honor definitely has to go to Jimmie Foxx, who dominates counting stats and rate stats pretty much across the board, and whose .734 Slugging Average is the highest yet achieved by a hitter not named Ruth or Gehrig.

Best Pitcher in the Major Leagues: Grove has another tremendous year, at 25-10 with 7 saves and a league-leading 2.67 ERA. But several other pitchers approach him. Alvin Crowder of the Senators goes 26-13, 3.13, in a major-league-leading 327 innings. Carl Hubbell is a very sharp 18-11, 2.84, with 140 strikeouts and just 48 walks in 284 innings. Red Ruffing goes 18-7, 2.90, with 186 strikeouts in 259 innings. 23-year-old Lon Warneke of the Cubs, in his first full season, is 22-6 with a major-league-leading 2.53 ERA. All things considered, Lefty Grove gets the call again, but it’s no slam dunk this time.

1933

It’s a pitchers’ year. At 4.48 runs per team/game, it’s the lowest-scoring season since 1920.

None of the established batting stars reach new heights, but a couple of newer faces emerge. The Cardinals’ 29-year-old Pepper Martin, in his first season as a full-time regular, hits .320 while drawing 83 walks, leads the league with 26 steals, and leads the majors with 138 runs scored. Twenty-one-year-old Pittsburgh shortstop Arky Vaughan steps into stardom with a .319 average, 80 walks, 22 triples, and 109 RBI.

Numerous pitchers in both leagues put up sterling numbers, but no records are set. Dramatizing the low-scoring mode, Mel Harder of the Indians leads the AL in ERA with a 2.64 mark, but is able to forge just a 15-17 won-lost record.

League Leaders (ML LEADER IN CAPS):

Runs, AL: Lou Gehrig, Yankees, 124
Runs, NL: PEPPER MARTIN, Cardinals, 138

RBI, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Athletics, 146
RBI, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, 135

Total Bases, AL: Jimmie Foxx, Athletics, 376
Total Bases, NL: CHUCK KLEIN, Phillies, 389

Home Runs, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Athletics, 42
Home Runs, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, 33

Walks, AL: BABE RUTH, Yankees, 95
Walks, NL: Mel Ott, Giants, 93

Batting Average, AL: Jimmie Foxx, Athletics, .351
Batting Average, NL: CHUCK KLEIN, Phillies, .373

On-Base Percentage, AL: Mickey Cochrane, Athletics, .434
On-Base Percentage, NL: CHUCK KLEIN, Phillies, .437

Slugging Average, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Athletics, .661
Slugging Average, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, .638

OPS, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Athletics, 1.092
OPS, NL: Chuck Klein, Phillies, 1.075

Strikeouts, AL: Lefty Gomez, Yankees, 154
Strikeouts, NL: DIZZY DEAN, Cardinals, 211

Strikeouts/9 Innings, AL: Lefty Gomez, Yankees, 5.90
Strikeouts/9 Innings, NL: DIZZY DEAN, Cardinals, 6.50

Hits/9 Innings, AL: Tommy Bridges, Tigers, 7.26
Hits/9 Innings, NL: HAL SCHUMACHER, Giants, 7.07

Walks/9 Innings, AL: Clint Brown, Indians, 1.38
Walks/9 Innings, NL: RED LUCAS, Reds, 0.92

Hits + Walks/9 Innings, AL: Firpo Marberry, Tigers, 10.51
Hits + Walks/9 Innings, NL: CARL HUBBELL, Giants, 9.33

ERA, AL: Mel Harder, Indians, 2.64
ERA, NL: CARL HUBBELL, Giants, 1.88

Best Hitter in the Major Leagues: Once again, Klein and Foxx each lead their leagues in just about everything, including the Triple Crown categories. Taking park factors into consideration, Wally Berger of the Boston Braves — .317 with 32 homers and 120 RBI in a very poor hitters’ park – strongly rivals Klein. But Jimmie Foxx, despite backing off a bit from his stunning 1932 performance, retains the title.

Best Pitcher in the Major Leagues: The list of contenders is long. Grove comes in at 24-8, with 6 saves, and a 2.87 ERA. Dean is 20-18, 3.43, with 4 saves and a major-league-leading 211 strikeouts. 22-year-old Hal Schumacher of the Giants goes 19-12, 2.43. Lon Warneke follows up his stellar 1932 performance with another gem: 18-13, 2.27. But none of these aces matches Carl Hubbell. In 309 NL-leading innings, he strikes out 166 while walking only 59. He has 23 wins and 5 saves against 12 losses, with a scintillating 1.88 ERA, the best in the major leagues since the Dead Ball season of 1919.

1934

Scoring bounces back up to a level very closely in line with 1931-32, at 4.91 runs per team/game. But it takes a slightly different shape than ever before: the walk rate (3.21) is the second-highest of all time, and the strikeout rate (3.45) is the highest since the Dead Ball year of 1917.

