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The 1950ís

To be filled in later.


1950

The AABC was now the ABLóthe American Baseball Leagueóthe streamlined name being a further indication that the two leagues were becoming more and more two halves a larger whole. Nominally, however, they were still separate entities, and each retained the right to make decisions without the otherís support, but the days of non-cooperation already seemed a thing of the past by 1950.

All four divisional races were still highly competitive as late as the All-Star break, but Pittsburgh pulled away soon after and held a double-digit lead over Philadelphia in the NBL East by mid-July; the Industrials eventually finished 12 games ahead of second-place Buffalo. In the NBL West Detroit was still within five games of Chicago in early September, but the Traders, compiling the best record in baseball at 102-60, ultimately bested the Wolverines by 11 games. Seattle took advantage of a hot second half to blow past San Francisco and end the Seagullsí four-year reign atop the ABL West, topping them by 13 games, while in the East a tight three-team race between Baltimore, Boston, and Toronto lasted into late August before the Lords fell back to the pack. The Terriers topped the Hurons by a single game to repeat as division champions.

The All-Star Game was played at Beaver Park in Buffalo, and was another win for the Nationals, 5-1. It was the Senior Circuitís third win in four meetings.

To say that 1950 was a hitterís year is to understate the situation significantly, particularly in the NBL, where Chicago and St. Louis both hit 165 home runs, an all-time record for a team. On the other hand, perhaps it wasnít so much good hitting as it was bad pitching: the league ERA was the highest ever at 4.87, and Brooklyn set an all-time league mark for most walks allowed (912) while compiling the second-worst ERA (6.29) for a team in history. The ABLís ERA was a comparatively modest 4.25.

Fred Crumley of Philadelphia thrilled NBL fans with a record-setting campaign that saw him set new marks for home runs with 57 and runs batted in with 168; John Warlick of Buffalo was the batting champion at .397. Jim Spencer of Boston took the Triple Crown in the ABL, winning the batting title at .368 and topping the loop in homers with 42 and RBI with 144. Detroitís Ray Barker posted the best ERA in the NBL, 2.81, while Swanee Law of St. Louis was the loopís top winner with 23 victories, and Chuck Hathaway of Cleveland paced the circuit in strikeouts with 141. Tom Green of New York won the ERA crown in the Junior Circuit with a 2.51 mark; Ben McHargue of Boston led in wins with 27 and Los Angelesí Percell Russell was the strikeout king with 179. Crumley and Warlick were their leagueís respective Most Valuable Players while McHargue (27-5, 2.65) and the Tradersí Joe Shannon (20-10, 3.29) were the Royal Ricketts Award honorees. It was the sixth time Shannon took home the trophy.

Boston swept Seattle to win the ABL flag, while Chicago and Pittsburgh battled for seven games, all of them close, before the Industrials finally triumphed, ending the Tradersí three-year stranglehold on both the NBL pennant and the world title. Pittsburgh carried its momentum into the World Series, taking the first two contests on the road, but the Terriers stormed back to win the next four straight. It was Bostonís third world title and first since 1913. While the Terriers had only spent the last two seasons of their 75-year history in the Junior Circuit, their victory enabled to the ABL to lay claim to its first world championship.

The Hall of Fame increased its membership to 30 by adding four new honorees: pitchers Phil Cartlidge and Tom Sanders and second basemen Al Bruning and Jim Lee.

NBL Season statistics

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