Baseball's Best Decade

Baseball's Best Decade by Carroll Conklin Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Baseball's Best Decade by Carroll Conklin Read Free Book Online
Authors: Carroll Conklin
– The New York Yankees of “Murderers Row” fame were – no surprise – the highest scoring team of the 1920s. The Yankees averaged 5.5 runs per game, and led the American League in runs scored 4 times during the decade. The 1927 Yankees set a major league record by scoring 975 runs, but that record didn’t outlast the decade, as the Chicago Cubs scored 982 runs in 1929.
    Who almost made the list? Cleveland Indians at 7,772, St. Louis Browns at 7,767, Washington Senators at 7,413.
     
    1930s – Total runs scored in the 1930s (121,478) exceeded the total number of runs scored in the 1920s (118,883) by only 2%. Yet the New York Yankees’ major league leading total of 9,695 runs bested its 1920s total by 14% as the Bronx Bombers dominated nearly every offensive category for the decade. The Yankees led the American League in runs scored 8 times during the decade, finishing 2nd to the Detroit Tigers the other 2 seasons. The Yankees set the major league record for scoring in a season with 1,067 runs in 1931, a record that still stands. The National League’s highest scoring team for the decade, the St. Louis Cardinals, ranked sixth among all major league teams.
    Who almost made the list? St. Louis Cardinals at 7,906, Chicago Cubs at 7,747, New York Giants at 7,530.
     
    1940s – Run production throughout the major leagues dropped significantly (by 12%) during the 1940s. The Boston Red Sox replaced the New York Yankees as the major leagues’ most prolific scoring team, averaging 5.0 runs per game while leading the American League in runs scored 5 times. (The Yankees led the league in runs scored 4 times.) In the National League, the Brooklyn Dodgers led the league in scoring 4 times during the decade.
    Who almost made the list? Pittsburgh Pirates at 6,933, New York Giants at 6,871, St. Louis Browns at 6,692.

    The Top Scoring Teams for Each Decade (1950s-1970s)
     
    1950s
Brooklyn Dodgers
7,850
New York Yankees
7,833
Boston Red Sox
7,534
Cleveland Indians
7,312
Milwaukee Braves
7,108
     
     
    196 0s
Minnesota Twins
7,141
Detroit Tigers
7,085
Cincinnati Reds
7,069
San Francisco Giants
7,024
Milwaukee Braves
6,972
     
     
    1970s
Boston Red Sox
7,559
Cincinnati Reds
7,525
Pittsburgh Pirates
7,276
Minnesota Twins
7,110
Kansas City Royals
7,055
     
     

    Speed was an often overlooked part of Babe Ruth’s offensive arsenal. Ruth led the American League in runs scored 8 times. His 177 runs in 1921 is still the highest single-season total since 1900.
     

    Prior to Babe Ruth, no American League batter had ever posted a slugging average higher than Nap Lajoie’s .643 in 1901. Ruth smashed that mark with an average of .847 in 1921, a major league slugging record that would stand for the rest of the century.
     

    During the 1950s, the Dodgers led the National League in scoring 5 times, and led all teams in runs scored for the decade. Pictured left to right: Carl Furillo, Gil Hodges, Roy Campanella, Duke Snider.
     

    The Minnesota Twins scored more runs than any other team in the 1960s, leading the American League 4 times in scoring. The Twins offensive juggernaut was anchored by Harmon Killebrew, who led the American League in runs batted in twice during the 1960s.
     
    1950s – The Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Yankees, the 2 most frequent visitors to the World Series during the 1950s, were also the dominant offensive teams of the decade. The Dodgers led the National League in scoring 5 times during the decade, averaging 5.0 runs per game. The Yankees also led their league in scoring 5 times. Overall, scoring among all major league teams increased by 2.5% over the previous decade, but was still 10% below the major leagues’ offensive performance of the 1930s.
    Who almost made the list? New York/San Francisco Giants at 7,055, Cincinnati Reds at 7,013, St. Louis Cardinals at 6,949.
    1960s – Despite the dominance of pitching during the 1960s (with the major leagues’ lowest combined batting average – .249 –

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