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Series Wrapup

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The Yankees had a far more difficult time capturing the American League pennant in 1928 than they did the previous season, finishing just 2 ½ games ahead of the hard-charging Philadelphia Athletics, with a record of 101-53.  In fact, after the resurgent A’s put together a 25-8 stretch in July, it took a mid-September sweep of Connie Mack’s crew for the Yankees to finally separate themselves from their closest competitors.  The two teams met for a September 9 doubleheader showdown at Yankee Stadium that a record crowd of 85,264 fans attended.  The Yankees took both ends of the twin bill, winning by scores of 3-0 and 7-3.  They subsequently clinched the American League flag less than two weeks later.  Philadelphia finished a close second, with a record of 98-55.

The runner-up A’s were an extremely talented bunch that featured future Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, Mickey Cochrane, and Lefty Grove.  In just his first full season, Foxx drove in 79 runs, scored 85 others, and batted .327.  Simmons knocked in 107 runs and batted .351.  Cochrane captured league MVP honors for the first of two times even though he finished the campaign with relatively modest numbers.  The A’s catcher hit only 10 home runs, knocked in just 57 runs, batted .293, and scored 92 runs.  Meanwhile, Grove posted a record of 24-8, to tie for the league lead in victories.  He also topped the circuit with 183 strikeouts, while placing among the leaders with a 2.58 ERA, 261 innings pitched, and 24 complete games.  Yet, the A’s were still one year away from establishing a mini-dynasty in the junior circuit that brought them the next three A.L. pennants.

In the meantime, the Yankees remained baseball’s strongest team, scoring a league-leading 894 runs, while finishing second only to the A’s with 685 runs allowed.  Waite Hoyt had another big year on the mound for New York, finishing the campaign with a record of 23-7, a 3.36 ERA, and 19 complete games.  Herb Pennock posted a mark of 17-6, threw 18 complete games, and placed among the league leaders with a 2.56 ERA.  George Pipgras evolved into a top-flight starter, tying Philadelphia’s Lefty Grove for the league lead with 24 victories, while also compiling a 3.38 ERA and tossing 22 complete games.  

Still, the Yankees’ greatest strength remained their powerful lineup.  Shortstop Mark Koenig had his finest season in pinstripes, batting .319 and scoring 89 runs.  Second baseman Tony Lazzeri batted .332 and knocked in 82 runs, despite missing 38 games due to injury.  Bob Meusel batted .297 and drove in 113 runs.  Leadoff hitter Earle Combs had another very good year, batting .310, leading the league with 21 triples, and placing among the leaders with 118 runs scored and 194 hits.  

Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig once again formed the backbone of the team, establishing themselves as the league’s two most dominant players.  Ruth topped the circuit with 54 home runs, 142 runs batted in, 163 runs scored, 380 total bases, 135 walks, and a .709 slugging percentage, while batting .323 and finishing second in the league with a .461 on-base percentage.  Gehrig tied his teammate for the league-lead in RBIs, while topping the circuit with 47 doubles and a .467 on-base percentage.  He also finished second in home runs (27), runs scored (139), hits (210), and slugging percentage (.648), while placing third in batting average (.374) and total bases (364).

Led by Ruth and Gehrig, the Yankees entered the 1928 World Series seeking to exact revenge on a St. Louis Cardinals team that upset them in the 1926 Fall Classic.  They did so in convincing fashion, sweeping St. Louis in four straight games.  In the process, the Yankees outscored the Cardinals by a combined margin to 27-10, hitting nine home runs to the Cardinals’ one.  Ruth duplicated his World Series feat from two years earlier by hitting three home runs in the Series finale, a 7-3 Yankee victory.  Ruth knocked in four runs, scored nine others, and batted .625 in the four games.  Gehrig was an even greater thorn in the side of the Cardinals, batting .545, hitting four homers, driving in nine runs, and scoring another five in the Series.

Other notable events from around the league and players who distinguished themselves over the course of the season included:

• Washington's Goose Goslin edged out St. Louis’ Heinie Manush for the batting title by one point, compiling an average of .379, to Manush’s mark of .378.

• Manush topped the American League with 241 hits and 47 doubles.  He also placed among the leaders with 108 runs batted in, 20 triples, 367 total bases, and a .575 slugging percentage, en route to earning a close second-place finish in the league MVP voting.

Ty Cobb announced his retirement.  He left the game holding numerous records, including most career hits (4,190), stolen bases (892), and runs batted in (1,933).  Although most of Cobb’s records have since been broken, he remains the all-time record-holder for the highest career batting average (.367).

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BOS 1833 5135 589 1356 544 .193 259 62 38 97 67 1853 .297 .258 .603 0 0 205
CHA 1705 5209 657 1404 592 .254 231 76 24 144 82 1859 .337 .332 .693 0 0 201
CLE 1716 5391 677 1538 619 .260 298 62 34 49 52 2062 .386 .353 .776 190
DET 1745 5289 744 1475 686 .237 268 97 62 113 74 2123 .319 .324 .655 163
NYA 1775 5337 894 1576 817 .250 267 79 133 50 52 2400 .329 .339 .680 0 0 145
PHA 1711 5241 828 1541 760 .249 326 75 89 61 54 2284 .355 .354 .738 0 0 196
SLA 1695 5219 774 1432 707 .245 276 76 63 80 43 2049 .378 .319 .720 0 0 211
WS1 1721 5323 718 1513 680 .215 277 93 40 108 58 2096 .314 .290 .634 180

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BOS 285 57 96 1351 407 452 5999 1492 49 117.140 660 770 70 5 9 11 3
CHA 248 72 82 1377 418 501 6250 1518 66 62.590 610 723 88 6 11 17 2
CLE 277 62 92 1378 416 511 6214 1615 52 77.820 684 829 71 4 15 25 3
DET 284 68 86 1371 451 567 6167 1481 58 48.950 658 803 65 5 16 19 1
NYA 266 101 53 1376 487 452 6173 1466 59 60.990 571 685 82 13 21 19 1
PHA 256 98 55 1368 607 424 5859 1349 66 44.040 511 615 81 15 16 19 0
SLA 282 82 72 1375 456 454 6108 1487 93 56.610 637 737 80 6 15 11 2
WS1 273 75 79 1384 462 466 5975 1420 40 44.690 596 705 77 15 10 17 3

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BOS 1670 6144 4028 1944 172 .957 0 0 0 0 7
CHA 1573 6150 4116 1850 184 .946 0 0 0 0 10
CLE 1589 6395 4126 2048 221 .946 0 0 0 0 16
DET 1602 6181 4117 1848 216 .954 0 0 0 0 12
NYA 1644 6063 4121 1743 199 .949 0 0 0 0 9
PHA 1570 6019 4108 1728 183 .973 0 0 0 0 10
SLA 1563 6065 4112 1768 185 .960 0 0 0 0 8
WS1 1605 6249 4130 1939 180 .938 0 0 0 0 13

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1928 World Series, Al Simmons, American League, Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, Connie Mack, Earle Combs, George Pipgras, Goose Goslin, Heinie Manush, Herb Pennock, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Lou Gehrig, Mark Koenig, Mickey Cochrane, New York Yankees, Pete Alexander, Philadelphia Athletics, St. Louis Cardinals, Tony Lazzeri, Ty Cobb, Waite Hoyt

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