1940 Cincinnati Reds: A World Championship and Baseball's Only in-Season Suicide

Overview

Perhaps the most compelling but overlooked period in Cincinnati Reds history is the 1940 championship season, during which the team won 100 games and earned the world title while overcoming an in-season tragedy faced by no other team in baseball history.

This history examines the championship squad and its individual players: Willard Hershberger, the 1939-1940 reserve catcher who is the only player to commit suicide during a major league season, Frank McCormick, Lonnie Frey, ...

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About the Book One of the oldest and most celebrated franchises in baseball history, the Cincinnati Reds have left an indelible mark on the national pastime. Perhaps the most ... compelling but overlooked period in Reds history is the 1940 championship season, during which the team won 100 games and earned the world title while overcoming an in-season tragedy faced by no other team in baseball history. Four attempted suicides, three of which were successful, by individuals connected to the team dealt a tragic and unprecedented setback to what was ultimately a successful season. This book addresses both the 1940 Cincinnati Reds as a collective group and, to a greater degree, the individual players who comprised that championship squad. The book begins with the story of Willard Hershberger, the 1940 reserve catcher for the Reds and the only player ever to commit suicide during a major league season. Later chapters tell the stories of Bill McKechnie and Warren Giles, the managers who together led the Reds to victory over the Detroit Tigers in 1940, and the stories of the players on the pennant-winning team: Frank McCormick, Lonnie Frey, Billy Myers, Billy Werber, Eddie Joost, Paul Derringer, William "Bucky" Walters, Johnny Vander Meer, Gene Thompson, Jim Turner, Joseph Beggs, Jimmy Ripple, and Ernie Lombardi. The crucial games, important performances, and personal tragedies of the 1940 season, culminating in the drama of a seven-game World Series, are chronicled in this book. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Perhaps the most compelling but overlooked period in Cincinnati Reds history is the 1940 championship season, during which the team won 100 games and earned the world title while overcoming an in-season tragedy faced by no other team in baseball history.

This history examines the championship squad and its individual players: Willard Hershberger, the 1939-1940 reserve catcher who is the only player to commit suicide during a major league season, Frank McCormick, Lonnie Frey, Billy Myers, Billy Werber, Eddie Joost, Paul Derringer, William "Bucky" Walters, Johnny Vander Meer, Gene Thompson, Jim Turner, Joseph Beggs, Jimmy Ripple, and Ernie Lombardi. The crucial games, important performances, and personal tragedies of the 1940 season, culminating in the drama of a seven-game World Series, are chronicled in detail.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786420902
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/22/2005
  • Pages: 233
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Meet the Author

SABR member Brian Mulligan, a writer and public relations executive, lives in Long Island, New York. His work has been published in Elysian Fields Quarterly.

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Table of Contents

1 Damn Yankees 3
2 The best little catcher 15
3 "One of the greatest individuals" 24
4 The jungle cats 36
5 Armed and ready 61
6 That championship season 90
7 "Hurting more than we knew" 111
8 The hall of famer 124
9 Champions of the world 138
10 And then ... 169
App. A Where they played the game : Crosley field 183
App. B The 1940 Cincinnati reds game by game 188
App. C Final major league standings, 1940 192
App. D Cincinnati Reds final batting statistics, 1940 193
App. E Cincinnati Reds team pitching, 1940 194
App. F 1940 world series line scores 195
App. G Cincinnati Reds 1940 world series composite stats 198
App. H Transactions for the 1940 Cincinnati Reds 200
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