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1940 in Baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1940 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
Awards and honors
Major league baseball final standings
American League final standings
National League final standings
Negro league baseball final standings
Negro American League final standings
Negro National League final standings
- January 14 - Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis declares 87 players from the Detroit Tigers' farm system free agents because they had been "hidden" from other teams.
- April 16 - The Cleveland Indians' Bob Feller pitches a 1-0 opening day no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox.
- April 23 - Hall of famer Pee Wee Reese makes his major league debut at shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
- April 30 - Tex Carleton pitches a no-hitter as the Brooklyn Dodgers defeat the Cincinnati Reds, 3-0.
- May 7 -The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 18-2. The Cards have 49 bases on twenty hits, including thirteen extra-base hits and seven home runs.
- June 6 - The Boston Bees sign 19-year-old left-handed pitcher Warren Spahn.
- June 15 - In a 12-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates, the New York Giants' Harry Danning hits for a cycle against that includes an inside-the-park home run. The ball became lodged behind an Eddie Grant memorial in front of the Giants' clubhouse.
- July 9 - Boston Bees outfielder Max West hits a three-run home run in the first inning, as the National League defeats the American League, 4-0, in the All-Star Game at Sportsman's Park, home of the St. Louis Cardinals.
- September 24 - Jimmie Foxx hit his career 500th home run.
- September 30 - The Cleveland Indians finish one-game behind the Detroit Tigers in the American League pennant race, thus disappointing Ohio baseball fans who had been rooting all season long for what would have been the only All-Ohio World Series in baseball history, between the National League champions Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians.
- October 8 - The Cincinnati Reds defeat the Detroit Tigers, 2-1, in Game 7 of the World Series to win their second World Championship, four games to three. This was Cincinnati's first World Series victory since the infamous Black Sox scandal in 1919. Reds' Bill McKechnie became the first manager to win World Series with two different teams. In 1925 he had won the Classic as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
- November 11 - Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Larry MacPhail acquires starting pitcher Kirby Higbe, from the Philadelphia Phillies, in exchange for catcher Mickey Livingston, pitchers Bill Crouch and Vito Tamulis, and $100,000. Higbe, who won 14 games this past season, will win 22 games in 1941 to lead National League pitchers.
- December 12 - The Boston Red Sox send Doc Cramer to the Washington Senators for Gee Walker, then package him with Jim Bagby & Gene Desautels, and send them to the Cleveland Indians for Joe Dobson, Odell Hale & Frankie Pytlak. They also purchase Pete Fox's contract from the Detroit Tigers.
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- January 3 - Mike Mahoney, 88, first baseman who played from 1897 to 1898 for the Boston Beaneaters and St. Louis Browns.
- January 3 - Parke Swartzel, 74, pitcher for the 1889 Kansas City Cowboys.
- January 12 - Ed Keas, 77, pitcher for the 1888 Cleveland Blues of the American Association.
- January 20 - Wally Andrews, 60, infield utility man who played with the Louisville Eclipse in 1884 and for the Louisville Colonels in 1888.
- January 31 - Red Fisher, 52, left fielder who played in 1910 with the St. Louis Browns of the American League.
- February 5 - Frank Decker, 83, catcher/infielder who played with the Syracuse Stars in 1879 and for the St. Louis Brown Stockings in 1882.
- February 5 - Byrd Lynn, 50, Chicago White Sox catcher who served as a backup for Hall of Famer Ray Schalk and also was a member of the White Sox club that won the World Series in 1917.
- February 13 - Walter Barnes, 79, sports editor for several Boston newspapers from 1891 to 1933 who was that city's first regular sports columnist.
- February 15 - Chick Fulmer, 89, shortstop who played for eight teams in three different leagues during 11 seasons from 1871 to 1884.
- February 15 - Ray Morgan, 50, second baseman who was part of a stellar double play combo along with shortstop George McBride for the Washington Senators from 1911 through 1918.
- February 16 - Charlie Berry, 79, second baseman for the Altoona Mountain City, Kansas City Cowboys, and Chicago Browns/Pittsburgh Stogies during the 1884 Union Association season.
- February 21 - John Taber, 71, pitcher for the 1890 Boston Beaneaters of the National League.
- February 26 - Matt Broderick, 62, second baseman for the Brooklyn Superbas of the National League in 1903.
- March 2 - Matt Kilroy, 73, pitcher for six teams in 10 seasons spanning 1896-1898, who won 46 games in 1887, hurled a no-hitter in 1886 and struck out 513 batters that season, the most ever in a single season and far ahead of second-place Charles Radbourn, who struck out 441 in 1884
- March 6 - Marshall Locke, 82, outfielder for the 1884 Indianapolis Hoosiers
- March 7 - Johnny Johnston, 49, left fielder who played with the St. Louis Browns in 1913
- March 13 - Ira Flagstead, 46, outfielder with a strong arm and a reliable glove who played for the Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators and Pittsburgh Pirates in a span of 14 seasons from 1917 to 1930, hitting .290 with 40 home runs and 450 RBI in 1,218 career games, while leading all American League outfielders for the most assists in 1923 (31) and 1925 (24), and for the best fielding average in 1927 (.986)
- March 22 - Libe Washburn, 29, outfielder and pitcher who played from 1902 to 1903 with the New York Giants and Philadelphia Phillies
- March 30 - Roy Crabb, 49, pitcher for the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Athletics during the 1912 season
- March 30 - George McQuillan, 55, pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians during ten seasons from 1907-1918, who in 1907 set one of the longest-lived records in Major League history when he pitched 25 innings before giving up the first earned run of his career, a feat broken by Brad Ziegler in 2008.
- April 8 - Bill Abstein, 57, first baseman who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Browns in part of three seasons spanning 1906-1910.