No personal bests are achieved by any of the veteran stars. But strapping 23-year-old Hank Greenberg of the Tigers, in his first full season, leads the majors with 62 doubles, while batting .341 with 26 homers and 133 RBI. Another sensational young slugger is Cleveland’s Hal Trosky: .331 with 34 homers and 136 RBI, at the age of 21.

On the pitching side, 34-year-old Lefty Grove comes up sore-armed and woefully ineffective (8-8, 6.23), but both 24-year-old Dizzy Dean and 25-year-old Lefty Gomez emerge with their most dazzling performances yet.

League Leaders (ML LEADER IN CAPS):

Runs, AL: CHARLIE GEHRINGER, Tigers, 128
Runs, NL: PAUL WANER, Pirates, 128

RBI, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, 158
RBI, NL: Mel Ott, Giants, 141

Total Bases, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, 407
Total Bases, NL: Ripper Collins, Cardinals, 371

Home Runs, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, 48
Home Runs, NL: Ripper Collins, Cardinals, and Mel Ott, Giants, 36

Walks, AL: Jimmie Foxx, Athletics, 95
Walks, NL: ARKY VAUGHAN, Pirates, 113

Batting Average, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, .364
Batting Average, NL: Paul Waner, Pirates, .361

On-Base Percentage, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, .452
On-Base Percentage, NL: Arky Vaughan, Pirates, .445

Slugging Average, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, .701
Slugging Average, NL: Ripper Collins, Cardinals, .619

OPS, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, 1.154
OPS, NL: Mel Ott, Giants, 1.021

Strikeouts, AL: Lefty Gomez, Yankees, 156
Strikeouts, NL: DIZZY DEAN, Cardinals, 197

Strikeouts/9 Innings, AL: Red Ruffing, Yankees, 5.18
Strikeouts/9 Innings, NL: PAUL DEAN, Cardinals, 5.86

Hits/9 Innings, AL: LEFTY GOMEZ, Yankees, 7.17
Hits/9 Innings, NL: Roy Parmelee, Giants, 7.83

Walks/9 Innings, AL: Wes Farrell, Red Sox, 2.09
Walks/9 Innings, NL: CARL HUBBELL, Giants, 1.28

Hits + Walks/9 Innings, AL: Lefty Gomez, Yankees, 9.80
Hits + Walks/9 Innings, NL: CARL HUBBELL, Giants, 9.45

ERA, AL: LEFTY GOMEZ, Yankees, 2.23
ERA, NL: Carl Hubbell, Giants, 2.41

Best Hitter in the Major Leagues: Foxx has another terrific year (.336, 43 homers, 95 walks). So does Mel Ott (.325, 36 homers, 102 walks), and the Cardinals’ Ripper Collins comes out of nowhere with a .332, 36-homer monster season. But no one approaches the performance of Lou Gehrig: he’s not only the AL Triple Crown winner, but the Major League Triple Crown winner at .364 with 48 homers and 158 RBI. He also leads the majors in total bases, OBP, SLG, and of course OPS.

Best Pitcher in the Major Leagues: Hubbell is brilliant again, at 21-12, with 8 major-league leading saves and a 2.41 ERA in 313 innings. The Yankees’ Lefty Gomez is perhaps even more brilliant: 26-5, 2.23, with 156 strikeouts in 282 innings. But the best overall performance is by the colorful young Dizzy Dean: 30-7 (the NL’s first 30-game winner since 1917), 7 saves, a 2.78 ERA in 312 innings, and 197 major-league-leading strikeouts.

1935

Offensive rates overall hold steadily close to 1934 levels. Other hitters may have slightly better seasons, but few pull off an achievement quite as impressive as that of the Braves’ Wally Berger: playing for a team that wins a total of 38 games, and in a very poor hitters’ park, he leads the NL in homers (34) and RBI (135).

The Chicago Cubs feature two emerging young stars: 25-year-old second baseman Billy Herman hits .342 and leads the majors with 59 doubles and 228 hits, and 23-year-old left fielder Augie Galan hits .315 with 104 walks and 138 major-league-leading runs scored.

League Leaders (ML LEADER IN CAPS):

Runs, AL: Lou Gehrig, Yankees, 120
Runs, NL: AUGIE GALAN, Cubs, 138

RBI, AL: HANK GREENBERG, Tigers, 164
RBI, NL: Wally Berger, Braves, 135

Total Bases, AL: HANK GREENBERG, Tigers, 383
Total Bases, NL: Joe Medwick, Cardinals, 370

Home Runs, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Athletics, and HANK GREENBERG, Tigers, 36
Home Runs, NL: Wally Berger, Braves, 34

Walks, AL: Lou Gehrig, Yankees, 113
Walks, NL: ARKY VAUGHAN, Pirates, 116

Batting Average, AL: Buddy Myer, Senators, .348
Batting Average, NL: ARKY VAUGHAN, Pirates, .386

On-Base Percentage, AL: Jimmie Foxx, Athletics, .446
On-Base Percentage, NL: ARKY VAUGHAN, Pirates, .502

