1945 World Series
|Radio announcers:||Bill Slater and Al Helfer|
|Umpires:||Bill Summers (AL), Lou Jorda (NL), Art Passarella (AL), Jocko Conlan (NL)|
|Hall of Famers:||Umpire: Jocko Conlan
Tigers: Hank Greenberg, Hal Newhouser
The 1945 World Series matched the American League Detroit Tigers against the National League Chicago Cubs. The Tigers won the Series, four games to three, giving them their second championship and first since 1935.
The World Series again used the 3–4 wartime setup for home field sites, instead of the normal 2–3–2. Although the major hostilities of World War II had ended, some of the rules were still in effect. Many of the majors' better players were still in military service. Warren Brown, author of a history of the Cubs in 1946, commented on this by titling one chapter "World's Worst Series". He also cited a famous quote of his, referencing himself anonymously and in the third person. When asked who he liked in the Series, he answered, "I don't think either one of them can win it."
In a similar vein, Frank Graham jokingly called this Series "the fat men versus the tall men at the office picnic."
One player decidedly not fitting that description was the Tigers' slugger Hank Greenberg, who had been discharged from military service early. He hit the only two Tigers homers in the Series, and scored seven runs overall and also drove in seven.
The Curse of the Billy Goat originated in this Series before the start of Game 4. As of 2015, this is the last appearance for the Chicago Cubs in the Fall Classic. Having last won the Series in 1908, the Cubs own the dubious record of both the longest league pennant drought and the longest World Series drought in history. At this point, the Chicago White Sox and Boston Red Sox had the second- and third-longest championship droughts, respectively (with the White Sox having last won in 1917 and the Red Sox in 1918); the Red Sox would win the World Series in 2004 (86 years after their last championship), and the White Sox would do the same in 2005 (ending an 88-year drought).
The Series was a rematch between the two opponents of the 1935 World Series. In that Series' final game, Stan Hack had led off the top of the ninth inning of Game 6 with a triple but was stranded, and the Cubs lost the game and the Series. Hack was still with the Cubs in 1945. According to Warren Brown's account, Hack was seen surveying the field before the first Series game. When asked what he was doing, Hack responded, "I just wanted to see if I was still standing there on third base."
In an unknowing foreshadowing of their future, the Cubs would win two of three in relatively spacious Briggs Stadium but would lose three of four in the relatively hitter-friendly confines of Wrigley Field.
|1||October 3||Chicago Cubs – 9, Detroit Tigers – 0||Briggs Stadium||2:10||54,637|
|2||October 4||Chicago Cubs – 1, Detroit Tigers – 4||Briggs Stadium||1:47||53,636|
|3||October 5||Chicago Cubs – 3, Detroit Tigers – 0||Briggs Stadium||1:55||55,500|
|4||October 6||Detroit Tigers – 4, Chicago Cubs – 1||Wrigley Field||2:00||42,923|
|5||October 7||Detroit Tigers – 8, Chicago Cubs – 4||Wrigley Field||2:18||43,463|
|6||October 8||Detroit Tigers – 7, Chicago Cubs – 8 (12 innings)||Wrigley Field||3:28||41,708|
|7||October 10||Detroit Tigers – 9, Chicago Cubs – 3||Wrigley Field||2:31||41,590|
|WP: Hank Borowy (1–0) LP: Hal Newhouser (0–1)
CHC: Phil Cavarretta (1)
The visiting Cubs began with a bang, scoring four times in the first. A two-run Bill Nicholson double staked pitcher Hank Borowy to all the runs he needed, and Mickey Livingston added RBI singles in his first two at-bats. Future Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser didn't last three innings.
|WP: Virgil Trucks (1–0) LP: Hank Wyse (0–1)
DET: Hank Greenberg (1)
After 13 innings without a run, Detroit finally got going in a big way. Hank Greenberg's three-run homer in the fifth off Cub starter Hank Wyse brought Briggs Stadium to life. Virgil Trucks' complete game tied the series at a game apiece.
|WP: Claude Passeau (1–0) LP: Stubby Overmire (0–1)|
Claude Passeau pitched a complete game one-hitter. The only hit of the game came with two outs in the second inning off the bat of Rudy York. Other Series pitchers in the "low-hit Complete Game Club" are:
|Ed Reulbach||Chicago Cubs||N.L.||1906 (1-hitter)|
|Bill Bevens||New York Yankees||A.L.||1947 (1-hitter)|
|Don Larsen||New York Yankees||A.L.||1956 (perfect game)|
|Jim Lonborg||Boston Red Sox||A.L.||1967 (1-hitter)|
|WP: Dizzy Trout (1–0) LP: Ray Prim (0–1)|
The Series shifted to Wrigley Field and the so-called Curse of the Billy Goat began. Dizzy Trout went the distance for Detroit with a five-hitter. A four-run fourth against Cub starter Ray Prim gave Trout all the runs he needed, Roy Cullenbine's RBI double the inning's big blow.
|WP: Hal Newhouser (1–1) LP: Hank Borowy (1–1)|
Back in form, Newhouser went the distance for Detroit, striking out nine. The game was 1-1 until the sixth, when the visiting Tigers got hits from the first four men to bat in the inning, knocking Borowy from the game and bringing the Tigers within a win of taking the Series.
|WP: Hank Borowy (2–1) LP: Dizzy Trout (1–1)
DET: Hank Greenberg (2)
Staving off elimination, the Cubs had things under control, 7-3, going into the eighth, only to see Greenberg's solo shot cap a four-run Tigers inning to tie it. In the 11th, after a one-out single by Frank Secory, pinch-runner Bill Schuster came all the way around on Stan Hack's walk-off double to left.
Besides being the last World Series game the Cubs have won, this was the second and last World Series game that the Cubs have won in Wrigley Field. The other was Game 5 in 1935.
|WP: Hal Newhouser (2–1) LP: Hank Borowy (2–2)|
The Cubs went with the overworked Borowy, who lasted just three batters, each of whom singled. Paul Derringer replaced him, walked Jimmy Outlaw with the bases full, then watched Paul Richards clear the bases with a three-run double. The Cubs never recovered, in this game or since.
|Total attendance: 333,457 Average attendance: 47,637
Winning player's share: $6,443 Losing player's share: $3,930
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- 1945 World Series at WorldSeries.com (MLB.com)
- 1945 World Series at Baseball Almanac
- 1945 World Series at Baseball-Reference.com
- The 1945 Post-Season Games (box scores and play-by-play) at Retrosheet
- History of the World Series - 1945 at The SportingNews. Archived from the original on 2008.
- Detroit Tigers History