We get to a key season in our second MLB Monday miniseries, as this year represents the last time the Cleveland organization won the World Series. For all the noise about the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago franchises going so long without a title, it’s been a lifetime since the now-Guardians won the World Series. Alas, you get to relive it a bit here below, so enjoy another stroll down Memory Lane with us, and remember, we’re always here to guide you on that path.
1948 World Series MVP: Larry Doby, OF, Cleveland
Cleveland beat the Boston Braves in six games, despite losing Game 1. Overall, there were 3 one-run games in this matchup, so it was a close one, for sure. We really only have two candidates here, and they’re both flawed: outfielder Larry Doby (.318 BA, .875 OPS) and starting pitcher Bob Lemon (2-0. 1.65 ERA). Doby drove in just 2 runs in the Series while striking out twice as much as he walked. Meanwhile, Lemon actually walked more batters than he struck out.
We think Lemon’s “sin” is more unforgivable, in truth, so we’re going with Doby here. This is significant, for obvious reasons: Doby broke the color line in the American League a few months after Jackie Robinson did the same in the National League, but his career always has been celebrated much less than Robinson’s career. Why? We assume it’s the same reason as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin: They both landed on the Moon at the same time, but … yeah, you know.
1948 AL MOTY: Joe McCarthy, Boston
Cleveland won a tight pennant race, needing an extra playoff game to edge the Red Sox by a game, while also finishing 2.5 games ahead of the New York Yankees. Alas, the only manager of the three to finish with a positive PPP mark was Boston’s Joe McCarthy (plus-2). Cleveland Manager Lou Boudreau (minus-7) and New York Manager Bucky Harris (minus-4) were terrible, so this award goes to McCarthy—for the ninth time! Remember his first one? We do.
1948 NL MOTY: Billy Meyer, Pittsburgh
The Braves took the pennant by 6.5 games over the St. Louis Cardinals, and both teams had managers in the red PPP area. In fact, we have to drill down to the fourth-place Pittsburgh Pirates before we find a manager that had a positive impact on his team, and lucky for us, the Pirates only finished 8.5 games back of Boston. So, it’s a easy choice to pick Pittsburgh Manager Billy Meyer (plus-5 PPP) here, as he had the best PPP mark of any NL manager this season, too.