Slugging Average, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Athletics, .630
Slugging Average, NL: Arky Vaughan, Pirates, .615

OPS, AL: Jimmie Foxx, Athletics, 1.076
OPS, NL: ARKY VAUGHAN, Pirates, 1.116

Strikeouts, AL: Tommy Bridges, Tigers, 165
Strikeouts, NL: DIZZY DEAN, Cardinals, 188

Strikeouts/9 Innings, AL: JOHNNY ALLEN, Yankees, 6.16
Strikeouts/9 Innings, NL: Van Mungo, Dodgers, 5.95

Hits/9 Innings, AL: Johnny Allen, Yankees, 7.99
Hits/9 Innings, NL: CY BLANTON, Pirates, 7.83

Walks/9 Innings, AL: MEL HARDER, Indians, 1.42
Walks/9 Innings, NL: Watty Clark, Dodgers, 1.46

Hits + Walks/9 Innings, AL: Lefty Grove, Red Sox, 10.66
Hits + Walks/9 Innings, NL: CY BLANTON, Pirates, 10.17

ERA, AL: LEFTY GROVE, Red Sox, 2.60
ERA, NL: Cy Blanton, Pirates, 2.70

Best Hitter in the Major Leagues: The familiar sluggers (Gehrig, Foxx, and Ott) all produce excellent seasons. Young Hank Greenberg builds on his breakthrough 1934 performance with an even better one, leading the majors in homers, RBI, and total bases. But no one matches the amazing year of the Pirates’ 23-year-old shortstop: Arky Vaughan leads the majors in OPS, and his .502 on-base percentage is the best by anyone since 1926.

Best Pitcher in the Major Leagues: The Boston Red Sox feature two aces, both presenting remarkable comebacks from arm trouble: Wes Ferrell goes 25-14, 3.39, in 322 innings (while batting .347 with 7 homers and 31 RBI), and Lefty Grove bounces back to 20-12, 2.60 in 273 innings. The Tigers’ Tommy Bridges is 21-10, 3.38 in 274 innings. But once again no one tops Dizzy Dean: 28-12 with 5 saves, a 3.17 ERA and 188 strikeouts in 325 innings.

1936

It’s a hitters’ year: scoring comes in at 5.19 runs per team/game, matching the 1929 level (though still well behind 1930′s 5.55). A new walk rate record is set, at 3.40.

Billy Herman, who had hit 59 doubles in 1935, improves upon that mark with 62 — but he finishes a distant second in that category to Joe Medwick of the Cardinals, who whacks 69, easily setting a new major league record. The season’s outstanding rookie is unquestionably 21-year-old Joe DiMaggio of the Yankees, who lives up to his hype with a .319, 26-homer, 348-total base performance.

League Leaders (ML LEADER IN CAPS):

Runs, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, 153
Runs, NL: Arky Vaughan, Pirates, 134

RBI, AL: Hal Trosky, Indians, 148
RBI, NL: JOE MEDWICK, Cardinals, 152

Total Bases, AL: Hal Trosky, Indians, 383
Total Bases, NL: JOE MEDWICK, Cardinals, 387

Home Runs, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, 44
Home Runs, NL: Mel Ott, Giants, 37

Walks, AL: Lou Gehrig, Yankees, 113
Walks, NL: ARKY VAUGHAN, Pirates, 140

Batting Average, AL: LUKE APPLING, White Sox, .383
Batting Average, NL: Paul Waner, Pirates, .377

On-Base Percentage, AL: Luke Appling, White Sox, .459
On-Base Percentage, NL: ARKY VAUGHAN, Pirates, .469

Slugging Average, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, .661
Slugging Average, NL: Mel Ott, Giants, .621

OPS, AL: LOU GEHRIG, Yankees, 1.117
OPS, NL: Mel Ott, Giants, 1.085

Strikeouts, AL: Tommy Bridges, Tigers, 178
Strikeouts, NL: VAN MUNGO, Dodgers, 234

Strikeouts/9 Innings, AL: Johnny Allen, Indians, 6.23
Strikeouts/9 Innings, NL: VAN MUNGO, Dodgers, 6.74

Hits/9 Innings, AL: MONTE PEARSON, Yankees, 7.56
Hits/9 Innings, NL: Carl Hubbell, Giants, 8.01

Walks/9 Innings, AL: Ted Lyons, White Sox, 1.93
Walks/9 Innings, NL: RED LUCAS, Pirates, 1.57

Hits + Walks/9 Innings, AL: Lefty Grove, Red Sox, 10.25
Hits + Walks/9 Innings, NL: CARL HUBBELL, Giants, 10.00

ERA, AL: Lefty Grove, Red Sox, 2.57
ERA, NL: CARL HUBBELL, Giants, 2.55

Best Hitter in the Major Leagues: There’s a long list of impressive candidates. Ott, Foxx, Medwick, Trosky, and Vaughan are all terrific. 34-year-old Earl Averill has his best year, at .373 with 25 homers. 29-year-old Dolf Camilli emerges from obscurity with a .320, 32-homer, 137-walk blockbuster season. But the best performance of all comes from the amazing Lou Gehrig, who at 33 is nearly as great as he’s ever been: .349, 44 homers, 113 walks.

