1948 (MCMXLVIII) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, the 1948th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 948th year of the 2nd millennium, the 48th year of the 20th century, and the 9th year of the 1940s decade. More
The Cuban League was one of the earliest and longest lasting professional baseball leagues outside the United States, operating in Cuba from 1878 to 1961. The schedule usually operated during the winter months, so the league was sometimes known as the "Cuban Winter League." It was always a small league, generally 3 to 5 teams, and was centered in Havana, though it sometimes included teams from outlying cities such as Matanzas or Santa Clara. The league became racially integrated in 1900, and during the first half of the 20th century the Cuban League was a premier venue for black and white players to meet. Many great black Northern American players competed in Cuba alongside native black and white Cuban stars such as José Méndez, Cristóbal Torriente, Adolfo Luque, and Martín Dihigo. After 1947, the Cuban League entered into an agreement with Major League Baseball and was used for player development. Following the 1959 Cuban Revolution, however, tensions rose with the new Communist government, and in March 1961 the government decreed the abolition of professional baseball.More
2 Habana (baseball club)
The Habana club was one of the oldest and most distinguished baseball teams in the old Cuban League, which existed from 1878 to 1961. Habana, representing the city of Havana, was the only team to play in the league every season of its existence and was one of its most successful franchises. In their early history they were known by their colors as the Reds; later they adopted the names of Leones or Lions. Throughout their existence they had a famous rivalry with Almendares.More
5 Leones de Ponce (baseball)
The Leones de Ponce was a baseball team in the Puerto Rico Professional Baseball League. The organization is based in the municipality of Ponce, Puerto Rico. The team plays at the Francisco Montaner Stadium. Contrary to popular belief, the name Leones comes from their team owner being photographed with a whip as if taming lions. At one time, the "legendary" team scored a continuous run of thirteen championships. The team's owner is Héctor “Tito” Gracia, and former baseball player with the Leones himself. The team's colors are red and black.More
7 Leones del Caracas
The Leones del Caracas are a Venezuelan baseball team that currently plays in the Venezuelan Professional Baseball League. They have won 20 league championships.More
July 24 – Four members of the Duluth Dukes are killed when their bus is involved in an accident near St. Paul, Minnesota. The driver of the truck is also killed, and fourteen are injured. The injured list include Mel McGaha, a future major league manager in the 1960s, and the infielder Elmer Schoendienst, younger brother of the St. Louis Cardinals second baseman Red Schoendienst. The tragedy recalls the 1946 bus crash involving the Spokane Indians baseball team which took the lives of nine players.
August 12 – In the second game of a doubleheader, the Cleveland Indians rap out 29 hits in a 26–3 win over the St. Louis Browns. The Indians set a Major League record as 14 different players hit safely.
August 16 – Babe Ruth, arguably the greatest player in baseball history, dies from cancer in New York City at the age of 53. His open casket was placed on display in the rotunda of Yankee Stadium, where it remained for two days; 77,000 people filed past to pay him tribute.
October 4 – The Cleveland Indians defeat the Boston Red Sox, 8–3, in an American Leagueone-game playoff game after finishing the season tied for first place. The Indians win the pennant and advance to the World Series. The Red Sox defeat disappointed Boston fans who had been rooting the entire season for an All-Boston World Series between the AL Red Sox and the National League Braves. It was the second time an All-Boston World Series had been thwarted as in 1891, when the NL champion Boston Beaneaters refused to meet the American Association champion Boston Reds in a proposed 1891 World Series due to inter-league squabbling over player contracts.
November 10 – The Chicago White Sox acquire young left handed pitcher Billy Pierce from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for All-Star catcher Aaron Robinson, in a move that will give them their pitching ace for the next decade. Detroit even sweetens the deal with $10,000. Pierce will win 186 games for the White Sox over the next 13 years, but Robinson will last fewer than three seasons in Detroit.
November 26 – National League president Ford Frick steps in and pays $350 for funeral services, including the cost of a coffin, for the unclaimed body of Hack Wilson. The former slugger, who had died probably of alcohol abuse a few days earlier in a Baltimore hospital, is identified only as a white male.
December 2 – Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals is named National League Most Valuable Player. In one of the best seasons ever, Musial led the NL in batting average (.376), runs (135), RBI (131), hits (230), doubles (46), triples (18) and slugging pct. (.702).
