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 2014, 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.
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.
The 1945 World Series is referenced in the Steve Goodman song "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request" when Goodman says, "The law of averages says, anything will happen that can, but the last time the Cubs won a National League Pennant was the year we dropped the bomb on Japan."
|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 begin with a bang, scoring four times in the first. A two-run Bill Nicholson double stakes pitcher Hank Borowy to all the runs he needs, and Mickey Livingston adds RBI singles in his first two at-bats. Future Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser doesn'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 gets going in a big way. Hank Greenberg's three-run homer in the fifth off Cub starter Hank Wyse brings Briggs Stadium to life. Virgil Trucks' complete game ties 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 shifts to Wrigley Field and the so-called Curse of the Billy Goat begins. Dizzy Trout goes the distance for Detroit with a five-hitter. A four-run fourth against Cub starter Ray Prim gives Trout all the runs he needs, Roy Cullenbine's RBI double the inning's big blow.
|WP: Hal Newhouser (1–1) LP: Hank Borowy (1–1)|
Back in form, Newhouser goes 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. One more win by the Tigers and the Series would be theirs.
|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
- Ferraro, Michael X.; Veneziano, John (2007). Numbelivable!. Chicago, Illinois: Triumph Books. p. 119. ISBN 978-1-57243-990-0.
- "1945 World Series Game 1 – Chicago Cubs vs. Detroit Tigers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1945 World Series Game 2 – Chicago Cubs vs. Detroit Tigers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1945 World Series Game 3 – Chicago Cubs vs. Detroit Tigers". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1945 World Series Game 4 – Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago Cubs". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1945 World Series Game 5 – Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago Cubs". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1945 World Series Game 6 – Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago Cubs". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- "1945 World Series Game 7 – Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago Cubs". Retrosheet. Retrieved September 13, 2009.
- Cohen, Richard M.; Neft, David S. (1990). The World Series: Complete Play-By-Play of Every Game, 1903–1989. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 201–206. ISBN 0-312-03960-3.
- Reichler, Joseph (1982). The Baseball Encyclopedia (5th ed.). Macmillan Publishing. p. 2153. ISBN 0-02-579010-2.
- 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