Best Pitcher in the Major Leagues: Dean is tremendous, at 24-13, 3.50, with a major-league-leading 11 saves. The remarkable 36-year-old Grove goes 17-12 and leads the AL in ERA yet again, with a 2.57 mark in 253 innings. Van Mungo of the Dodgers strikes out 234, most by anyone since 1924. Tommy Bridges has his best year, at 23-11, 3.29, in 295 innings. Still, no one really compares with the masterful Carl Hubbell, who breezes through the high-scoring environment with a 26-6 record (plus 3 saves), and a 2.55 ERA in 304 innings.

1937

Scoring eases back to typical 1930s levels, at 4.87 runs per team/game. But walks remain historically high, at 3.40, and the strikeout rate climbs to a new record level, at 3.63.

The most impressive emerging hitter is 24-year-old Johnny Mize of the Cardinals, who in his first season as a full-time regular hits .369 with 29 homers.

League Leaders (ML LEADER IN CAPS):

Runs, AL: JOE DiMAGGIO, Yankees, 141
Runs, NL: Joe Medwick, Cardinals, 120

RBI, AL: HANK GREENBERG, Tigers, 171
RBI, NL: Joe Medwick, Cardinals, 166

Total Bases, AL: Joe DiMaggio, Yankees, 394
Total Bases, NL: JOE MEDWICK, Cardinals, 431

Home Runs, AL: JOE DiMAGGIO, Yankees, 41
Home Runs, NL: Joe Medwick, Cardinals, and Mel Ott, Giants, 35

Walks, AL: Lou Gehrig, Yankees, 113
Walks, NL: MEL OTT, Giants, 117

Batting Average, AL: Charlie Gehringer, Tigers, .366
Batting Average, NL: JOE MEDWICK, Cardinals, .379

On-Base Percentage, AL: Lou Gehrig, Yankees, .455
On-Base Percentage, NL: DOLF CAMILLI, Phillies, .460

Slugging Average, AL: Joe DiMaggio, Yankees, .638
Slugging Average, NL: JOE MEDWICK, Cardinals, .676

OPS, AL: Lou Gehrig, Yankees, 1.067
OPS, NL: JOE MEDWICK, Cardinals, 1.097

Strikeouts, AL: LEFTY GOMEZ, Yankees, 197
Strikeouts, NL: Carl Hubbell, Giants, 156

Strikeouts/9 Innings, AL: Lefty Gomez, Yankees, 6.38
Strikeouts/9 Innings, NL: VAN MUNGO, Dodgers, 6.71

Hits/9 Innings, AL: LEFTY GOMEZ, Yankees, 7.38
Hits/9 Innings, NL: Van Mungo, Dodgers, 7.76

Walks/9 Innings, AL: Monty Stratton, White Sox, 1.79
Walks/9 Innings, NL: DIZZY DEAN, Cardinals, 1.73

Hits + Walks/9 Innings, AL: MONTY STRATTON, White Sox, 9.38
Hits + Walks/9 Innings, NL: Cliff Melton, Giants, 10.24

ERA, AL: LEFTY GOMEZ, Yankees, 2.17
ERA, NL: Jim Turner, Bees, 2.57

Best Hitter in the Major Leagues: Joe DiMaggio steps forward as one of the game’s great sluggers. Hank Greenberg rebounds from a 1936 broken wrist with his best season yet. Dolf Camilli proves that his ’36 breakthrough was no fluke, and both Lou Gehrig and Mel Ott come through with predictably outstanding seasons. But the performance of the year belongs to Joe Medwick, the NL Triple Crown winner who also leads the majors in hits (242), doubles (61), total bases, slugging, and OPS.

Best Pitcher in the Major Leagues: Numerous pitchers have fine years. Red Ruffing is 20-7, 2.79, Lefty Grove 17-9, 2.82, Carl Hubbell 22-8, 3.45. The NL features three 20-game-winning rookies: Lou Fette (20-10, 3.11), Cliff Melton (20-9, 2.82), and Jim Turner (20-11, 2.57). But only one pitcher has a great year: Lefty Gomez, who comes in at 21-11 with a 2.17 ERA and 197 strikeouts in 278 innings.

1938

Scoring (4.89 runs per team/game) holds almost exactly steady at the 1937 rate. But its shape continues to change, as several trends continue: hits (9.52) are at their second-lowest rate since 1920, while homers (0.60) are at their second-highest of all time. Strikeouts ease off a bit from their record 1937 rate, but are still historically high at 3.41, and another new walk rate record is established, at 3.53.

Several new pitchers emerge as stars. The most intriguing of these is unquestionably Bob Feller, who at the tender age of 19 is placed in the Indians’ rotation for the full season, and goes 17-11, 3.72 in 278 innings — with 236 strikeouts (most in the majors since 1924, and most in the AL since 1913), and 183 walks (most ever in the AL, and most in the majors since 1898).