- April 8 - Dave Murphy, 63, shortstop for the 1905 Boston Beaneaters.
- April 10 - Tom Seaton, 52, pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, Brooklyn Tip-Tops, Newark Pepper and Chicago Cubs in six seasons from 1912-1917, who posted a record of 93-63 and a 3.14 ERA in 231 career games, while leading the National League in wins and strikeouts during the 1913 season.
- April 12 - Fred Klobedanz, 68, pitcher for the Boston Beaneaters in a span of five seasons from 1896-1902, who was a member of the Boston team that clinched the National League pennant in 1897 and 1898 and led the league in winning percentage in 1897.
- April 22 - Alex Hardy, 62, Canadian-born pitcher who played for the Chicago Cubs/Orphans of the National League in 1902 and 1903.
- April 28 - Henry Cote, 76, pitcher for the Louisville Colonels of the National League in the 1894 and 1895 seasons.
- April 30 - Patsy Dougherty, 63, outfielder for the Boston Americans and Chicago White Sox clubs that won the World Series in 1903 and 1906 respectively, who became the first player to hit two home runs in a single World Series game with a pair in 1903, while leading the American League with 47 stolen bases in 1908.
- May 5 - Bill Wise, 79, pitcher/outfielder who played for the Baltimore Orioles of the American Association in 1882, the Washington Nationals of the Union Association in 1884, and the Washington Nationals of the National League in 1886.
- May 8 - Chick Fraser, 66, pitcher for seven teams in 14 seasons from 1896 through 1909, most prominently for the 1907 and 1908 Chicago Cubs clubs that won the World Series, who hurled a no-hitter in 1903 and ranks second on the all-time list of most hit batsmen by a Major League Baseball pitcher.
- May 14 - Harry Gaspar, 57, pitcher who played from 1909 through 1912 for the Cincinnati Reds.
- May 16 - Spike Shannon, 62, outfielder over parts of five seasons from 1904-1908 with the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants and Pittsburgh Pirates, who led the National League for the most scored runs in the 1907 season.
- June 1 - Logan Drake, 40, pitcher.
- June 3 - Billy Kelly, 54, catcher.
- June 4 - Phil Baker, 86, first baseman/catcher.
- June 16 - Bill Hawes, 83, outfielder/first baseman.
- June 19 - Ed Pabst, 72, outfielder.
- June 24 - Bert Adams, 49, catcher.
- June 24 - Axel Lindstrom, 44, pitcher.
- June 26 - Jimmie Savage, 56, outfielder.
- June 26 - Billy Reid, 83, second baseman.
- June 27 - Frank Thompson, 44, third baseman.
- July 3 - John Stafford, 70, pitcher.
- July 5 - George Yeager, 66, catcher.
- July 13 - Ollie Tucker, 38, outfielder.
- July 16 - Bill Leith, 67, pitcher.
- July 19 - Chink Heileman, 67, third baseman.
- July 22 - Charlie Swindells, 61, pitcher.
- July 27 - Tom Williams, 69, pitcher/outfielder.
- July 28 - Red Ehret, 71, pitcher.
- July 28 - Stan Yerkes, 65, pitcher.
- August 3 - Willard Hershberger, 30, catcher.
- August 5 - Ed Bruyette, 65, outfielder.
- August 13 - Buck Stanley, 50, pitcher.
- August 14 - Charlie Hollocher, 44, shortstop.
- August 17 - Bock Baker, 62, pitcher.
- August 21 - Ernest Thayer, 77, newspaper editor whose 1888 poem "Casey at the Bat" became a staple of baseball culture.
- August 24 - Ed Hallinan, 52, shortstop.
- August 28 - Charlie Johnson, 55, outfielder.
- September 1 - Gus Dundon, 66, second baseman.
- September 3 - Johnny Welch, 33, pitcher.
- September 10 - Bill Shipke, 57, third baseman.
- September 14 - Andy Knox, 76, first baseman.
- September 15 - Ed Yewell, 78, outfielder/infielder.
- September 21 - Billy Otterson, 78, shortstop.
- September 25 - Mike Jordan, 77, outfielder.
- October 5 - Crazy Schmit, 74, pitcher.
- October 9 - Bill Massey, 69, first baseman.
- October 17 - George Davis, 70, Hall of Fame shortstop for the Cleveland Spiders, New York Giants and Chicago White Sox in 20 seasons spanning 1890-1909, who hit over .300 in nine consecutive seasons from 1893 to 1901, fashioned a then-record 33-game hitting streak in 1893, and set Major League records for the most career hits (2600+) and RBI (1437) by a switch-hitter, while leading the Hitless Wonder White Sox in their victory over the Chicago Cubs in the 1906 World Series.
- October 23 - Harry Krause, 52, pitcher.
- November 3 - Joe Burke, 72, third baseman.
- November 4 - George Bird, 90, outfielder.
- November 5 - Bill Mellor, 66, first baseman.
- November 12 - Joe Quinn, 75, second baseman.
- November 14 - George Clark, 49, pitcher for the 1913 New York Yankees.
- November 18 - John Harkins, 81, pitcher.
- December 7 - Harry Eells, 60, pitcher.
- December 16 - Billy Hamilton, 74, Hall of Fame center fielder and a prolific hitter who hit better than .300 in 12 successive seasons en route to a career mark of .344, including two batting crowns, while collecting eleven 100-run seasons with a record 192 in 1894; 914 career stolen bases, a single-season total of 111 steals in 1891 and a single-game of seven in 1894, ending his career as one of only three big leaguers whose runs scored (1,691) exceeded his games played (1,578).
- December 18 - John Kiley, 81, left fielder/pitcher.
- December 22 - Patsy McGaffigan, 52, infielder.
- December 22 - Bill Schwartz, 76, catcher.