Thursday, January 19, 2012

1937 World Series: The Battle of the Harlem, Part V

The Teams
American League: New York Yankees (102-52) - Ninth World Series (Won in 1923, 1927, 1928, 1932, 1936)
National League: New York Giants (95-57) - 12th World Series (Won in 1905, 1921, 1922, 1933)

What Happened
I've written before how the Yankees of the mid-1930s were loaded. The only real difference between the 1937 Yankees and the 1938 version was that future Hall-of-Famer Tony Lazzeri played second base in '37, while future Hall-of-Famer Joe Gordon was the second baseman in '38. In other words, it was an embarrassment of riches.

The Giants, meanwhile, had Mel Ott in the outfield and Carl Hubbell in the starting rotation. Both were very good players, sure, but that was pretty much it for the Giants. Talent-wise, the fifth World Series matchup between the New York rivals was a huge mismatch.

As if to drive the talent disparity home, the Yankees touched up Hubbell for seven runs in bottom of the sixth of Game 1, all while holding Ott hitless. It was almost like they were taunting the Giants: "Ok, what else ya got?" The answer: Not much. After a second straight 8-1 Yankee victory, the teams crossed the Harlem River for Game 3 in the Polo Grounds.

Despite playing at home, the Giants didn't play any better. They committed four errors in a Game 3 loss, then committed three more in Game 4. Though Hubbell salvaged a win in Game 4 to help the Giants avoid a sweep, he was merely delaying the inevitable. Ott finally homered in Game 5 - his only extra-base hit of the series - but the Yankees won anyway, taking home the title for the second straight season. With a team full of young future legends, the Yankee dynasty was just getting started.

Defining Game
Game 1. The Yankees annihilated the Giants, humiliating their best players in the process. The seven-run sixth inning basically ended the series.

Lefty Gomez (unofficial). In a series where no Yankee hitter really stood out, Gomez took control, with complete-game victories in games 1 and 5. In 18 innings, he gave up only 3 runs on 16 hits.

(Home team in Bold)

N.Y. Giants 1 1 1 7 2
N.Y. Yankees 8 8 5 3 4

The List
I'm ranking all the World Series, from worst to best. Here's the ones I've done so far:

99. 1937 - New York (A) def. New York (N) 4-1
Numbers 100-107

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