League Leaders (ML LEADER IN CAPS):

Runs, AL: HANK GREENBERG, Tigers, 131
Runs, NL: Mel Ott, Giants, 129

RBI, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Red Sox, 160
RBI, NL: Joe Medwick, Cardinals, 135

Total Bases, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Red Sox, 370
Total Bases, NL: Johnny Mize, Cardinals, 350

Home Runs, AL: HANK GREENBERG, Tigers, 50
Home Runs, NL: Mel Ott, Giants, 43

Walks, AL: Jimmie Foxx, Red Sox, and Hank Greenberg, Tigers, 105
Walks, NL: DOLF CAMILLI, Dodgers, 138

Batting Average, AL: Jimmie Foxx, Red Sox, .344
Batting Average, NL: ERNIE LOMBARDI, Reds, .347

On-Base Percentage, AL: Jimmie Foxx, Red Sox, .447
On-Base Percentage, NL: MEL OTT, Giants, .456

Slugging Average, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Red Sox, .660
Slugging Average, NL: Johnny Mize, Cardinals, .653

OPS, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Red Sox, 1.106
OPS, NL: Johnny Mize, Cardinals, 1.087

Strikeouts, AL: BOB FELLER, Indians, 236
Strikeouts, NL: Clay Bryant, Cubs, 137

Strikeouts/9 Innings, AL: BOB FELLER, Indians, 7.64
Strikeouts/9 Innings, NL: Carl Hubbell, Giants, 5.32

Hits/9 Innings, AL: BOB FELLER, Indians, 7.13
Hits/9 Innings, NL: Johnny Vander Meer, Reds, 7.24

Walks/9 Innings, AL: Dutch Leonard, Senators, 1.88
Walks/9 Innings, NL: CURT DAVIS, Cardinals, 1.63

Hits + Walks/9 Innings, AL: DUTCH LEONARD, Senators, 10.60
Hits + Walks/9 Innings, NL: Carl Hubbell, Giants, 10.72

ERA, AL: LEFTY GROVE, Red Sox, 2.81
ERA, NL: Bill Lee, Cubs, 2.95

Best Hitter in the Major Leagues: Joe Medwick falls back from his torrid 1937 pace, but still hits .327 with 50 doubles, 25 homers, and 135 RBI. The tremendously productive Mel Ott has perhaps his best season yet: .316, with career highs in homers (43) and walks (137). Hank Greenberg hits .310 and also establishes career highs in homers (50) and walks (105). Johnny Mize has a wonderful all-around year, at .342 with 17 triples, 33 homers, and 86 walks. But overall the best performance comes from Jimmie Foxx, rebounding from a sub-par 1937 (.281, 32 homers) to hit .344 with 43 homers, and reach career highs in walks (105) and RBI (160).

Best Pitcher in the Major Leagues: There are a number of interesting contenders. The lowly St. Louis Browns feature a workhorse ace in Bobo Newsom, who goes 20-16 for a 55-97 team, with 222 strikeouts in 330 major-league-leading innings (along with 327 hits, 169 walks, and a 4.63 ERA). The Yankees’ Ruffing is 21-7, 3.03 in 247 innings. 31-year-old Paul Derringer enjoys a breakthrough season, at 21-14 with 3 saves and a 3.25 ERA in 307 innings. The best overall performance is probably that of the Cubs’ Bill Lee: 22-9. 2.95, in 291 innings.

1939

Overall rates of offense remain almost exactly at 1938 levels, with most everything receding just a tiny bit, while strikeouts climb just a tiny bit (to 3.46, second-highest yet recorded).

The newcomer of the year is Boston’s sensational brash 20-year-old, Ted Williams. “The Kid” hits .324 with 28 homers and 97 walks, and leads the AL in RBI with 134.

League Leaders (ML LEADER IN CAPS):

Runs, AL: RED ROLFE, Yankees, 129
Runs, NL: Bill Werber, Reds, 125

RBI, AL: Ted Williams, Red Sox, 134
RBI, NL: FRANK McCORMICK, Reds, 139

Total Bases, AL: Ted Williams, Red Sox, 330
Total Bases, NL: JOHNNY MIZE, Cardinals, 369

Home Runs, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Red Sox, 32
Home Runs, NL: Johnny Mize, Cardinals, 31

Walks, AL: Harlond Clift, Browns, 101
Walks, NL: DOLF CAMILLI, Dodgers, 122

Batting Average, AL: JOE DiMAGGIO, Yankees, .377
Batting Average, NL: Johnny Mize, Cardinals, .353

On-Base Percentage, AL: Jimmie Foxx, Red Sox, .452
On-Base Percentage, NL: MEL OTT, Giants, .462

Slugging Average, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Red Sox, .666
Slugging Average, NL: Johnny Mize, Cardinals, .651

OPS, AL: JIMMIE FOXX, Red Sox, 1.118
OPS, NL: Johnny Mize, Cardinals, 1.103

Strikeouts, AL: BOB FELLER, Indians, 242
Strikeouts, NL: Claude Passeau, Phillies-Cubs, and Bucky Walters, Reds, 139

