Yankees: 5 Players You’d Never Believe Led New York in WAR for a Full Season
3. Spud Chandler
The 1943 New York Yankees won the division with a 98-56 record and then defeated the Cardinals in the World Series to avenge their loss to St. Louis the year prior in the Fall Classic. However, the team was missing some notable names — such as Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto and Red Ruffing — with the United States entering World War II two years prior and a number of players enlisting in the military. So that paved the way for our guy Spud Chandler to log a career year. He won the MVP award (the only Yankee pitcher in history to do so) behind a 20-4 record, 1.64 ERA and 0.99 WHIP in 30 starts. He led the Yankees with a 7.3 WAR and led the league in wins, ERA, WHIP, ERA+, complete games (20!!!), shutouts (5!) and FIP. He twirled two complete games in the World Series — both wins — and allowed just one earned run on 17 hits and three walks. It was his age-35 season and his best by far, but did pitch admirably in his age-38 and -39 seasons before his career came to an end (he enlisted in the Army for almost the entirety of the two years following his MVP campaign). Most Yankee fans surely aren’t aware of the circumstances surrounding some of these 1940s teams.