October 6 - The Series is in the books, and my
fourth replay effort again has the same Series results as reality. It appeared
like Brooklyn was going to break that trend with the frantic rally in Game 4,
but it was not meant to be. The lack of depth in the Brooklyn staff was a
question mark before and during the Series by the New York media, and it came
into play in my replay. Hugh Casey can only be used in so many games. Casey also
suffered an injury during the real Series that downplayed his effectiveness, and
perhaps was a deciding factor in a seven game Series. Branch Rickey commented
after the 1947 Series that he was not surprised by the outcome because of the
lack of pitching depth of the Dodgers. I'm currently reading "Baseball
Dynasties" by Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein. I was surprised to see the 1955
edition of the Dodgers as one of the team profiled. I always thought the 1953
version was stronger, and the '55 team was just fortunate enough to be the club
that finally broke through. Neyer and Epstein make a good case that the '55 club
was the strongest Brooklyn club during this time period. I recommend the book.
It's now on to 1948, but the pace of my replays will be slowed but I hope to
present that replayed season with the same, if not greater, level of detail as
my 1969 and 1947 efforts. With the assistance of Ron Bernier, an ATM file
for those interested in replaying 1947 with actual lineups and transactions will
be forthcoming within the coming months.
September 28 - The replay finally comes to a close.
The offense remained too high but the standings are pretty close. If you factor
in sacrifice flies as an at-bat, the batting averages were off 3.4% in the NL
(.274 replay compared to .265) and 4.7 % in the AL (.268 replay to .256).
But it's the Dodgers and Yankees...and on to the Series!
September 15 - Another no-hitter and again it
was done on cruise control. But whodathunk Mel Queen? Three no-hitters from
unlikely sources: Doyle Lade, Walt Lanfranconi, and now, Mel Queen. Lade is
probably the most likely of the trio to toss a no-hitter because in 1947 he had
some promise. Lanfranconi is a journeyman, but Queen was one of those
fireballers who maybe with certain planets in line is just wild enough to no-hit
somebody. Some of you may recognize the name Mel Queen from baseball in the
Sixties and Seventies...this no-hitter is from that Queen's dad. The pennant
races are drawing to a close as the Dodgers sweep in St. Louis. It is a turn of
the tables as in my 1946 replay the head-to-head contests went to the Cardinals.
The Yankees have the champagne on ice another day as they've lost five in a row
to keep the celebration on hold. Meanwhile, check out the comments on
August 23. Detroit has won five in a row, and is battling Cleveland and Boston
for second place.
September 6 - The Yankees have taken control of
the AL. The first half phenom of the Athletics have fallen back into the pack,
closing in on second division status. The Indians are proving that they may be a
team to contend with, but have dropped back with the loss of 1B Eddie Robinson.
Boston is regrouping itself, but it is too little, too late. In the NL, the
Cardinals are still within striking distance of the Dodgers with a September
series to play. I will likely update the site again at the conclusion of that
series. Thanks again for your interest in my replay of this historic baseball
August 23 - The season's second n0-hitter and I
almost missed it. As the case with Doyle Lade's no-hitter in May, the
Cubs/Braves game on August 22 was autoplayed in specator mode with the throttle
on high. Before I could pause the game to follow the ninth-inning action, Walt
Lanfranconi had tossed an improbable no-hitter. It was the fourth and
final start for the veteran. Lanfranconi was 4-4 with a 2.95 ERA allowing 65
hits and striking out 18 in 64 IP. In the replay, Lanfranconi is 2-7 with a 4.98
ERA allowing 66 hits and striking out 18 in 65 IP. The no-hitter really brought
his totals closer to reality. Meanwhile, the Yankees are beginning to pull
away with a 6 1/2 game lead over Cleveland. One thing to watch is if Detroit can
overcome their 13 game losing streak in August to reach second place which is
where the finished in 1947. Brooklyn leads St. Louis by 3 1/2 with only
one more trip out West to face the Redbirds.
