1945 Washington Senators season

The 1945 Washington Senators won 87 games, lost 67, and finished in second place in the American League. They were managed by Ossie Bluege and played their home games at Griffith Stadium, where they drew 652,660 fans, fourth-most in their league. The 1945 Senators represented the 45th edition of the Major League Baseball franchise and were the last of the "original" Senators to place higher than fourth in the American League; the team moved to Minneapolis–Saint Paul in 1961 to become the modern Minnesota Twins.

When the regular season ended on September 30, Washington trailed the pennant-winning Detroit Tigers (88–65) by 112 games. But because of World War II travel restrictions and the need to convert Griffith Stadium's playing field to host its autumn football tenants, the NFL Washington Redskins and Georgetown University, the Senators' 1945 schedule had actually ended seven days before, on Sunday, September 23. On that day, the "Griffs" stood one full game behind 86–64 Detroit. As the idle Senators waited, the Tigers had four games to play, two each against the fifth-place Cleveland Indians and third-place St. Louis Browns. After splitting against the Indians, Detroit was rained out for three days in St. Louis. When the Tigers defeated the Browns 6–3 in the first game of the doubleheader on September 30 (on a come-from-behind, grand slam home run by Hank Greenberg), the Tigers clinched the pennant. The second game of the twin bill was rained out.[1]

Outstanding pitching drove the 1945 Senators' success. Washington led the American League in team earned run average (2.92). Its starting rotation featured four knuckleball artists—Roger Wolff, Dutch Leonard, Johnny Niggeling and Mickey Haefner—who combined for 60 victories.[2] Wolff and Leonard posted sterling 2.12 and 2.13 earned run averages, third and fourth in the league.

1945 Washington Senators
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s)Clark Griffith and George H. Richardson
Manager(s)Ossie Bluege
Local radioWOL (AM)/WWDC (FM)
(Arch McDonald, Russ Hodges)
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Regular season

  • August 14, 1945: Handicapped Senators coach Bert Shepard pitched in a game against the Red Sox. Shepard had an artificial leg but managed to give up only one run in 5⅓ innings while striking out two Red Sox batters.[3]
  • September 7, 1945: Washington first baseman Joe Kuhel homers off the Browns' Bob Muncrief to provide the winning margin in a 3–2 Senator victory at Griffith Stadium. It is the only four-bagger struck all season by the Senators in 78 home games in their spacious ballpark.[4] Opposing teams hit only six home runs themselves in 1945 at Washington's home field.

Season standings

American League W L Pct. GB
Detroit Tigers 88 65 .575 --
Washington Senators 87 67 .565 1.5
St. Louis Browns 81 70 .536 6
New York Yankees 81 71 .533 6.5
Cleveland Indians 73 72 .503 11
Chicago White Sox 71 78 .477 15
Boston Red Sox 71 83 .461 17.5
Philadelphia Athletics 52 98 .357 34.5

Record vs. opponents

1945 American League Records

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

Roster

1945 Washington Senators
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders 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 Rick Ferrell 91 286 76 .266 1 38
1B Joe Kuhel 142 533 152 .285 2 75
2B George Myatt 133 490 145 .296 1 39
SS Gil Torres 147 562 133 .237 0 48
3B Harlond Clift 119 375 79 .211 8 53
OF Buddy Lewis 69 258 86 .333 2 37
OF George Binks 145 550 153 .278 6 81
OF George Case 123 504 148 .294 1 31

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
Fred Vaughn 80 268 63 .235 1 25
Mike Kreevich 45 158 44 .278 1 23
Al Evans 51 150 39 .260 2 19
Hillis Layne 60 147 44 .299 1 14
Mike Guerra 56 138 29 .210 1 15
José Zardón 54 131 38 .290 0 13
Jake Powell 31 98 19 .194 0 3
Vince Ventura 18 58 12 .207 0 2
Cecil Travis 15 54 13 .241 0 10
Dick Kimble 20 49 12 .245 0 1
Walt Chipple 18 44 6 .136 0 5
Howie McFarland 6 11 1 .091 0 2

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
Mickey Haefner 37 238.1 16 14 3.47 83
Dutch Leonard 31 216 17 7 2.13 96
Roger Wolff 33 250 20 10 2.12 108
Johnny Niggeling 26 176.2 7 12 3.16 90

[5]

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
Marino Pieretti 44 233.1 14 13 3.32 66
Alex Carrasquel 35 122.2 7 5 2.71 38
Sandy Ullrich 28 81.1 3 3 4.54 26
Walt Masterson 4 25 1 2 1.08 14
Pete Appleton 6 21.1 1 0 3.38 12

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
Wally Holborow 15 1 1 0 2.30 14
Dick Stone 3 0 0 0 0.00 0
Armando Roche 2 0 0 0 6.00 0
Bert Shepard 1 0 0 0 1.69 2
Joe Cleary 1 0 0 0 189.00 1

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
A1 Chattanooga Lookouts Southern Association Bert Niehoff
A Williamsport Grays Eastern League Ray Kolp

[6]

Notes

  1. ^ "1945: Hank's Heroic Rescue". This Great Game: The Online Book of Baseball. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  2. ^ Neyer, Rob. "A Last Great Season: The Senators in '45". ESPN.com. Retrieved September 29, 2018.
  3. ^ Great Baseball Feats, Facts and Figures, 2008 Edition, p. 193, David Nemec and Scott Flatow, A Signet Book, Penguin Group, New York, ISBN 978-0-451-22363-0
  4. ^ Retrosheet box score: 1945-09-07
  5. ^ "Baseball Almanac" entry
  6. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007

References

Vince Ventura

Vincent Ventura (April 18, 1917 – September 11, 2001) was an American professional baseball left fielder. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Washington Senators for 18 games during the 1945 Washington Senators season, hitting .207 in 58 at-bats.

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