The 1930 Major League baseball season was both marvelous and horrendous, great for hitters, embarrassing for pitchers. In totality it was just this side of insane as an outlier among all seasons.
Major League Baseball began with the founding of the National League in 1876. In the 143 seasons since then one season stands out as unique for the astounding nature of hitting. Baseball people frequently refer to the anomaly of the 1968 season when pitching so thoroughly dominated that just a single batter hit more than .300 in the American League. During that season, the St. Louis Cardinals’ Bob Gibson compiled a 1.12 earned run average. During that season, the Detroit Tigers’ Denny McLain compiled a 31-7 record on the mound. That was the first time in 34 years any pitcher won 30 games in a season – and it remains the last time this was accomplished. Several books have been written covering this unusual season.
The 1930 baseball season was the flip side of 1968, the hitter’s version when 78 players batted .300, when the entire National League averaged .300 and some of the greatest individual performances established all-time records. The 1930 season is a wild, sometimes unbelievable, often wacky baseball story.
Lew Freedman is the author of nearly sixty books on sports, including Clouds over the Goalpost, The Original Six, and A Summer to Remember, and is the winner of more than 250 journalism awards. A veteran sportswriter, Freedman was formerly a staff writer for the Chicago Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer, as well as other papers, and lives in Columbus, Indiana.