The War Years
The beginning of US involvement in World War II necessitated depriving the game of many players who joined the armed forces, but the major leagues continued play throughout the duration. In 1941, a year which saw the premature death of Lou Gehrig, Boston's great left fielder Ted Williams had a batting average over .400 – the last time anyone has achieved that feat. During the same season Joe DiMaggio hit successfully in 56 consecutive games, an accomplishment both unprecedented and unequaled. Both Williams and DiMaggio would miss playing time in the services, with Williams also flying later in the Korean War. During this period Stan Musial led the St. Louis Cardinals to the 1942, 1944 and 1946 World Series titles. The war years also saw the founding of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
Baseball boomed after World War II. 1945 saw a new attendance record and the following year average crowds leapt nearly 70% to 14,914. Further records followed in 1948 and 1949, when the average reached 16,913. While average attendances slipped to somewhat lower levels through the 1950s, 1960s and the first half of the 1970s, they remained well above pre-war levels, and total seasonal attendance regularly hit new highs from 1962 onwards as the number of major league games increased.
Read more about this topic: History Of Baseball In The United States
Famous quotes containing the words war and/or years:
“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”
—Bible: Hebrew Isaiah 2:4.
“I spend so many times for skating, and I gave up so many hobbies for this ... the Olympics are four years in time. And I am old.”
—Ye Qiaobo (b. 1965)