Strikeouts/9 Innings, AL: BOB FELLER, Indians, 7.35
Strikeouts/9 Innings, NL: Mort Cooper, Cardinals, 5.63

Hits/9 Innings, AL: BOB FELLER, Indians, 6.77
Hits/9 Innings, NL: Bucky Walters, Reds, 7.17

Walks/9 Innings, AL: Ted Lyons, White Sox, 1.23
Walks/9 Innings, NL: PAUL DERRINGER, Reds, 1.16

Hits + Walks/9 Innings, AL: TED LYONS, White Sox, 9.52
Hits + Walks/9 Innings, NL: Carl Hubbell, Giants, 10.47

ERA, AL: LEFTY GROVE, Red Sox, 2.36
ERA, NL: Bucky Walters, Reds, 2.49

Best Hitter in the Major Leagues: The rookie Williams steps right in as one of the best all-around hitters. Joe DiMaggio is terrific as well, at .377 with 27 homers in 459 at-bats. Mel Ott, despite being limited to 125 games and 398 at-bats by severe charley horses, still hits .312 with 30 homers and 111 walks. Jimmie Foxx hits a robust .356, leading the majors in home runs despite playing in just 124 games. But even though DiMaggio, Ott, and Foxx edge him in the rate stats, the best overall performance comes from Johnny Mize. The Big Cat leads the majors in total bases, and has a brilliant all-around year, with 200 hits, 45 doubles, 15 triples, 31 homers, 102 walks, and a .353 average.

Best Pitcher in the Major Leagues: At the age of 39, Lefty Grove leads the major leagues in ERA for the seventh time, going 15-4, 2.36 in 191 innings. Red Ruffing is 21-7, 2.72 in 233 innings. Bobo Newsom, traded from the Browns to the Tigers in May, turns in a 20-11, 3.32 performance, with 189 strikeouts in 292 innings. Paul Derringer goes 25-7, 3.18 in 301 innings. The amazing 20-year-old Bob Feller blazes into superstardom, at 24-9, 2.64, with 242 strikeouts in 297 innings, reducing his walks from 183 to 129. But the best season of all is enjoyed by 30-year-old Bucky Walters. An unimpressive journeyman through 1938, he suddenly breaks through to go 27-11 with a 2.49 ERA in 319 major-league-leading innings.

1940

The trends of the previous few seasons accelerate. Scoring drops to 4.68 runs per team/game, the lowest since 1933. Hits, at 9.31, are occurring at the lowest rate since 1919. Walks are down a bit to 3.34, but are still quite high historically. Meanwhile, both home runs (0.64) and strikeouts (3.66) reach all-time highs.

Two new power hitters emerge in 1940. 26-year-old Rudy York of the Tigers, deployed as a full-time regular for the first time, hits .313 with 29 homers, and is second in the AL in doubles (44), RBI (126), and total bases (326). 25-year-old Bill Nicholson of the Cubs, in his first season as a regular, hits .300 with 28 homers, and is second in the NL in slugging (.563).

League Leaders (ML LEADER IN CAPS):

Runs, AL: TED WILLIAMS, Red Sox, 126
Runs, NL: Arky Vaughan, Pirates, 120

RBI, AL: Hank Greenberg, Tigers, 141
RBI, NL: JOHNNY MIZE, Cardinals, 146

Total Bases, AL: Hank Greenberg, Tigers, 364
Total Bases, NL: JOHNNY MIZE, Cardinals, 393

Home Runs, AL: Hank Greenberg, Tigers, 37
Home Runs, NL: JOHNNY MIZE, Cardinals, 49

Walks, AL: Charlie Keller, Yankees, 98
Walks, NL: ELBIE FLETCHER, Pirates, 130

Batting Average, AL: JOE DiMAGGIO, Yankees, .349
Batting Average, NL: Stan Hack, Cubs, .320

On-Base Percentage, AL: TED WILLIAMS, Red Sox, .431
On-Base Percentage, NL: Elbie Fletcher, Pirates, .422

Slugging Average, AL: Hank Greenberg, Tigers, .638
Slugging Average, NL: JOHNNY MIZE, Cardinals, .676

OPS, AL: Hank Greenberg, Tigers, 1.062
OPS, NL: JOHNNY MIZE, Cardinals, 1.085

Strikeouts, AL: BOB FELLER, Indians, 250
Strikeouts, NL: Kirby Higbe, Phillies, 143

Strikeouts/9 Innings, AL: BOB FELLER, Indians, 7.03
Strikeouts/9 Innings, NL: Cliff Melton, Giants, 5.13

Hits/9 Innings, AL: BOB FELLER, Indians, 6.79
Hits/9 Innings, NL: Bucky Walters, Reds, 7.21

Walks/9 Innings, AL: Ted Lyons, White Sox, 1.65
Walks/9 Innings, NL: PAUL DERRINGER, Reds, 1.59

