Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
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The 1943 Season as seen through the Prism of Player Won-Lost Records



In their latest release (in December 2017) Retrosheet released complete play-by-play data (with some games deduced) for the 1941, 1942, and 1943 seasons. This article looks at the last of these.

While not as bad as 1944 or 1945 would end up being, the toll taken from World War II on Major League Baseball took a definite turn for the worse in 1943. Two of the top three finishers in AL MVP voting in 1942 missed the entire 1943 season due to military service as did two of the top five finishers in NL MVP voting. And yet, the final results of the 1943 season looked a lot like the 1942 season: so much so that the same two teams met in the World Series.

The Best of 1943

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
1Stan Musial27.817.64.2
5.9
1Stan Musial27.817.64.2
5.9
2Charlie Keller25.116.03.8
5.4
2Charlie Keller25.116.03.8
5.4
3Spud Chandler16.510.53.5
4.7
3Spud Chandler16.510.53.5
4.7
4Mort Cooper17.612.23.2
4.5
4Lou Klein23.417.63.0
4.6
5Whitey Kurowski20.714.73.1
4.4
5Mort Cooper17.612.23.2
4.5
6Billy Johnson21.615.83.0
4.4
6Whitey Kurowski20.714.73.1
4.4
7Lou Klein23.417.63.0
4.6
7Billy Johnson21.615.83.0
4.4
8Whit Wyatt12.07.02.8
3.6
8Bill Nicholson27.220.42.5
4.3
9Dizzy Trout17.313.12.5
3.9
9Lou Boudreau22.017.42.4
3.9
10Rip Sewell17.113.02.5
3.8
10Dizzy Trout17.313.12.5
3.9


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
1Charlie Keller23.616.62.8
4.3
1Stan Musial26.519.32.7
4.5
2Stan Musial26.519.32.7
4.5
2Charlie Keller23.616.62.8
4.3
3Spud Chandler15.711.52.6
3.7
3Bill Nicholson25.318.42.6
4.2
4Bill Nicholson25.318.42.6
4.2
4Luke Appling24.219.52.5
4.2
5Luke Appling24.219.52.5
4.2
5Spud Chandler15.711.52.6
3.7
6Mort Cooper17.414.02.2
3.6
6Mort Cooper17.414.02.2
3.6
7Augie Galan20.415.52.1
3.5
7Augie Galan20.415.52.1
3.5
8Whit Wyatt11.37.72.1
2.9
8Lou Boudreau21.918.41.9
3.4
9Rudy York20.214.72.0
3.3
9Rudy York20.214.72.0
3.3
10Mel Ott17.612.52.0
3.1
10Bobby Doerr21.918.41.8
3.3


Stan Musial
The top player in three of the four tables above won the National League MVP award. Stan Musial batted .357/.425/.562, all of which led the National League. Musial also led the league in hits (220), doubles (48), triples (20), and total bases (347). He finished second in the league in runs scored (108) and fifth in RBI (81). He was an easy and obvious MVP choice.

Stan Musial's career, as shown by Player won-lost records, is shown next.
Stan Musial
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1941SLN20
12
1.81.10.6250.3
0.4
2.01.20.6180.30.4
1942SLN21
140
20.613.10.6123.0
4.4
19.114.10.5761.83.1
1943SLN22
157
27.817.60.6124.2
5.9
26.519.30.5782.74.5
1944SLN23
146
25.215.60.6174.0
5.6
24.515.80.6073.55.1
1946SLN25
156
22.716.20.5842.2
3.7
22.916.60.5802.03.6
1947SLN26
149
19.913.80.5902.1
3.5
18.814.90.5591.12.4
1948SLN27
155
27.918.40.6023.8
5.6
27.618.40.6003.65.5
1949SLN28
157
25.016.80.5983.5
5.2
24.017.30.5812.84.4
1950SLN29
146
20.516.00.5621.5
3.0
20.716.90.5511.22.6
1951SLN30
152
23.316.40.5872.7
4.3
23.416.40.5872.74.3
1952SLN31
154
22.716.80.5752.4
4.0
22.717.10.5702.23.8
1953SLN32
157
25.918.40.5852.9
4.7
24.517.90.5782.44.2
1954SLN33
153
23.319.20.5471.7
3.4
25.519.60.5652.54.4
1955SLN34
153
20.415.30.5711.8
3.3
20.015.10.5701.73.2
1956SLN35
156
18.417.30.515-0.2
1.2
19.716.70.5420.72.2
1957SLN36
134
17.811.60.6042.4
3.6
16.912.50.5731.52.7
1958SLN37
135
13.311.10.5450.6
1.5
14.111.70.5480.71.7
1959SLN38
115
9.19.70.483-0.7
0.1
9.79.00.518-0.00.7
1960SLN39
116
12.59.60.5671.0
1.9
11.19.40.5430.41.3
1961SLN40
123
14.212.90.5230.3
1.5
12.711.40.5280.41.5
1962SLN41
135
16.614.50.5340.3
1.5
16.313.20.5520.92.0
1963SLN42
124
12.010.10.5420.5
1.3
10.39.60.516-0.10.7
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
3,025
420.8311.50.57540.1
69.6
413.0314.10.56835.064.3
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
23
2.92.20.563 0.42.82.50.522 0.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
3,048
423.6313.70.575
70.0
415.8316.60.568 64.5


