Monster seasons from Detroit’s Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg couldn’t prevent Joe McCarthy’s New York Yankees from capturing their second consecutive American League pennant in 1937. Gehringer won the batting title with a mark of .371, scored 133 runs, and drove in 96 others, en route to earning league MVP honors. Greenberg nearly matched Lou Gehrig’s 1931 A.L. record by driving in 183 runs. He also finished among the league leaders with 40 home runs, 137 runs scored, 200 hits, a .337 batting average, 49 doubles, 14 triples, 102 walks, a .436 on-base percentage, and a .668 slugging percentage. However, the Yankees’ extraordinary team balance enabled them to overcome the efforts of the two Detroit stars. New York finished the regular season with a record of 102-52, a full 13 games ahead of the second-place Tigers.
The Yankee machine scored a league-leading 979 runs, surrendered a league-low 671 runs, and compiled an A.L. best 3.65 team ERA. Lefty Gomez anchored New York’s pitching staff, winning his second pitcher’s Triple Crown by topping all A.L. hurlers with 21 wins, a 2.33 ERA, and 194 strikeouts. He also led the league with six shutouts and finished second in the circuit with 25 complete games and 278 innings pitched. Gomez received a considerable amount of help from Red Ruffing, who finished 20-7, with a 2.98 ERA and 22 complete games.
Red Rolfe served as leadoff hitter for baseball’s most potent offense. The third baseman finished second in the league with 143 runs scored. Shortstop Frank Crosetti crossed the plate 127 times. Catcher Bill Dickey had the most productive season of his career, hitting 29 home runs, driving in 133 runs, and batting .332.
Meanwhile, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio rivaled Gehringer and Greenberg as the sport’s most formidable batting duo. Gehrig placed among the league leaders with 37 home runs, 159 runs batted in, 138 runs scored, a .351 batting average, and a .643 slugging percentage. He also topped the circuit with 127 bases on balls and a .473 on-base percentage. DiMaggio led the league with 46 home runs, 151 runs scored, 418 total bases, and a .673 slugging percentage, while also finishing among the leaders with 167 runs batted in, 215 hits, 15 triples, a .346 batting average, and a .412 on-base percentage. Gehrig placed fourth in the league MVP voting, while DiMaggio finished a close second to Gehringer in the balloting.
The Yankees subsequently faced the National League champion New York Giants in the second consecutive “Subway Series” between the two clubs. The Yankees again proved to be too strong for their N.L. counterparts, defeating their former Polo Grounds co-occupants in five games. After the Yankees won the first three games by a combined margin of 21-3, Carl Hubbell provided the Giants with their only highlight of the Fall Classic by pitching his team to victory in Game Four. However, Lefty Gomez gave the Yankees their sixth world championship by throwing his second complete-game victory of the Series the next day.
Other notable events from around the league and players who distinguished themselves over the course of the season included:
• June 1 - Bill Dietrich pitched a no-hitter in an 8-0 Chicago White Sox victory over the St. Louis Browns.
• July 7 - The American League defeated the National League, 8-3, in the All-Star Game, held at Washington’s Griffith Stadium.
• December 6 - The Boston Red Sox acquired the contract of 19-year-old Ted Williams.
• In his first full season, Cleveland's Bob Feller struck out 150 batters in 149 innings.
• Detroit's Rudy York established a new record by hitting 18 home runs in the month of August. He also knocked in 49 runs.
• Cleveland's Johnny Allen topped the American League with a .938 winning percentage. Allen won his first 15 decisions, before suffering his only loss on the season’s final day.
• Beau Bell of the Browns led the American League with 218 hits and 51 doubles.
• The Hall of Fame inducted Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker, Cy Young, John McGraw, Connie Mack, George Wright, Morgan Bulkeley, and Ban Johnson.
• Wes Ferrell led the American League with 26 complete games and 281 innings pitched.
• Clint Brown of the White Sox topped the majors with 18 saves.
• The Tigers led the majors with a .292 team batting average.
More From Around the Web
On December 18, 1991, the Toronto Blue Jays sign free agent ...
On December 18, 1975, the Oakland A’s hire Chuck Tanner as ...
On December 18, 1974, Hall of Famer Harry Hooper dies at the ...
- 1937 World Series, American League, Beau Bell, Bill Dickey, Bill Dietrich, Bob Feller, Bump Hadley, Carl Hubbell, Charlie Gehringer, Clint Brown, Earl Averill, Frankie Crosetti, Hal Trosky, Hank Greenberg, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Cronin, Joe DiMaggio, Joe McCarthy, Johnny Allen, Lefty Gomez, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Cochrane, New York Giants, New York Yankees, Red Rolfe, Red Ruffing, Rudy York, Ted Williams, Wes Ferrell