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The pitching statistics showed that Bob Lemon had won 23 games for Cleveland, beating Baltimore, Philadelphia, Boston, Detroit and Washington a total of 18 times. Lemon matched teammate Early Wynn with 23 victories, matched Washington's Bob Porterfield with 21 complete games. Both figures were league highs.
The scorebooks showed that Bobby Avila, the Indians' second baseman, had been the most significantly improved hitter. His .341?a big jump for a man who had never done better than .305?had won him the batting championship. The books also showed that Cleveland's Larry Doby had hit 32 homers to win the title in his league.
Recorded figures will help to decide the Rookies-of-the-Year. The Yankees' Bob Grim was the first 20-game-winning freshman since 1948. The Indians' Don Mossi had an earned run average of 1.94, or only slightly more incredible than his teammate Ray Narleski's 2.22. The Cardinals' Wally Moon hit .304, stole 18 bases. The Cardinals' Joe Frazier collected 20 pinch hits.
Usually, team averages were a fair reflection. The Indians set an American League record with 111 victories and their pitching staff compiled an earned-run average of 2.79, best since that record began in 1930.
The Yankees set a league record for victories by a second-place team: 103, and led in batting and runs scored.
The Baltimore Orioles scored fewer runs, hit fewer home runs than any team in the majors. The Baltimore Orioles finished seventh only because....
The Philadelphia Athletics, with the lowest team batting average in the major leagues?.235?were worse.
The Giants, first National League team to jump from the second division to the pennant since the 1934 Cardinals, were baseball's finest opportunists. The scorebooks showed that the Giants pinch-hit 10 homers, three more than any other team in history.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, by way of confirming General Manager Branch Rickey's statement that the team was last on merit, finished last in the National League in batting, pitching, fielding, homers, runs, and, for good measure, stolen bases.
A NONSTATISTICAL PHENOMENON