Charlie Keller
The one table above in which Stan Musial is not in first is eWins over positional average (eWOPA), which find Charlie Keller at the top. Keller is in second place in the other three tables.

Keller finished a disappointing 13th place in AL MVP voting in 1943.

In 1943, Charlie Keller batted .271/.396/.525. Keller led the American League in OPS (.922) and walks (106). His 11 triples were third in the AL; his 31 home runs were second. Like Musial, he finished second in his league in runs scored (97). He was also sixth in the AL in RBI (86).

The 1943 season was Keller's fifth season. Keller would go on to miss most of the next two seasons due to military service. He returned for one more full season in 1946. Unfortunately, his career was derailed thereafter by serious back injuries.

Keller's career, as seen by Player won-lost records, is shown next.

Charlie Keller
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1939NYA22
111
16.111.20.5902.0
3.2
15.511.90.5671.42.6
1940NYA23
138
21.716.70.5651.7
3.3
20.715.30.5742.03.4
1941NYA24
140
25.916.40.6134.0
5.9
22.716.30.5822.54.2
1942NYA25
152
24.616.20.6033.2
4.9
23.816.60.5892.64.3
1943NYA26
141
25.116.00.6103.8
5.4
23.616.60.5872.84.3
1945NYA28
44
7.75.30.5921.0
1.5
7.45.10.5921.01.4
1946NYA29
150
24.017.00.5852.6
4.2
22.916.30.5852.54.1
1947NYA30
45
8.05.50.5961.0
1.5
7.25.10.5830.71.2
1948NYA31
83
9.07.60.5410.3
1.0
8.27.60.518-0.00.6
1949NYA32
60
4.83.90.5490.3
0.7
4.43.70.5470.20.6
1950DET33
50
2.11.50.5800.4
0.6
2.11.20.6410.50.7
1951DET34
53
2.52.50.4970.0
0.3
2.32.00.5420.20.4
1952NYA35
2
0.00.00.000-0.0
-0.0
0.00.00.000-0.0-0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,169
171.4119.80.58920.4
32.3
160.9117.60.57816.427.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
19
3.82.00.651 1.03.32.30.594 0.6
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,188
175.1121.80.589
33.3
164.2119.90.578 28.5


Unfortunately, Keller's career was too short - and, perhaps, too underappreciated (his career batting average was .286 with an on-base percentage of .410; he had over 100 walks in all five seasons in which he had 500 or more plate appearances) - to ever get any traction in Hall-of-Fame voting. His walks and lost time due to World War II were more appreciated, however, by the electorate at the Hall of Merit which elected him in "1996".

Spud Chandler
Player won-lost records suggest that Charlie Keller should have won the AL MVP award. While MVP voters did a pretty poor job of recognizing Keller's value, their MVP choice was actually a pretty good one. In fact, he was the best pitcher in baseball in 1943, as measured by Player won-lost records: Spud Chandler.

Chandler led the American League in wins (20), win percentage (.833), ERA (1.64), complete games (20), shutouts (5), WHIP (0.992), strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.48), and FIP (fielding independent pitching, 2.30). Like Keller, Chandler missed most of the next two seasons but came back with a strong 1946 - when Chandler was 20-8 with a 2.10 ERA. He came back for one more season in 1947, by which time he was 39 years old, when he led the American League in ERA (2.46 in 128 innings pitched). And that was it.

Spud Chandler
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1937NYA29
12
5.33.90.5760.8
1.2
4.64.50.5080.20.6
1938NYA30
23
11.47.80.5942.2
2.9
10.58.50.5541.42.1
1939NYA31
11
0.60.40.5700.1
0.1
0.80.80.4970.00.1
1940NYA32
27
9.49.80.4900.1
1.0
10.510.60.4980.31.2
1941NYA33
28
9.26.90.5721.4
2.1
9.28.40.5230.71.5
1942NYA34
24
12.79.30.5772.1
3.0
12.012.10.4980.41.4
1943NYA35
30
16.510.50.6123.5
4.7
15.711.50.5782.63.7
1944NYA36
1
0.20.30.424-0.0
-0.0
0.30.50.348-0.1-0.1
1945NYA37
4
2.02.00.5080.1
0.3
1.91.70.5290.20.3
1946NYA38
34
15.612.60.5532.0
3.4
15.712.80.5502.03.3
1947NYA39
17
8.85.90.5981.7
2.3
8.46.40.5681.31.9
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
211
91.869.40.57014.1
21.0
89.577.60.5369.016.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
6
2.11.40.605 0.62.11.60.564 0.5
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
217
93.970.80.570
21.6
91.679.20.536 16.6


