Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 1942 Season as seen through the Prism of Player Won-Lost Records



The 1942 season was the first season played while the U.S. was engaged in World War II. Although some high-profile players were already in the Armed Forces - most notably Hall-of-Famers Hank Greenberg and Bob Feller - the 1942 season was not affected by war nearly to the extent that the next three seasons would be.

The Best of 1942

I calculate Player won-lost records two ways: pWins, which tie to team wins and eWins, which control for context and the ability of one's teammates. For players with more pWins than eWins, their Player wins contributed to more team wins than one might expect; for players with more eWins than pWins, just the opposite is true: their Player wins translated into fewer team wins than expected. Or more briefly: a player with more pWins than eWins was better in context, a player with more eWins than pWins was worse in context.

The top 10 players in pWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

pWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          pWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL           Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Ted Williams28.316.54.8
6.6
1Ted Williams28.316.54.8
6.6
2Joe DiMaggio25.417.03.9
5.6
2Joe DiMaggio25.417.03.9
5.6
3Dolph Camilli22.512.83.9
5.3
3Enos Slaughter26.117.23.6
5.3
4Mort Cooper18.011.53.8
5.0
4Joe Gordon22.615.43.8
5.3
5Joe Gordon22.615.43.8
5.3
5Dolph Camilli22.512.83.9
5.3
6Enos Slaughter26.117.23.6
5.3
6Mort Cooper18.011.53.8
5.0
7Tex Hughson17.011.33.3
4.5
7Charlie Keller24.616.23.2
4.9
8Johnny Mize20.812.33.3
4.6
8Johnny Mize20.812.33.3
4.6
9Charlie Keller24.616.23.2
4.9
9Pete Reiser20.413.53.2
4.5
10Pete Reiser20.413.53.2
4.5
10Tex Hughson17.011.33.3
4.5


The top 10 players in eWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

eWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          eWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL           Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1Ted Williams27.416.74.3
6.0
1Ted Williams27.416.74.3
6.0
2Mel Ott23.216.12.8
4.4
2Mel Ott23.216.12.8
4.4
3Charlie Keller23.816.62.6
4.3
3Charlie Keller23.816.62.6
4.3
4Joe DiMaggio23.417.62.6
4.2
4Joe DiMaggio23.417.62.6
4.2
5Mort Cooper17.013.02.6
3.7
5Enos Slaughter24.017.72.3
4.0
6Joe Gordon20.916.52.4
3.9
6Joe Gordon20.916.52.4
3.9
7Enos Slaughter24.017.72.3
4.0
7Mort Cooper17.013.02.6
3.7
8Johnny Mize18.111.92.2
3.4
8Bill Nicholson24.519.41.8
3.5
9Pete Reiser18.514.31.8
3.1
9Johnny Pesky22.119.11.8
3.5
10Johnny Pesky22.119.11.8
3.5
10Johnny Mize18.111.92.2
3.4


Ted Williams
The best player in major-league baseball in 1942 in all four of the above tables was Ted Williams. Ted Williams won the American League Triple Crown in 1942. In fact, Ted Williams led the Amerian League in pretty much every key offensive statistic: batting average (.356), on-base percentage (.499), slugging percentage (.648), OPS (1.147), home runs (36), RBI (137), runs scored (141), walks (145), and total bases (338).

Ted Williams's career record, as measured by Player won-lost records, is shown next.

Ted Williams
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1939BOS20
149
24.817.30.5903.0
4.7
23.017.50.5682.03.7
1940BOS21
144
22.917.30.5702.0
3.6
24.918.30.5752.44.1
1941BOS22
143
24.416.40.5973.3
5.1
25.215.30.6234.36.0
1942BOS23
150
28.316.50.6324.8
6.6
27.416.70.6214.36.0
1946BOS27
150
28.415.50.6465.5
7.2
27.215.70.6354.86.6
1947BOS28
156
27.018.00.6003.4
5.2
27.517.40.6124.05.7
1948BOS29
137
25.615.60.6214.1
5.7
23.715.70.6013.14.7
1949BOS30
155
26.717.30.6083.6
5.3
26.617.60.6023.35.1
1950BOS31
89
14.111.10.5601.1
2.1
14.210.20.5821.62.5
1951BOS32
148
24.119.00.5591.6
3.3
23.818.10.5681.93.6
1952BOS33
6
0.90.20.7880.3
0.4
0.70.20.7340.20.2
1953BOS34
37
5.83.00.6631.3
1.7
5.12.90.6411.01.3
1954BOS35
117
18.813.00.5912.4
3.7
19.612.50.6103.04.3
1955BOS36
98
16.210.40.6102.5
3.6
15.510.10.6052.33.4
1956BOS37
136
17.912.80.5831.9
3.2
18.813.10.5892.23.5
1957BOS38
132
20.913.90.6012.4
3.9
20.812.90.6182.94.3
1958BOS39
129
17.815.00.5430.5
1.8
18.314.20.5621.12.4
1959BOS40
103
10.39.40.5220.2
1.0
9.59.20.508-0.10.7
1960BOS41
112
14.011.50.5500.7
1.7
14.010.40.5731.22.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
2,291
368.9253.10.59344.4
69.7
365.6248.10.59645.570.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
7
0.70.90.468 -0.00.91.00.480 -0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
2,298
369.7254.00.593
69.6
366.5249.00.596 70.4


