This Week in 1945 (July 26–August 1)
This week (July 26-Aug 1) during the last year the Cubs went to the World Series (before 2016)…
World War II
*Winston Churchill resigns as the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister after his Conservative Party is easily defeated by the Labour Party in the 1945 general election. Clement Attlee becomes the new Prime Minister.
*The Potsdam Declaration demands Japan’s unconditional surrender.
*A B-25 bomber crashes into the Empire State Building, killing 14 people, including all on board.
*After delivering the Atomic Bomb across the Pacific, the heavy cruiser USS Indianapolis is hit and sunk by torpedoes from the Japanese submarine I-58 in the Philippine Sea. Some 900 survivors jump into the sea and are adrift for up to four days. Nearly 600 die before help arrives. Captain Charles B. McVay III of the cruiser is later court-martialed and convicted.
*Chicago Tribune headline and sub-headline: 20,000 IN CHICAGO END PLANE ENGINE STRIKE: The three-day strike of more than 20,000 workers at the Dodge plant here of the Chrysler Corporation, which halted production of Superfortress engines urgently needed, was suddenly ended today.
*Walter Jacobson celebrates his 8th birthday in Chicago.
*PRICE CHECK: A movie ticket is 40 cents, a typical restaurant lunch is 50 cents.
*Cubs purchase pitcher Hank Borowy from New York Yankees. Everyone assumes Yankees owner Larry MacPhail must be pulling a fast one, because Borowy is the best pitcher in the American League. He is 10-5 on the season and has a great ERA. MacPhail doesn’t think he’s durable enough, which turns out to be true…but not until next year.
*The first-place Cubs, in winning a double header with the Reds, have won 24 of their last 29 games.
*4044 women are admitted free to Wrigley Field by bringing cakes and cookies for the American Servicemen’s Center. The Cubs got shut out by the Pirates, 1-0.
In Pop Culture
*“Sherlock Holmes and the Woman in Green” starring Basil Rathbone premieres on July 27.
*Jason Robards Jr. celebrates his 23rd birthday while serving in the Navy aboard the USS Nashville near Pearl Harbor.
*An eclectic mix of babies are born this week: future actress Helen Mirren in Hammersmith, England, Future Cub Larry Biitner in Pocahantas, Iowa, future cartoonist (Garfield) Jim Davis in Marion, Indiana, and Jerry Lewis’ boy Gary in Los Angeles (Gary will also become famous in the 60s as the leader of Gary Lewis & The Playboys).
Cub of the week: HANK BOROWY
He had won 17, 14, and 15 games in the three previous seasons, and already won 10 in 1945 when the Cubs acquired him this week. He was 29 years old and in the prime of his career. After Borowy joined the Cubs he became even better. For the rest of 1945 he was absolutely unhittable. He went 11-2 for the Cubs, with an ERA of 2.13. He also shut out the Tigers in Game 1 of the 1945 World Series, and won Game 6 with a heroic effort in relief. Don’t just ask what happened in Game 7. After 1945, when all the players returned from the war, Borowy was exposed as an average pitcher. By the time he left the Cubs after the 1948 season, he was only two games over .500 for the team (36-34), which means he went 25-32 during the rest of his Cubs career.