January 4 – Biff Schlitzer, 63, who pitched from 1908 through 1914 for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox and Buffalo Blues.
January 8 – Howdy Caton, 53, shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates over parts of four seasons from 1917–1920.
January 9 – Art Jahn, 52, part-time outfielder who played for the Chicago Cubs, New York Giants and Philadelphia Phillies during two seasons spanning 1925 to 1928.
January 14 – Art Benedict, 85, second baseman who appeared in three games with the Philadelphia Quakers in 1883.
January 23 – Frank Doljack, 40, outfielder who played for the Detroit Tigers from 1930 through 1934 and the Cleveland Indians in 1943.
January 30 – Herb Pennock, 53, Hall of Fame pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in a span of 22 seasons from 1912–1924, who during his career posted a lifetime record of 240–161 with a 3.60 ERA in 617 games, while collecting a perfect 5–0 with a 1.95 ERA in five World Series trips with the Yankees, including their first World Series championship.
January 31 – Clarence Lehr, 61, who played some outfield and infield utility positions with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1911.
February 1 – Jim McCormick, 79, infielder who played three games for the National League St. Louis Browns in 1892.
February 10 – Bill Clancy, 68, first baseman for the 1905 Pittsburgh Pirates.
February 16 – Percy Coleman, 71, pitcher who played from 1897 to 1898 for the St. Louis Browns and Cincinnati Reds.
February 19 – Bob Groom, 63, pitcher for the Washington Senators, St. Louis Terriers, St. Louis Browns and Cleveland Indians during 10 seasons from 1909 to 1918, who also hurled a no-hitter in 1917 against the eventual World Champion Chicago White Sox.
February 21 – Irv Ray, 84, shortstop who played with the Boston Beaneaters of the National League in 1888 and 1889, and the Baltimore Orioles of the American Association from 1889 to 1891.
May 19 – Frank Browning, 65, pitcher for the Detroit Tigers in its 1910 season.
May 26 – Bill Sweeney, 62, valuable middle infielder and third baseman whose seven year career was marked by frequent moves between two cities, playing from 1907 to 1913 for the Chicago Cubs and the Boston Doves, Rustlers and Braves clubs before rejoining the Cubs in 1914, setting a National League record in 1912 with 425 putouts by a second baseman that would stand for twenty-one years, even without a regular shortstop partner, while also leading the NL both in assists (475) and double plays (75).
June 5 – Jack McCarthy, 78, left fielder who played for five teams in 12 seasons between 1893 and 1907, whose career batting average of .287 in 1,092 games was achieved during the hard hitting era of the late 1890s and the dead-ball era of the early 1900s, as his .321 average with the Cleveland Blues in 1901 was ninth best in the American League.
July 1 – Pete Knisely, 60, outfielder who played for the Cincinnati Reds and Chicago Cubs over parts of four seasons from 1912 to 1915.
July 3 – Charles Witherow, 96, pitcher who appeared in just one game for the Washington Nationals in 1875.
July 5 – Ed Smith, 84, Canadian pitcher who played in 1884 for the Baltimore Monumentals of the Union Association.
July 11 – Bert Hall, 58, for the 1911 Philadelphia Phillies.
July 18 – Chick Hartley, 67, outfielder who played for the New York Giants in the 1902 season.
July 19 – Charlie See, 51, outfielder who played from 1919 through 1921 for the Cincinnati Reds.
July 26 – Homer Davidson, 63, catcher and right fielder who appeared in four games for the Cleveland Naps in 1914.
July 27 – Joe Tinker, 68, Hall of Fame shortstop who along second baseman Johnny Evers and first baseman Frank Chance anchored a famed infield double play combination, which is memorialized in the legendary poem Baseball's Sad Lexicon, as the trio led the Chicago Cubs during the glory years of 1906–1910 to four National League pennants and two World Series titles.
July 29 – Arnie Stone, 55, pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1923 and 1924 seasons.
August 7 – Jimmy Wacker, 64, pitcher who played with the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1909 season.
August 9 – Chick Bowen, 51, backup outfielder for the 1919 New York Giants.
August 9 – Harry Lord, 66, third baseman who played from 1907 through 1910 for the Boston Americans and Red Sox, before joining the Chicago White Sox from 1910 to 1914 and the Buffalo Blues in 1915.
August 13 – Nig Perrine, 63, backup infielder for the 1907 Washington Senators.