August 10 - Now it's the NL race tightening as the
Cardinals close to one game from Brooklyn. In my 1946 replay, the Dodgers just
couldn't muster enough against the Cardinals, and now St. Louis is overplaying
from their 1947 form to make it a race. The pace of the replay has slowed as
other factors have kept me from playing games and updating this site. However, I
still enjoy presenting this replay effort, and I appreciate your interest and
hope you find this era of baseball equally as entertaining.
July 20 - The AL race as tightened up to a five
team race within 3 1/2 games. This is the point of the season where the Yankees
ran away from the rest of the pack. The July 20 Cards-Dodgers is of note in
reality as the game was played under protest after Ron Northey was thrown out at
home as he trotted in after hitting what he thought was a home run.
All-Star Break - The site gets a new look for the
second half. The backdrop on the main page is Forbes Field in May, 1947. The
backdrop on the minor league replay is Ponce de Leon Park, home of the Atlanta
Crackers of the Southern Association. The team pages also get a new look with
backdrops featuring either the teams' logo vintage 1947 or their stadium
backdrop. These changes were inspired by www.crosleyfield.com,
a fantastic site if you have a high-speed Internet connection.
June 30 - The league totals are coming back down to
the actual levels, but still it's a ways off. If you factor in sacrifice flies
as at-bats (SF rule was enacted in its current state in 1954), then the NL
batting avg. is off .276 compared to actual .265, and the AL is .261 compared to
.256. The NL ERA is less than a half run off at (4.48 vs. 4.07 actual) and the
AL is getting closer (3.88 vs. 3.70 actual). But more importantly, the pennant
races are developing! The Yankees have fallen back to the pack and into a tie
with the Indians. The Tigers are a half game back, and even the Red Sox, given
up for dead in May, have a shot going into July. In the NL, the Dodgers have
cooled, most recently with a five game skid on the road. This opened the gate
for the red-hot defending champion Cardinals who have rocketed into second from
seventh place. Boston still remains in contention with one of the league's
June 15 - A little different look to the site as I bring the standings to the
front page in order to make the site easier to navigate and follow. The Tigers
and Braves close in to within four games of the Yankees and Dodgers in hopes of
some summer drama. The Senators and Cubs also pick up the slack and begin to
show they were not below .300 clubs.
June 8 - A real offensive week in the NL really throws the league totals out of
whack. To date, the NL ERA is about a half a run higher than the actual final
total for 1947, and the league is batting fifteen points higher. One noticeable
stat is the high number of walks in the replay. I am hopeful that the warm June
weather will cool off the bats, but if maybe I didn't things like leave in Jack
Kramer after he's walked 10 in 6 innings, the numbers would come down! <g>
I tested this player disk a few times with decent results before officially
starting this replay. The thing about replays is that you have to stick with it
- the surge of the Red Sox and Cardinals are two examples. A few weeks ago, both
defending league champions were in 7th place!
May 25 - My baseball reading has moved to The Era by Roger Kahn which
I reference in the Yankee team page and the front page of the site. Kahn is the
author of The Boys of Summer and Memories of Summer which focus on
his time as beat writer for the Dodgers in the early 1950's. The Era is
more about the late 1940's though it covers the ten years from 1947-1957
"when the Yankees, Giants, and Dodgers ruled the World." I highly
recommend any of Kahn's books. Big highlight from this week's play is the first
home run in the career of Jackie Robinson. I have to admit I had a grin on my
face as Jackie's drive left the park against, of all teams, Ben Chapman's
Phillies. Given the events of the earlier Phillie series, it would have made one
heck of a story if reality had played out like my replay. In reality, Robinson's
first homer occurred in the first week of the season at the Polo Grounds.
May 11 - First no-hitter by Doyle Lade of the Cubs tossed this week. I was
auto-playing the game and quickly noticed the zero remaining in the Reds' hit
column. Fortunately, I hit the pause button in time to manually play the
That event almost overshadowed one of the more traumatic weeks of
Jackie Robinson's rookie season. In Baseball's Great Experiment by Jules
Tygiel (which I am currently reading), Stanley Woodward's story regarding the
Cardinals' threatened strike seems to be one of those myths of baseball lore.
