No. 192 Joe Medwick (Number 20 Left Field)

Joe Medwick is most famous for being thrown out of a World Series game for sliding too hard into third. Actually, he wasn’t thrown out of the game, he was taken out of the game for his own protection. However, he did slide hard into third baseman Marv Owen while hitting a triple in the top of the sixth. They had a bit of a tussle after the play. His triple scored Pepper Martin giving the Cardinals a slight 8-0 lead. Medwick scored later in the inning making the score 9-0.

The Detroit fans already in a bad mood about the score just lost it with Medwick’s slide. When he came out to left field at the bottom of the sixth, he was greeted with a lot of fruit and vegetables being thrown at him. The game was delayed. The managers went and talked to commissioner. Then Medwick and Owen were bought to the commissioner. Now Medwick was only 22 years old and now he had to talk to the commissioner. It is said that Medwick was the only player thrown out of game.

Medwick had a bit of a temper. He was given the nickname of Ducky in the minors. I’m sure that didn’t thrill Medwick that much. He probably got into a few fights with that nickname. There were a lot more fights in those days.

Medwick had a 3-year peak from 1935 to 1937. He went from age 23 to 25. That is younger than the normal peak. He led the league in total bases all three years. In 1936 he broke the record for most doubles in a season for the National League ending up with a total of 64. I believe that is still the National League record. In 1937 he had one of those years everyone dreams about, especially baseball players and baseball fans. He led the National League that year in runs, hits, doubles, homeruns, RBIs, batting average and slugging percentage. He didn’t know it at the time, but he also led the league in OPS and OPS+, just confirming the fact that he was the best hitter in the National League that year. While not a great fielder, Baseball Reference has him as a little above average fielder that year.

However, his career started to fade after that. He still had a good year in 1938 and led the league in doubles. I figured a three-year peak for each player and a six-year prime. Medwick had a bigger difference than normal between the two. Medwick was hit by a pitch in the head in 1940. There might have been some connection with that.

However, in 1941 Medwick actually had one of his best seasons after his 3-year peak so that doesn’t work. He made it into his second World Series with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Medwick didn’t have as good of Series in 1941 as he had in 1934 (which was a great World Series for Medwick) as he scored only one run and drove in zero in five games. Brooklyn lost the Series to the New York Yankees.

Medwick didn’t play well in 1942 and 1943. He had a decent year with the New York Giants in 1944, but a backup for the rest of his career, four years. That is why he falls short of 750 on my equation but remember he isn’t that much short.

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