1949 Boston Red Sox
Ted Williams named American League MVP
Major League affiliations
Location
Results
Record96–58 (62,3%)
League place2nd place (1 GB)
Other information
Owner(s)Tom Yawkey
General manager(s)Joe Cronin
Manager(s)Joe McCarthy
Local televisionWBZ-TV/WNAC-TV
(Jim Britt, Tom Hussey, Bump Hadley)
Local radioWHDH
(Jim Britt, Tom Hussey, Leo Egan)
StatsESPN.com
BB-reference
< Previous season     Next season >

The 1949 Boston Red Sox season was the 49th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished second in the American League (AL) with a record of 96 wins and 58 losses, one game behind the New York Yankees, who went on to win the 1949 World Series.

The Red Sox set a major-league record which still stands for the most base on balls by a team in a season, with 835.[1] Center fielder Dom DiMaggio had a 34-game hitting streak, which still stands as the club record for the major-league Red Sox.[2]

Regular season

During the season, Mel Parnell was the last pitcher to win at least 25 games in one season for the Red Sox in the 20th century.[3] George Kell beat Ted Williams for the American League batting title by 0.0002 percentage points.[4]

Ted Williams set a major league record for the most consecutive games reaching base safely with 84. The streak began on July 1, and ended on September 28. The streak was ended by Washington Senators pitcher Ray Scarborough.[4] Williams was in the on-deck circle when Johnny Pesky made the final out, depriving him of one more chance to extend the streak.

The trade that wasn't

In 1949, Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey and Yankees GM Larry MacPhail verbally agreed to trade Joe DiMaggio for Williams, but MacPhail refused to include Yogi Berra.[5]

Yankees and Red Sox toe-to-toe

Joe DiMaggio came back from heel surgery to demolish the Red Sox in a three-game series at Fenway Park. He hit four home runs, three of them game winners. It sent the Sox reeling, and they fell 12.5 games back by July 4. But Boston rallied after that, going 60-21 (.741) in their next 81 games, and they consequently went into Yankee Stadium for the final two games of the schedule with a one-game lead. The Red Sox needed just one win in two games and were to pitch Mel Parnell in the first game. After trailing 4–0, the Yankees came back to beat Parnell 5–4, as Johnny Lindell hit an eighth-inning, game-winning, home run and Joe Page had a great relief appearance for New York.[6][7] And so it came down to the last game of the season. It was Ellis Kinder facing Vic Raschi.

The Yankees led 1–0 after seven innings, having scored in the first. In the eighth inning, Red Sox manager Joe McCarthy lifted Kinder for pinch hitter Tom Wright, who walked but was then erased on a double play. With Kinder out of the game, McCarthy then brought in Mel Parnell in relief, even though Parnell had pitched 4 innings the previous day (in which he had given up 8 hits, two walks and four runs). Parnell immediately yielded a homer to Tommy Henrich and a single to Yogi Berra, and after those two batters was quickly replaced by Tex Hughson, who had been on the disabled list and said his arm still hurt. But he came on and, with the bases loaded, Jerry Coleman hit a soft liner that Al Zarilla in right field tried to make a shoestring catch, but he missed and it went for a triple and three runs.[8]

In the ninth inning the Red Sox rallied for three runs but still fell short. McCarthy was criticized for pinch-hitting for Kinder, particularly when there were no fully-rested, effective arms in the bullpen to replace Kinder on the mound. Hughson also claimed his manager ruined his career by making him pitch with a sore arm—Hughson, an eight-year Red Sox veteran, never again appeared in the major leagues after this game.

It was the second year in a row McCarthy's late-season managing was called into question. In 1948, McCarthy had chosen journeyman pitcher Denny Galehouse to start the tie breaker that decided who went to the 1948 World Series, and the Red Sox lost that tiebreaker to the Cleveland Indians.

Season standings

American League W L Pct. GB Home Road
New York Yankees 97 57 0.630 54–23 43–34
Boston Red Sox 96 58 0.623 1 61–16 35–42
Cleveland Indians 89 65 0.578 8 49–28 40–37
Detroit Tigers 87 67 0.565 10 50–27 37–40
Philadelphia Athletics 81 73 0.526 16 52–25 29–48
Chicago White Sox 63 91 0.409 34 32–45 31–46
St. Louis Browns 53 101 0.344 44 36–41 17–60
Washington Senators 50 104 0.325 47 26–51 24–53