Woodward retracted most of the story the following day, but still stood by the
story. The conversation between Frick and the Cardinal players apparently never
The photo of Robinson with Ben Chapman on the front page of the web site is very
intriguing. This photo was arranged by both team owners to counter the negative
publicity received from the Phillies' treatment of Robinson at Brooklyn.
Robinson later confessed "I can think of no occasion where I had more
difficulty in swallowing my pride and doing what seemed best for baseball and
the cause of the Negro in baseball than in agreeing to pose for a photograph
with a man whom I had only the very lowest regard."
The other big event of the replay week was Joe DiMaggio's five game home run
streak that fell one short of a team record set by Lou Gehrig in 1931.
Later, Roger Maris tied Gehrig in his record-setting 1961 season, and Don
Mattingly tied Dale Long's record of 8 games in 1987. Ken Griffey, Jr. tied this
mark in 1993.
May 4 - No real action on the field as rain washes away most of the NL
schedule. So a couple of trades take center stage as Branch Rickey sells off
Kirby Higbe and four others in what is noted as a roster reduction move. A
couple of things underscore this trade. First, Higbe, a South Carolina native,
was one of Jackie Robinson's detractors in the spring. Second, Rickey
received a percentage of all cash received for the sale of players. Such trades
would become a wedge between Rickey and partner Walter O'Malley. Meanwhile, St.
Louis gives up Harry Walker for Ron Northey. Walker escapes to Philadelphia and
will rise beyond the shadow of brother, Dixie, with one heck of a 1947 season.
For more on Harry Walker, see Bob
Levy's excellent article in FanPark.
April 27 - Babe Ruth Day. This update took a while to get together but I
hope it was worth the wait. Check Mel Allen behind Ruth in the newsreel. He
looks like he's fighting off tears. Another addition is the minor league section
which will feature a replay of the 1947 Southern Association. 1947 marked the
first year of the Earl Mann era for my hometown, Atlanta Crackers. Atlanta
celebrated a title in '46 and set an attendance record of 395,699 for that
season. Atlanta broke that mark with 404,584, the best attendance in a banner
year for the SA. Ernie Harwell announced the Cracker games on WATL-AM, and
though the club did not match its success in '46, the lineup featured a
future professional - CF Charley Trippi, University of Georgia gridiron
legend, who starred with NFL's Chicago Cardinals the following year. 1947
champion Mobile Bears featured future Dodgers Paul Minner, George Shuba, Cal
Abrams, Chuck "Rifleman" Connors, and Cliff Dapper who would be traded
in 1948 by Brooklyn back to Atlanta in exchange for announcer Ernie Harwell!
Memphis Chick 1B Ted Kluszewski led the league with a .377 average. Hope you
enjoy this side action to the replay. Thanks to Chuck Partington for creating
April 20 - The triple steal in the Dodgers/Giants game on April 19 was a
real surprise. Steven Galbraith, the man behind computer manager Cookie Lopez,
told me Lopez had some random wild cards up his sleeves, but the odds on the
triple steal were as great as winning the lottery. Shoulda bought lottery tickets
this week! <g>
April 15 - Quite a historic Opening Day. I plan on sharing my comments on the replay
on this page. These may range from rare plays in the games, BBW-related novelties, or
comments on the season and my research. One of the noteworthy things I came across
in my preparations for this replay was about the debut of Jackie Robinson. It is a
well-known fact that he generally was not welcome by most to the game, but now we
celebrate his debut as one of the greatest moments in baseball, if not, in American life.
So I really paused for a moment when I saw the treatment of Robinson's debut in my
hometown newspaper, the Atlanta Constitution. In the middle of the game story, it reads
"Robinson, the first colored to play major league ball since Fleetwood Walker last
century, was hitless in three attempts." That was all of the coverage. One sentence
pointing out the negative in his debut. I should double-check it, but I assume that was
the AP story that ran in many newspapers, particulary in the South. In contrast, the New
York Times noted that despite the hitless afternoon, it was Robinson's speed that forced
an error on a bunt which opened things for a Brooklyn rally. Maybe I'm reading too much
into it, but it was striking to see the general sentiment and/or wish that Robinson would
fail in print.