Robinson wins MVP in ’49; Yankee Reliever Sets a Record


Look back at the 1949 MLB season.

By Glen Sparks

  • Jackie Robinson wins the National League MVP. He leads the Senior Circuit in batting (.342) and stolen bases (37). The Brooklyn Dodgers infielder also hits 16 home runs and drives in 124 runs.
  • Ted Williams leads the American League with 43 homers and ties for the lead in RBI with a career-high 159. Teddy Ballgame, the great left-fielder for the Boston Red Sox, finishes second in the league in batting average (.343). He finishes a fraction behind George Kell, just missing out on a third Triple Crown. Williams wins the AL MVP.
  • Williams’ Boston teammate Vern Stephens also drive in 159 runs. That number sets an MLB record for shortstops.
  • Joe DiMaggio signs what is reportedly the first $100,000 contract in MLB history. The Yankee Clipper bats .346 but plays in just 76 games due to injury.
  • The Red Sox’ Mel Parnell leads baseball with 25 wins. The left-hander from New Orleans loses just seven times and tops the AL with a 2.77 ERA.
  • Ralph Kiner blasts a career-high 54 homers, leading the NL for the fourth straight season. The Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder goes on to top the league in homers for seven times consecutive campaigns (1946-52).
  • The Yankees’ Joe Page saves 27 games, a new MLB record. The lefty pitches eight seasons and retires with 76 saves.
  • The Philadelphia A’s double their pleasure. They turn an all-time record 217 double plays.
  • Stan Musial enjoys another big season for the St. Lois Cardinals. He leads the NL in hits (207), doubles (41), total bases (382) and on-base percentage (.438). He ties for the lead in triples (nine) and adds 39 homers.
  • Both the Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers finish 97-57 and win the A.L. and N.L. pennants, respectively. The Yanks beat the Dodgers in five games in the World Series. Bobby Brown hits two triples and drive in five for New York.

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