1948 New York Yankees season

The 1948 New York Yankees season was the team's 46th season. The team finished with a record of 94–60, finishing 2.5 games behind the Cleveland Indians and 1.5 games behind the second-place Boston Red Sox. New York was managed by Bucky Harris. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium.

1948 New York Yankees
Babe Ruth's number is retired
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s)Dan Topping and Del Webb
General manager(s)George Weiss
Manager(s)Bucky Harris
Local televisionWABD
(Mel Allen, Russ Hodges, Bill Slater)
Local radioWINS (AM)
(Mel Allen, Russ Hodges)
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The fractional games-behind came about due to the frenzied pennant race, which saw the Yankees, Red Sox and Indians all battling it out to the end. The Yankees fell just a little short, and the Red Sox and Indians finished in a tie for first at 96–58. They held a one-game playoff, which counted as part of the regular season, so the Indians' victory raised their record to 97–58, and dropped the Red Sox to 96–59.

The Yankees did not renew Bucky Harris' contract after the season, opting instead to hire Casey Stengel starting in 1949. This move raised some eyebrows, but Stengel had just led the Oakland Oaks to the Pacific Coast League pennant in 1948, demonstrating that with good talent, he had a good chance to succeed. The Yankees were about to begin the most dominating stretch of their long dynasty.

Babe Ruth's death

Babe Ruth's number 3 was retired by the New York Yankees in 1948.
The grave of Babe Ruth

On July 26, 1948, Babe Ruth attended the premiere of the film The Babe Ruth Story, a biopic about his life. William Bendix portrayed Ruth. Shortly thereafter, Ruth returned to the hospital for the final time. He was barely able to speak. Ruth's condition gradually became worse, and in his last days, scores of reporters and photographers hovered around the hospital. Only a few visitors were allowed to see him, one of whom was National League president and future Commissioner of Baseball, Ford Frick. "Ruth was so thin it was unbelievable. He had been such a big man and his arms were just skinny little bones, and his face was so haggard," Frick said years later.

On August 16, the day after Frick's visit, Babe Ruth died at age 53. His body lay in repose in Yankee Stadium. His funeral was two days later at St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York. Ruth was then buried in the Cemetery of the Gate of Heaven in Hawthorne, New York.

At his death, the New York Times called Babe Ruth, "a figure unprecedented in American life. A born showman off the field and a marvelous performer on it, he had an amazing flair for doing the spectacular at the most dramatic moment."[1]


  • February 24, 1948: Bill Wight, Fred Bradley, and Aaron Robinson were traded by the Yankees to the Chicago White Sox for Eddie Lopat.[2]
  • Prior to 1948 season: Al Cicotte and Gus Triandos were signed as an amateur free agents by the Yankees.[3][4]

Regular season

Season standings

American League W L Pct. GB Home Road
Cleveland Indians 9758 0.626 48–30 49–28
Boston Red Sox 9659 0.619 1 55–23 41–36
New York Yankees 9460 0.610 50–27 44–33
Philadelphia Athletics 8470 0.545 12½ 36–41 48–29
Detroit Tigers 7876 0.506 18½ 39–38 39–38
St. Louis Browns 5994 0.386 37 34–42 25–52
Washington Senators 5697 0.366 40 29–48 27–49
Chicago White Sox 51101 0.336 44½ 27–48 24–53

Record vs. opponents

Boston 14–811–1215–714–812–1015–715–7
Chicago 8–146–168–146–166–168–13–19–12–1
Cleveland 12–1116–613–910–1216–614–8–116–6
Detroit 7–1514–89–139–1312–1011–1116–6
New York 8–1416–612–1013–912–1016–617–5
Philadelphia 10–1216–66–1610–1210–1218–414–8
St. Louis 7–1513–8–18–14–111–116–164–1810–12
Washington 7–1512–9–16–166–165–178–1412–10


1948 New York Yankees
Pitchers Catchers



Other batters



Player stats

= Indicates team leader

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
CGus Niarhos8222861.268019
1BGeorge McQuinn9430275.2481141
2BSnuffy Stirnweiss141515130.252332
3BBilly Johnson127446131.2941264
SSPhil Rizzuto128464117.252650
OFJoe DiMaggio153594190.32039155
OFJohnny Lindell88309138.3171355
OFTommy Henrich146598181.30825100

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI
Yogi Berra125469143.3051498
Bobby Brown113363109.300348
Charlie Keller8324766.267644
Steve Souchock4411824.203311
Cliff Mapes538822.250112
Hank Bauer19509.18019
Sherm Lollar22388.21104
Ralph Houk14298.27603
Charlie Silvera4148.57101
Frankie Crosetti17144.28600
Joe Collins551.20002
Bud Stewart651.20000
Jack Phillips120.00000
Lonny Frey100----00

Starting pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Allie Reynolds39236.11673.77101
Eddie Lopat33226.217113.6583
Vic Raschi36222.21983.84124
Spec Shea28155.29103.4171
Bob Porterfield1678.0534.5030

Other pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Tommy Byrne31133.2853.30101
Red Embree2076.2533.7625
Frank Hiller2262.1524.0425

Relief pitchers

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned run average; SO = Strikeouts

Joe Page55107.278164.2677
Karl Drews19382313.7911
Randy Gumpert15251002.8812
Dick Starr120004.502
Cuddles Marshall110000.000

Farm system


  1. "Babe Ruth, Baseball's Great Star and Idol of Children, Had a Career Both Dramatic and Bizarre". New York Times. August 17, 1948. Retrieved July 21, 2007. Probably nowhere in all the imaginative field of fiction could one find a career more dramatic and bizarre than that portrayed in real life by George Herman Ruth. Known the world over, even in foreign lands where baseball is never played, as the Babe, he was the boy who rose from the obscurity of a charitable institution in Baltimore to a position as the leading figure in professional baseball. He was also its greatest drawing-card, its highest salaried performer—at least of his day—and the idol of millions of youngsters throughout the land.
  2. Eddie Lopat page at Baseball Reference
  3. Al Cicotte page at Baseball Reference
  4. Gus Triandos Trades and Transactions at Baseball Almanac
  5. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007


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