Joe Gordon
You might think that leading the league in batting average, home runs, RBI, runs scored, and total bases - not even getting into walks, on-base percentage, slugging percentage and OPS - would be enough to be an easy choice for American League MVP. Alas, not so much. In fact, Ted Williams won the Triple Crown twice and did not win the MVP award either time.

The American League MVP was Yankees' second baseman Joe Gordon, who batted .322/.409/.491 with 18 home runs, 103 RBI, and 88 runs scored, all of which pale in comparison to Williams. To be fair, Gordon was also an excellent defensive second baseman and shows up prominently in all four of the above tables.

Joe Gordon's career record, as measured by Player won-lost records, is shown next.

Joe Gordon
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1938NYA23
127
18.714.70.5592.0
3.4
16.814.20.5421.42.6
1939NYA24
151
23.117.00.5773.1
4.8
20.918.00.5381.53.1
1940NYA25
155
22.118.40.5451.9
3.6
22.117.20.5622.54.1
1941NYA26
156
21.216.30.5652.5
4.1
20.917.90.5381.63.2
1942NYA27
147
22.615.40.5953.8
5.3
20.916.50.5592.43.9
1943NYA28
152
20.417.30.5411.6
3.0
21.018.10.5371.53.0
1946NYA31
112
12.812.60.5040.2
1.2
12.613.20.489-0.20.8
1947CLE32
155
21.416.70.5633.0
4.5
20.616.10.5622.84.3
1948CLE33
144
22.316.00.5823.3
4.8
19.915.90.5552.13.6
1949CLE34
148
19.517.00.5341.2
2.7
19.317.50.5240.92.4
1950CLE35
119
12.611.40.5250.7
1.7
12.211.80.5090.31.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,566
216.5172.70.55623.5
39.1
207.2176.40.54016.932.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
29
4.23.20.565 0.83.93.70.513 0.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,595
220.7175.90.556
39.9
211.0180.10.540 32.7


Mort Cooper
There was no Cy Young award yet in 1942, so it was a bit more common for pitchers in win MVP awards. And the winner of the 1942 National League MVP was a pitcher, Mort Cooper, on the strength of a league-leading 22 wins, a league-best 1.78 ERA, as well as league leads in shutouts (10) and WHIP (0.987). As measured by Player won-lost records, Cooper was the best pitcher in baseball, and has a defensible case as the NL MVP (no National League player is ahead of him in all four above tables).

The 1942 season was the first of three straight 20-win seasons by Cooper. From 1942 - 1944, he had a traditional won-lost record of 65-22 with a 2.17 ERA in 805 innings pitched. Cooper's career was fairly short but he certainly had his moments, many of them in 1942.

Mort Cooper's career record, as measured by Player won-lost records, is shown next.

Mort Cooper
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1938SLN25
4
1.61.10.5770.2
0.4
1.41.50.4870.00.1
1939SLN26
47
12.610.70.5401.3
2.4
12.412.10.5050.51.7
1940SLN27
38
13.913.50.5080.6
1.9
13.113.40.4930.21.4
1941SLN28
29
11.411.30.5010.4
1.4
11.712.50.4840.01.1
1942SLN29
37
18.011.50.6103.8
5.0
17.013.00.5662.63.7
1943SLN30
37
17.612.20.5913.2
4.5
17.414.00.5552.23.6
1944SLN31
34
17.010.70.6133.6
4.8
14.812.10.5491.83.0
32
24
5.85.50.5140.3
0.9
6.15.40.5310.51.1
1946BSN33
28
12.612.00.5130.8
1.9
12.211.00.5251.02.1
34
18
4.86.80.414-0.8
-0.3
5.35.70.480-0.10.4
1949CHN36
1
0.00.30.018-0.2
-0.1
0.00.20.000-0.1-0.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
297
115.295.70.54613.2
22.7
111.3101.00.5248.718.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
6
3.13.00.504 0.42.92.70.515 0.4
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
303
118.398.70.546
23.0
114.2103.60.524 18.6


1942 Postseason

The 1942 season saw three teams win over 100 games. Back in the days when there was nothing but a World Series, this meant tough luck for the 104-win Brooklyn Dodgers. Instead, the World Series matched the 106-win St. Louis Cardinals against the 103-win New York Yankees, with the Cardinals winning in five games.

The top performances of the 1942 World Series, as measured by Player won-lost records, are presented in the next table.

