Slaughter missed three straight years because of WWII. I gave bonus points for those missing years for all the players, but they were reduced so it wasn’t what they normally earned in their best seasons. It was basically used to increase the career numbers and it didn’t help the 3 year and 6-year peak numbers. Unfortunately for Slaughter he missed the seasons he would have been age 27 to 29. Slaughter was second in the MVP voting the year before he went into the military and third in the voting when he came back. I estimate he would have lost 540 hits in his career. That would have given him a career total close to 2,900. Would he have stayed around longer to get to 3,000 which would have gotten him to the hall of fame sooner. Not likely he was 43 at the time he retired and hadn’t played in 100 games in three years. He was basically done when he retired.
On the play in the 1946 World Series the Red Sox tied the game in the top of the 8th with two runs. Centerfielder Dom DiMaggio hurt his ankle coming into second, so there was a new centerfielder, Leon Culberson in the game. Harry Walker hit a ball between center and left. The ball wasn’t deep, and the centerfielder did a good job of cutting it off as Ted Williams the left fielder backed up the play. He threw to shortstop. Slaughter insisted that the hit was a single and Pesky didn’t hesitate before throwing home after the relay throw by Culberson. However, Culberson had to run a long way to cut off the ball and I have never seen a play hit between two players called a single. I also though Pesky, the shortstop, was surprised and double pumped. He appeared to be surprised Slaughter took off for home and his delay might have made a difference. I think Slaughter puffs up the story a bit and he always seemed a bit of a braggart. However, it was a great play and Slaughter deserves a lot of credit for forcing the play.
After 13 seasons with the Cardinals Slaughter in his old age was traded to the Yankees and the Kansas City A’s. He was in one of those trades between the franchise that happen in the late 50s. Slaughter ended up helping the Yankees to 3 pennants and 2 World Series victories in those 3 years.
I saw in an interview where Slaughter said he was a good clutch hitter. The stats from baseball reference bare this out as he did better in high leverage situations than other situations. I agree with him, he was a hall of fame player.