January 26, 2020


November 17, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

Before the 1941 season began, the Mexican League consolidated, going from 7 teams down to only 6 teams. Although the number of Negro Leaguers decreased from 67 to 58, in percentage terms they increased from around 33% to 40% of the total player population. But this understates their impact, as in terms of At Bats, Negro League position players had over 50% of the league’s AB’s. And even that underplays the impact of the Negro League position players. A look at the OPS+ Leader Board will reveal the highest ranked native Mexican player was Epicacio Torres, at 96 OPS+.

This time Josh Gibson played the entire season in the league, and easily was the “MVP” for 1941, hitting .374 with 33 Home Runs and 124 RBIs in 358 At Bats. It would have been a Triple Crown season for Gibson except that Wild Bill Wright hit .390, and led the league with 26 Stolen Bases. It was a good year for Shortstops as Bus Clarkson (.334/.414/.598), Sam Bankhead (.351/.433/.521), and Willie Wells (.347/.430/.516) all had strong years.

Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Famer Jesús Valenzuela was the ERA leader at 3.12 (153 ERA+), with his Tampico teammates Francisco Castañeda (3.51 ERA) and Nate Moreland (3.67 ERA) finishing right behind him.
Azules de Veracruz pitcher Barney Brown had the best W/L record at 16-5.

In the race for the championship, even with the top 3 pitchers Tampico only finished in 3rd, as heavy hitting Azules de Veracruz, with Hall of Famers Gibson, Wells and Ray Dandridge won for the second consecutive year.

(The data comes primarily from Pedro Cisneros’ “Mexican League Encyclopedia”, compiled into electronic form by Frank Hamilton. I, Juan Rivera, Eric Chalek, and Gary Ashwill all reviewed, edited, modified and added to the data, particularly in areas of team information, player identification and biographical material.)

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