1942 World Series: Top Player Performances
pWins pLosses pWORL
Ernie WhiteSLN1.00.20.5
Enos SlaughterSLN1.20.50.4
Whitey KurowskiSLN0.90.50.3
Johnny BeazleySLN1.20.90.3


Best of 1942 by Factor and Position

Next, let's look at the top players in (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins over Positional Average in various aspects of the game. The numbers in this section have all been normalized to extrapolate player games for which I am missing play-by-play data. As above, this adjustment is based on individual player games for which I have play-by-play data.
Best by Factor: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, Fielding
There are four basic factors for which players earn Player won-lost records: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, and Fielding. The top players in 1942 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Ted Williams19.19.44.5

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
George Case2.71.80.4

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Mort Cooper13.710.23.5
Tiny Bonham11.08.52.5


Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Claude Passeau0.80.40.4


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Al Lopez1.30.80.4
Mickey Owen1.81.30.4


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
George McQuinn2.92.40.5


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Lonny Frey6.15.01.2


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Ken Keltner6.65.51.1


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Johnny Pesky7.66.51.0


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Indian Bob Johnson7.16.30.7


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Dom DiMaggio7.85.62.2


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Enos Slaughter6.25.60.6


Best by Position
Next, we look at 1942 Major-League leaders in eWOPA by position. The figures shown here only include Player decisions earned while playing this particular position, and include no contextual adjustments (expected or actual).



Catcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Ernie Lombardi9.77.61.4


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Johnny Mize18.111.92.2


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Joe Gordon20.716.72.2


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Stan Hack20.317.01.3


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Johnny Pesky22.019.21.7


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Ted Williams26.617.03.7


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Joe DiMaggio23.317.82.4


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mel Ott23.016.42.6


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Mort Cooper14.210.12.1


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Hugh Casey4.93.90.4
Max Lanier1.91.10.4


For relief pitchers, context-neutral records may not be the best measure of how good they are, as context can matter a great deal, depending on how a pitcher is used. Here are the top relief pitchers of 1942 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 1942, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Howie Krist6.64.40.6001.21.8
Hugh Casey6.54.40.5991.11.8
Murry Dickson6.04.40.5750.91.4
Harry Feldman5.44.80.5290.40.9
Joe Beggs4.23.70.5310.20.7


Finally, here are the best at three oft-forgotten positions that can nevertheless matter: pitcher offense, pinch hitting, and pinch running.

Pitcher Offense
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jim Tobin2.92.31.0


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Lew Riggs0.90.50.2
Ned Harris0.60.30.2
Don Ross0.80.50.2
Wally Judnich0.40.10.2


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Oscar Grimes0.20.00.1


Notable Debuts
One player debuted in 1942 who went on to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame: Warren Spahn.

This article concludes with the career record of Warren Spahn, as measured by Player won-lost records.

Warren Spahn
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1942BSN21
4
0.51.10.307-0.3
-0.2
0.71.20.393-0.2-0.1
1946BSN25
24
7.96.30.5551.0
1.7
7.06.30.5270.61.3
1947BSN26
41
21.313.90.6054.3
5.7
18.814.10.5733.04.3
1948BSN27
37
17.313.50.5612.5
3.8
17.714.80.5442.03.4
1949BSN28
40
21.117.40.5482.5
4.0
19.618.10.5191.32.8
1950BSN29
41
19.519.30.5020.9
2.6
19.317.00.5321.93.5
1951BSN30
42
22.115.80.5843.7
5.4
19.816.00.5542.54.0
1952BSN31
52
17.917.10.5121.0
2.6
19.616.70.5402.13.8
1953MLN32
38
20.012.30.6204.6
6.0
18.013.00.5813.24.5
1954MLN33
41
19.915.10.5693.2
4.8
18.615.90.5392.13.7
1955MLN34
40
17.314.50.5432.0
3.2
15.413.90.5271.32.5
1956MLN35
39
18.514.60.5602.7
4.2
18.114.20.5602.64.1
1957MLN36
39
17.914.20.5572.6
3.8
16.715.10.5261.62.8
1958MLN37
41
18.615.50.5452.5
3.8
19.216.10.5442.63.9
1959MLN38
40
18.815.70.5462.3
3.8
18.315.40.5432.13.6
1960MLN39
40
19.015.00.5582.8
4.2
16.815.30.5231.52.9
1961MLN40
39
19.415.00.5633.0
4.4
18.015.00.5452.33.6
1962MLN41
36
17.216.00.5181.4
2.8
17.214.40.5452.23.5
1963MLN42
33
19.613.50.5923.9
5.4
16.815.10.5271.73.1
1964MLN43
39
9.013.00.408-1.6
-0.4
9.613.10.422-1.3-0.1
44
37
11.414.80.436-1.1
0.1
11.314.90.431-1.2-0.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
783
353.9293.40.54743.8
71.7
336.8295.60.53333.861.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
8
3.12.90.512 0.53.73.40.521 0.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
791
357.0296.30.547
72.1
340.5299.00.533 61.7




All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

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