On MLB Monday this week, we hit the final season of World War II and its impact on professional baseball. Once again, we have some different teams in the World Series, which is a nice change of pace considering what lies ahead in our miniseries. No spoilers! Either way, enjoy today’s second breakdown of the 1945 season. It is a season often overlooked, still, because of the number of star players that were serving in the military conflicts around the globe.

1945 World Series MVP: Phil Cavarretta, 1B, Chicago (NL)

The Detroit Tigers beat the Chicago Cubs in seven games to win the Fall Classic: a 9-3 victory in Game 7 at Wrigley Field clinched the championship for the Tigers. It was a close series, with Detroit outscoring Chicago by a 32-29 margin overall. And we really only have two MVP candidates in mind, one from each team—and both hitters: Tigers left fielder Hank Greenberg (1.162 OPS, 2 HRs, 7 RBI, 6 BBs) and Cubs first baseman Phil Cavarretta (1.115 OPS, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 BBs).

In Game 7, Greenberg was hitless (with two walks and one RBI), while Cavarretta had 3 hits (with one RBI). We cannot just give the nod to Greenberg because his team won the game; overall, Caverretta hit .423 in the World Series, and he delivered in Game 7 while his teammates did not. Meanwhile, Greenberg hit “only’ .304 in the seven-game matchup, even though he did walk a lot in addition to his power display. But without Cavarretta, the Cubs never reach Game 7. Fact.

1945 AL MOTY: Steve O’Neill, Detroit

With just 88 wins, the Tigers won the pennant by 1.5 games over the Washington Senators. Detroit Manager Steve O’Neill guided his team to a plus-4 PPP finish, which truly made the difference in keeping the Tigers on top of the standings. Why? Because Senators Manager Ossie Bluege (plus-3 PPP) was almost as good in getting his team into position. It’s not often see a situation this close, but the numbers point us to O’Neill as the obvious choice for this trophy.

1945 NL MOTY: Billy Southworth, St. Louis

Chicago topped St. Louis by 3 games in the league standings, despite Cubs Manager Charlie Grimm providing mediocre guidance and leadership (minus-1 PPP). Meanwhile, Cardinals Manager Billy Southworth was simply average himself, with a even-0 PPP finish. Neither candidate “wows” us, although we’d have to choose Southworth merely for not being in the negative category. However, New York Giants Manager Mel Ott (plus-5 PPP) is also a possibility as the top manager.

But the Giants finished in fifth place at 78-74, a whopping 19 games out of it. Even with Ott’s effort being the best one in the NL, it’s hard to reward such a distant finish. A compromise could be Brooklyn Dodgers Manager Leo Durocher (plus-3 PPP), as his team finished third—albeit 11 games behind the Cubs. In the end, though, we’re going to go with Southworth for not sucking … and for keeping his team in the chase for as long as possible. This is his third nod from us.