This Week in 1945 (July 19–July 25)
This week (July 19-25) during the last year the Cubs went to the World Series…
World War II
*American radio broadcasts call on Japan to surrender or face destruction.
*At the Potsdam Conference, Truman and Churchill agree to use the recently-tested atomic bomb if Japan fails to surrender unconditionally, and the Allies select Nuremberg, Germany as the location for trials of Nazi war leaders.
*Montgomery Ward chairman Seward Avery is seized by United States Army troops because of the store’s refusal to obey National War Labor Board orders.
*PRICE CHECK: A vacuum cleaner costs $40, and a pack of cigarettes is 12 cents.
*The Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia A’s play a 24-inning 1-1 tie.
*The Cubs go 3-2 for the week, but both losses were shellackings against their best pitchers. The Dodgers beat Passeau 12-5, and the Phillies beat Hank Wyse 11-6. The two Cubs aces both have double digit win totals already. (Passeau has 10, Wyse has 13)
*As the week ends, the Cubs are 21 games over .500, and 4 1/2 games ahead of the second place Cardinals.
In Pop Culture
“Along Came Jones” is released July 19th, starring Gary Cooper and Loretta Young.
*Babies born this week: Future singer Kim Carnes in Hollywood California, and future Senator Larry “wide stance” Craig in Council, Idaho.
*Rose Kennedy turns 55.
*Artist Edward Hopper celebrates his 63rd birthday.
*Ernest Hemingway celebrates his 46th birthday in Europe. He is “covering” the war, but is secretly leading resistance fighters.
Cub of the week: PHIL CAVARRETTA
Phil a Chicago boy (Lane Tech), but by 1945 he is certainly no longer a boy. He’s in his twelfth season as Cub–at the ripe old age of 28. He’s also a World Series veteran, having played in both the 1935 and 1938 series.
Cavarretta is not a prototypical slugging first baseman. His best season for homers up until now was 1936 when he slugged a whopping nine homers. His best season for RBI was 1944, when he knocked in only 82 runs. That was also the only full season he hit .300 before this year (he hit .321). But Cavarretta is the heart and soul of the 1945 Cubs, and he is having a career season. When the year is over his average will be .355, and he will have driven in 97 runs–by far the best of his career. He will also be named the NL MVP, and will lead the Cubs to the World Series.
The Cubs won’t lose that series because of Phil, either. In 31 at-bats he will hit .423, and slug the only Cubs homer.