Hits + Walks/9 Innings, AL: BOB FELLER, Indians, 9.85
Hits + Walks/9 Innings, NL: Bucky Walters, Reds, 10.18

ERA, AL: BOB FELLER, Indians, 2.46
ERA, NL: Bucky Walters, Reds, 2.64

Best Hitter in the Major Leagues: For the second season in a row, Joe DiMaggio leads the majors in average (.349), and also contributes 28 homers and 125 RBI. Ted Williams follows up his spectacular rookie year by hitting .341 with 20 homers and 88 walks, leading the majors in runs (126) and OBP (.431). Detroit’s Hank Greenberg, voluntarily shifting to left field to make room for York at first base, turns in possibly his best all-around season: hitting .337 and leading the majors with 47 doubles, and leading the AL in homers (37), RBI (141), total bases (364), OBP (.424, a career high), SLG (.638, a career high), and OPS (1.062, a career high). Still, none can match Johnny Mize, who has his best year, hitting .317 and achieving major league-leading career highs in homers (49), RBI (146), total bases (393), SLG (.676), and OPS (1.085).

Best Pitcher in the Major Leagues: Several pitchers have excellent years: Bobo Newsom is 21-5, 2.67, with 157 strikeouts in 264 innings; Claude Passeau is 20-13, 2.66, with 5 saves in 281 innings; Bucky Walters is 22-10, 2.64 in 305 innings. But it’s really no contest. Bob Feller blows everyone else away: at 27-11 with 4 saves, he leads the majors in wins, ERA (2.46), innings (320), complete games (31), and strikeouts (250), as well as dominating the rate stats.

1941

Scoring continues to decline, now down to 4.49 runs per team/game, just a hair above 1933. Hits remain at the lowest rate since 1919, doubles are at their lowest since 1923, and triples are at an all-time low. Even home runs, which had been hit at a record pace in 1940, drop to their lowest rate since 1933. Strikeouts decline a bit from their 1940 record high, but walks are at a new all-time high, at 3.57.

The most exciting new face of the year is unquestionably the Dodgers’ Pete Reiser. At 22 years old, in his first full season, he leads the NL in runs (124), total bases (316), average (.348), and doubles (41), and leads the majors in triples (21).

League Leaders (ML LEADER IN CAPS):

Runs, AL: TED WILLIAMS, Red Sox, 128
Runs, NL: Pete Reiser, Dodgers, 124

RBI, AL: Joe DiMaggio, Yankees, 118
RBI, NL: DOLF CAMILLI, Dodgers, 127

Total Bases, AL: JOE DiMAGGIO, Yankees, 331
Total Bases, NL: Pete Reiser, Dodgers, 316

Home Runs, AL: Ted Williams, Red Sox, 34
Home Runs, NL: DOLF CAMILLI, Dodgers, 38

Walks, AL: TED WILLIAMS, Red Sox, 136
Walks, NL: Elbie Fletcher, Pirates, 126

Batting Average, AL: TED WILLIAMS, Red Sox, .401
Batting Average, NL: Pete Reiser, Dodgers, .348

On-Base Percentage, AL: TED WILLIAMS, Red Sox, .539
On-Base Percentage, NL: Elbie Fletcher, Pirates, .430

Slugging Average, AL: TED WILLIAMS, Red Sox, .700
Slugging Average, NL: Dolf Camilli, Dodgers, .588

OPS, AL: TED WILLIAMS, Red Sox, 1.240
OPS, NL: Dolf Camilli, Dodgers, 1.000

Strikeouts, AL: BOB FELLER, Indians, 260
Strikeouts, NL: Johnny Vander Meer, Reds, 202

Strikeouts/9 Innings, AL: Bob Feller, Indians, 6.82
Strikeouts/9 Innings, NL: JOHNNY VANDER MEER, Reds, 8.04

Hits/9 Innings, AL: Al Benton, Tigers, 7.26
Hits/9 Innings, NL: JOHNNY VANDER MEER, Reds, 6.99

Walks/9 Innings, AL: TED LYONS, White Sox, 1.67
Walks/9 Innings, NL: Claude Passeau, Cubs, 2.17

Hits + Walks/9 Innings, AL: Thornton Lee, White Sox, 10.18
Hits + Walks/9 Innings, NL: Whitlow Wyatt, Dodgers, 9.86

ERA, AL: THORNTON LEE, White Sox, 2.24
ERA, NL: Elmer Riddle, Reds, 2.37

Best Hitter in the Major Leagues: With all due respect to Reiser, to Dolf Camilli (.290, 38 homers, 111 walks), and certainly to Joe DiMaggio (.352, 27 homers, 118 RBI), this one is a complete no-brainer. With a flurry of hits in the doubleheader on the season’s final day, Ted Williams pushes his average up to .401 — the first major leaguer to reach that level since Bill Terry in 1930. Despite the generally low-scoring environment, Williams has the highest SLG (.700) since 1934, the highest OBP (.539) since 1923, and the highest OPS (1.240) since 1927.