Record vs. opponents


Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8]
Team BOS CWS CLE DET NYY PHI STL WSH
Boston 17–5 8–14 15–7–1 9–13 14–8 15–7 18–4
Chicago 5–17 7–15 8–14 7–15 6–16 15–7 15–7
Cleveland 14–8 15–7 13–9 10–12 9–13 15–7 13–9
Detroit 7–15–1 14–8 9–13 11–11 14–8 14–8 18–4
New York 13–9 15–7 12–10 11–11 14–8 17–5–1 15–7
Philadelphia 8–14 16–6 13–9 8–14 8–14 12–10 16–6
St. Louis 7–15 7–15 7–15 8–14 5–17–1 10–12 9–13
Washington 4–18 7–15 9–13 4–18 7–15 6–16 13–9


Opening Day lineup

 7 Dom DiMaggio     CF
 6 Johnny Pesky 3B
 9 Ted Williams LF
 5 Vern Stephens SS
 1 Bobby Doerr 2B
23 Tommy O'Brien RF
 3 Walt Dropo 1B
 8 Birdie Tebbetts C
15 Joe Dobson P

Notable transactions

Roster

1949 Boston Red Sox
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Other batters

Manager

Coaches

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
C Birdie Tebbetts 122 403 109 .270 5 48
1B Billy Goodman 122 443 132 .298 0 56
2B Bobby Doerr 139 541 167 .309 18 109
SS Vern Stephens 155 610 177 .290 39 159
3B Johnny Pesky 148 604 185 .306 2 69
OF Al Zarilla 124 474 133 .281 9 71
OF Ted Williams 155 566 194 .343 43 159
OF Dom DiMaggio 145 605 186 .307 8 60

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Matt Batts 60 157 38 .242 3 31
Billy Hitchcock 55 147 30 .204 0 9
Tommy O'Brien 49 125 28 .224 3 10
Sam Mele 18 46 9 .196 0 7
Lou Stringer 35 41 11 .268 1 6
Walt Dropo 11 41 6 .146 0 1
Merl Combs 14 24 5 .208 0 1
Stan Spence 7 20 3 .150 0 1
Tom Wright 5 4 1 .250 0 1
Babe Martin 2 2 0 .000 0 0

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Mel Parnell 39 295.1 25 7 2.77 122
Ellis Kinder 43 252.0 23 6 3.36 138
Joe Dobson 33 212.2 14 12 3.85 87
Chuck Stobbs 26 152.0 11 6 4.03 70
Jack Kramer 21 111.2 6 8 5.16 24
Mickey McDermott 12 80.0 5 4 4.05 50
Mickey Harris 7 37.2 2 3 5.02 14

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Walt Masterson 18 55.0 3 4 4.25 19
Earl Johnson 19 49.1 3 6 7.48 20

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Tex Hughson 29 4 2 3 5.33 35
Frank Quinn 8 0 0 0 2.86 4
Windy McCall 5 0 0 0 11.57 8
Harry Dorish 5 0 0 0 2.35 5
Dave Ferriss 4 0 0 0 4.05 1
Jack Robinson 3 0 0 0 2.25 1
Denny Galehouse 2 0 0 0 13.50 0
Johnnie Wittig 1 0 0 0 9.00 0

Awards and honors

Farm system

See also: Minor League Baseball

Level Team League Manager
AAA Louisville Colonels American Association Fred Walters and Mike Ryba
AA Birmingham Barons Southern Association Pinky Higgins
A Scranton Red Sox Eastern League Mike Ryba and Jack Burns
B Roanoke Red Sox Piedmont League Red Marion
C San Jose Red Sox California League Marv Owen
C Oneonta Red Sox Canadian–American League Eddie Popowski
D Valley Rebels Georgia–Alabama League Jesse Danna, Malvern "Mal" Morgan
and Woodrow "Woody" Bottoms
D Marion Red Sox Ohio–Indiana League Wally Millies
D Hornell Maple Leafs PONY League Marius Russo

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: San Jose, Marion[11]

References

  1. ^ "Single Season Bases on Balls Records". Baseball-Almanac.com. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  2. ^ Couture, Jon (August 14, 2021). "Worcester's Yairo Muñoz runs hit streak to 35 games, breaking a 70-year-old Red Sox record". The Boston Globe. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  3. ^ Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p. 99, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0
  4. ^ a b c d Baseball's Top 100: The Game's Greatest Records, p. 44, Kerry Banks, 2010, Greystone Books, Vancouver, BC, ISBN 978-1-55365-507-7
  5. ^ ESPN.com – Page2 – The List: Baseball's biggest rumors
  6. ^ "Yanks, Sox Settle Title In New York". The Victoria Advocate. Associated Press. September 29, 1949. p. 8. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  7. ^ "October 1, 1949 Red Sox-Yankees box score". retrosheet.org. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  8. ^ "October 2, 1949 Red Sox-Yankees box score". retrosheet.org. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
  9. ^ Wally Moses page at Baseball Reference
  10. ^ Ray Jablonski page at Baseball Reference
  11. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007