1943 Postseason

The 1943 World Series was a repeat of the 1942 World Series. As in 1942, the World Series went 5 games, but, unlike in 1942, this time the New York Yankees defeated the St. Louis Cardinals.

The top performances of the 1943 World Series, as measured by Player won-lost records, are presented in the next table.

1943 World Series: Top Player Performances
pWins pLosses pWORL
Spud ChandlerNYA1.40.60.5
Marius RussoNYA1.00.30.4
Frankie CrosettiNYA1.10.50.3
Billy JohnsonNYA1.20.80.3


As measured by Player won-lost records, the top performer in the 1943 postseason was the top pitcher in the 1943 regular season, Spud Chandler. Chandler started and won Games 1 and 5 of the series, both complete games, allowing one earned run (and one unearned run).

Best of 1943 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 1943 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Charlie Keller16.19.73.0
Bill Nicholson16.810.82.8

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
George Case2.81.60.6

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Spud Chandler12.18.83.4
Mort Cooper13.810.92.9
Whit Wyatt8.96.12.8


Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Claude Passeau1.00.40.5
Jim Bagby Jr.0.90.50.5


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Ray Mueller2.11.40.7


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Joe Kuhel2.82.30.5


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Lonny Frey6.76.10.7


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Billy Johnson6.04.51.4


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Eddie R. Miller9.17.22.0


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jim Russell7.35.91.4


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Vince DiMaggio7.86.61.2


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Mel Ott5.64.80.9


Best by Position
Next, we look at 1943 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
Bill Dickey7.75.31.3
Ray Mueller12.810.81.3


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Rudy York20.014.91.8


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Bobby Doerr21.618.71.5


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Bob Elliott20.517.21.7


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Luke Appling23.919.82.2


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Charlie Keller23.316.92.5


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Augie Galan14.811.41.5


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Bill Nicholson25.218.72.3


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Spud Chandler12.79.31.7
Mort Cooper14.111.11.5


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Clyde Shoun6.04.90.5
Harry Brecheen2.61.60.5


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 1943 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 1943, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Clyde Shoun9.46.30.6011.82.7
Gordon Maltzberger8.04.60.6341.82.6
Murry Dickson5.84.80.5500.71.3
Joe Beggs5.64.90.5320.41.1
Ace Adams6.06.00.5020.10.9


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
Bucky Walters2.11.70.6


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Joe Cronin1.90.80.6


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Andy Karl0.10.00.1


Notable Debuts
One player debuted in 1943 who went on to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame: George Kell.

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

George Kell
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Value Decomposition
Season Team Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
1943PHA20
1
0.20.10.6440.0
0.1
0.20.10.5690.00.0
1944PHA21
139
14.416.80.461-1.4
-0.1
14.617.00.461-1.4-0.1
1945PHA22
147
16.918.60.476-1.0
0.3
19.118.10.5140.31.8
23
131
16.315.10.5190.7
1.9
16.614.50.5351.12.4
1947DET24
152
20.417.50.5391.2
2.7
19.917.50.5320.92.4
1948DET25
92
11.810.80.5220.2
1.1
11.210.30.5200.11.0
1949DET26
134
17.814.50.5511.4
2.7
18.414.90.5531.52.9
1950DET27
157
20.817.00.5501.3
2.7
20.316.90.5451.12.5
1951DET28
147
19.417.60.5250.4
1.8
19.217.90.5190.21.6
29
114
14.113.40.5130.2
1.3
14.412.50.5360.81.9
1953BOS30
134
17.714.50.5491.0
2.4
16.714.30.5380.72.0
31
97
10.210.40.497-0.4
0.4
10.09.10.5230.10.9
1955CHA32
128
15.812.30.5611.3
2.5
13.011.80.5250.31.3
33
123
11.813.20.472-0.9
0.1
12.511.90.5110.11.1
1957BAL34
99
9.49.50.499-0.1
0.7
9.88.90.5250.41.2
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
1,795
217.0201.20.5193.9
20.7
215.9195.70.5256.222.8
------ ------ ------ ------ ------
PostSeason (career)
0
0.00.0 0.00.00.0 0.0
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
COMBINED
1,795
217.0201.20.519
20.7
215.9195.70.525 22.8




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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