Best Pitcher in the Major Leagues: Two well-past-30 veterans who had never known stardom are suddenly brilliant in 1941. 33-year-old Whitlow Wyatt of the Dodgers goes 22-10, 2.48, with 176 strikeouts in 288 innings. 34-year-old Thornton Lee of the White Sox goes 22-11, 2.24, with 30 complete games and 300 innings. But still, this one is also a no-brainer: Bob Feller is once again dominant. Although he struggles again with his control — his walks balloon from 109 to 182 — he goes 25-13, 2.98, leading the majors in wins, innings (343), and strikeouts (260).

So Here’s Where We Are

Year     Best Hitter         Best Pitcher
----     -----------         ------------
1931     Babe Ruth (AL)    Lefty Grove (AL)
1932   Jimmie Foxx (AL)    Lefty Grove (AL)
1933   Jimmie Foxx (AL)   Carl Hubbell (NL)
1934    Lou Gehrig (AL)     Dizzy Dean (NL)
1935  Arky Vaughan (NL)     Dizzy Dean (NL)
1936    Lou Gehrig (AL)   Carl Hubbell (NL)
1937   Joe Medwick (NL)    Lefty Gomez (AL)
1938   Jimmie Foxx (AL)       Bill Lee (NL)
1939   Johnny Mize (NL)  Bucky Walters (NL)
1940   Johnny Mize (NL)     Bob Feller (AL)
1941  Ted Williams (AL)     Bob Feller (AL)

That’s seven Best Hitters in the eleven seasons for the American League, while the National gets six of the eleven Best Pitchers. Food for further thought …

Next time we’ll take a look at this exercise from the standpoint of the careers of these key players, and assess “what it all means.”

References & Resources
Here are the actual major league average per team/game rates for 1931-41:

Year     R      H    2B    3B    HR    BB    SO
1931  4.81   9.72  1.82  0.43  0.43  3.10  3.20
1932  4.91   9.78  1.86  0.43  0.55  3.06  3.19
1933  4.48   9.37  1.61  0.39  0.44  3.00  3.03
1934  4.91   9.80  1.76  0.36  0.55  3.21  3.45
1935  4.90   9.80  1.74  0.40  0.54  3.19  3.26
1936  5.19  10.04  1.81  0.40  0.55  3.40  3.33
1937  4.87   9.59  1.70  0.40  0.58  3.40  3.63
1938  4.89   9.52  1.65  0.38  0.60  3.53  3.41
1939  4.82   9.49  1.68  0.37  0.59  3.44  3.46
1940  4.68   9.31  1.66  0.38  0.64  3.34  3.66
1941  4.49   9.06  1.59  0.35  0.53  3.57  3.55

In order to adjust both leagues to these average rates for each season, each player’s stats were multiplied by the following factors:

American Leaguers

Year      R      H     2B     3B     HR     BB     SO
1931  0.936  0.989  0.971  0.994  0.928  0.920  0.978
1932  0.939  1.001  0.999  0.938  0.958  0.854  0.977
1933  0.896  0.979  0.936  0.880  0.872  0.833  0.944
1934  0.957  1.007  0.984  0.988  0.982  0.856  0.989
1935  0.962  0.995  0.959  0.935  0.994  0.857  1.012
1936  0.915  0.980  0.930  0.892  0.898  0.866  1.019
1937  0.932  0.980  0.923  0.929  0.891  0.887  1.016
1938  0.912  0.978  0.951  0.966  0.856  0.878  0.983
1939  0.926  0.984  0.981  0.919  0.907  0.909  0.985
1940  0.942  0.987  0.948  0.907  0.891  0.921  0.959
1941  0.946  0.980  0.958  0.853  0.907  0.937  0.998

National Leaguers

Year      R      H     2B     3B     HR     BB     SO
1931  1.074  1.012  1.031  1.006  1.084  1.095  1.024
1932  1.069  0.999  1.001  1.070  1.046  1.205  1.024
1933  1.129  1.022  1.072  1.155  1.169  1.245  1.063
1934  1.048  0.993  1.017  1.013  1.019  1.205  1.011
1935  1.041  1.005  1.044  1.073  1.006  1.198  0.989
1936  1.102  1.021  1.081  1.138  1.127  1.183  0.982
1937  1.080  1.021  1.092  1.084  1.141  1.147  0.984
1938  1.108  1.023  1.055  1.036  1.204  1.162  1.018
1939  1.086  1.017  1.019  1.097  1.114  1.111  1.015
1940  1.065  1.014  1.059  1.115  1.140  1.095  1.045
1941  1.060  1.020  1.046  1.208  1.115  1.072  1.002

And the adjustment of batters’ at-bats followed the same principle as we did here. An impact of a greater/lesser rate of hits is an increase/decrease in at-bats. Every batter’s at-bats were increased/decreased by his number of increased/decreased hits. Outs are constant, of course, and I assumed a constant rate of double plays and other baserunning outs – probably not exactly proper assumptions, but close enough for our purposes.

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