August 14 – Phil Collins, 46, pitcher for the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals between 1923 and 1935.
August 16 – Babe Ruth, 53, Hall of Fame right fielder and pitcher, who is considered the greatest star in baseball history, while holding records for most home runs in a season (60) and lifetime (714), as well as most career RBI (2,213); lifetime .342 hitter also posted a 94-46 record and 2.28 ERA as a pitcher while playing for seven champions; won 1923 MVP award, at a time when AL rules prohibited winning it more than once.
August 19 – Fred Odwell, 75, outfielder for the Cincinnati Reds during four seasons from 1904 to 1907, who led the National league in home runs in 1905.
September 3 – Bert Husting, 60, two-star athlete in the 1890s University of Wisconsin teams, who later pitched in the majors for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Americans and Philadelphia Athletics from 1900 to 1902.
September 8 – Bill Byers, 70, backup catcher for the 1904 St. Louis Cardinals.
October 1 – Lew Camp, 80, 19th-century Major League Baseball infielder who played with the St. Louis Browns in 1892 and for the Chicago Colts from 1893 to 1894.
October 7 – Doc Imlay, 59, pitcher for the 1913 Philadelphia Phillies.
October 8 – Al Orth, 76, softly thrower but curveball specialist, who pitched with the Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Senators and New York Highlanders in a span of 15 seasons from 1895–1909, winning 204 games for them, yet struck out just 948 batters in 3,354 innings of work, while remaining an effective pitcher during the early years of the American League, posting career season-highs with 27 wins and 133 strikeouts for the Highlanders in 1906.
October 12 – Bill Gardner, 82, pitcher who played three games for the Baltimore Orioles of the American Association in 1887.
October 24 – Harry Grabiner, 57, minority owner and vice president of the Cleveland Indians since 1946; previous served for 30 years (1915–1945) in the front office of the Chicago White Sox.
October 20 – Ed Kusel, 62, pitcher for the 1909 St. Louis Browns.
October 24 – Jack Thoney, 68, well-traveled outfielder and infielder who played from 1902 through 1911 for the Cleveland Bronchos, Baltimore Orioles, Washington Senators, New York Highlanders and Boston Red Sox.
October 28 – Roy Ellam, 62, shortstop who played with the Cincinnati Reds in the 1909 season and for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1918.
October 31 – Dick Redding, 58, star pitcher of the Negro leagues who set numerous strikeout records and pitched several no-hitters.
November 1 – Fred Mollenkamp, 58, first baseman who played for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 1914 season.
November 4 – Jake Powell, 40, outfielder for the Washington Senators, New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies in a span of 11 seasons from 1930 to 1945, who helped the Yankees win the World Series every year from 1936 to 1939, and hit a .455 average in the 1936 series.
November 7 – Jake Smith, 61, pitcher who appeared in two games for the Philadelphia Phillies during the 1911 season.
November 15 – Joe Wagner, 59, second baseman for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1915 season.
November 18 – Joe Regan, 76, outfielder for the 1898 New York Giants.
November 22 – Bob Emmerich, 57, center fielder for the Boston Braves in the 1923 season.
November 23 – Hack Wilson, 48, Hall of Fame center fielder for four different clubs during 12 seasons from !923–1934, most prominently with the Chicago Cubs between 1926 and 1931, who finished his career with a lifetime .307 batting average, 244 home runs, 1,063 RBI and four home run titles, hitting 56 long balls in 1930, to set a National League record that stood for 68 years, while driving in 191 runs in the same season, which still the all-time major league record.
November 30 – Frank Bowerman, 79, catcher and battery-mate for Christy Mathewson on the New York Giants, who also played for the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates, and later managed the 1909 Boston Doves.
December 3 – Gus Bono, 54, pitcher for the 1920 Washington Senators.
December 3 – Fred Buckingham, 72, pitcher who played for the Washington Senators in its 1895 season.
December 6 – Bill Dammann, 76, pitcher who played from 1897 through 1899 for the Cincinnati Reds.
December 8 – Pelham Ballenger, 54, third baseman for the Washington Senators in the 1928 season.
December 26 – Joe Pate, 56, pitcher for the Philadelphia Athletics over parts of two seasons from 1926–1927.
December 27 – Marv Peasley, 60, pitcher who appeared in two games for the Detroit Tigers in 1910.
December 29 – Larry Hoffman, 70, third baseman for the 1901 Chicago Orphans.