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Series Wrapup

Story

The Yankees won their third consecutive American League pennant in 1938, finishing the regular season with a record of 99-53, 9 ½ games ahead of the second-place Boston Red Sox.  The Cleveland Indians finished third in the league, 13 games back, and the Detroit Tigers came in fourth, 16 games off the pace.

Although they finished well behind New York in the standings, the Red Sox and Tigers featured the league’s top two players.  Jimmie Foxx had a phenomenal year for Boston, finishing second in the league with 50 home runs and 139 runs scored, and topping the circuit with 175 runs batted in, a .349 batting average, 398 total bases, a .462 on-base percentage, and a .704 slugging percentage.  The members of the BBWAA named Foxx A.L. MVP at season’s end, making him the first player in either league to win the award three times.   

Detroit slugger Hank Greenberg rivaled Foxx as the American League’s dominant hitter throughout the campaign.  In addition to leading the league with 58 home runs and 144 runs scored, Greenberg batted .315 and finished second to Foxx with 146 runs batted in.

Yet, the Yankees’ outstanding team balance made them the league’s most formidable ball club for the third straight year.  New York finished first in the junior circuit in runs scored (966) and fewest runs allowed (710) for the third consecutive time.   

New York’s deep starting staff included Red Ruffing, who led all A.L. hurlers with 21 victories and placed second in the league with a 3.31 ERA and 22 complete games.  Lefty Gomez won 18 games and finished third in the league with a 3.35 ERA and 20 complete games.  Monte Pearson posted 16 victories, while Spud Chandler contributed another 14 wins.

On offense, Red Rolfe batted .311 and placed near the top of the league rankings with 132 runs scored.  Bill Dickey earned a second-place finish in the A.L. MVP voting by hitting 27 home runs, driving in 115 runs, and batting .313.  Joe DiMaggio finished four places behind Dickey in the balloting, ending the campaign among the league leaders with 32 home runs, 140 runs batted in, 129 runs scored, and a .324 batting average.  In the early stages of a disease that eventually took his life, Lou Gehrig failed to bat over .300 for the first time since his rookie campaign of 1925.  Nevertheless, the 35-year-old Yankee captain managed to post a mark of .295, hit 29 home runs, knock in 114 runs, and score 115 others.  
 
The Yankees subsequently faced the Chicago Cubs in the World Series seeking to capture their third straight world championship.  They made short work of the Cubs, sweeping them in four games and outscoring their overmatched opponents by a combined margin of 22-9.  Red Ruffing starred for New York, throwing two complete games in winning Games One and Four.    

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

• August 27 – In the second game of a doubleheader, New York’s Monte Pearson pitched a no-hitter in recording a 13-0 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Bob Feller established a new modern record (since broken) by striking out 18 batters in a game.

• Feller led the major leagues with 240 strikeouts.

• Feller also surrendered a 20th-century record 208 walks.

• Boston’s Pinky Higgins collected a major league record 12 hits in 12 consecutive at-bats.

• The Giants, Dodgers, and Yankees allowed their home games to be broadcast on a regular basis.

Monty Stratton, a 15-game winner with the White Sox, lost his leg after the season in a hunting accident.

George McQuinn of the Browns compiled a 34-game hitting streak.

• Cleveland outfielder Jeff Heath hit 21 home runs, knocked in 112 runs, scored 104 others, batted .343 and led the league with 18 triples.

• Boston shortstop Joe Cronin topped the circuit with 51 doubles.

• Boston’s Lefty Grove won the eighth of his record nine ERA titles with a mark of 3.08.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BOS 1658 5229 902 1566 860 .240 298 56 98 55 51 2270 .360 .413 .803 0 0 112
CHA 1576 5199 709 1439 657 .224 239 55 67 56 39 1989 .350 .310 .692 0 0 78
CLE 1683 5356 847 1506 799 .219 300 89 113 83 36 2323 .373 .340 .749 78
DET 1678 5270 862 1434 804 .196 219 52 137 76 41 2168 .327 .266 .623 75
NYA 1615 5410 966 1480 918 .253 283 63 174 91 28 2411 .354 .375 .730 0 0 61
PHA 1699 5229 726 1410 686 .203 243 62 98 65 53 2071 .343 .272 .650 78
SLA 1724 5333 755 1498 713 .218 273 36 92 51 40 2119 .334 .278 .639 0 0 106
WS1 1732 5474 814 1602 768 .271 278 72 85 65 37 2279 .385 .376 .791 93

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BOS 297 88 61 1318 484 528 5866 1472 102 100.590 652 751 67 9 15 20 4
CHA 233 65 83 1316 432 550 5865 1449 101 69.740 638 752 83 5 9 23 3
CLE 298 86 66 1352 717 681 6049 1416 100 93.490 691 782 68 5 17 28 2
DET 289 84 70 1348 435 608 6056 1532 110 63.200 717 795 75 3 11 22 3
NYA 248 99 53 1381 567 566 6007 1436 85 57.240 601 711 91 11 13 28 4
PHA 297 53 99 1322 473 599 6085 1573 142 87.970 806 956 56 3 12 28 4
SLA 290 55 97 1345 632 737 6222 1584 132 112.070 867 962 71 3 7 27 3
WS1 308 75 76 1358 515 655 6115 1472 92 68.370 746 873 59 6 11 47 3

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BOS 1559 5863 3952 1721 190 .958 0 0 0 0 7
CHA 1463 5912 3950 1767 195 .951 0 0 0 0 10
CLE 1571 5837 4055 1630 152 .944 0 0 0 0 11
DET 1580 6041 4062 1832 147 .920 0 0 0 0 15
NYA 1547 6214 4147 1898 169 .972 0 0 0 0 11
PHA 1571 5807 3964 1637 206 .952 0 0 0 0 15
SLA 1586 5769 4041 1583 145 .961 0 0 0 0 10
WS1 1589 6028 4080 1769 179 .955 0 0 0 0 13

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1938 World Series, American League, Bill Dickey, Bob Feller, Charlie Gehringer, Chicago Cubs, George McQuinn, Hank Greenberg, Jeff Heath, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Cronin, Joe DiMaggio, Lefty Gomez, Lefty Grove, Lou Gehrig, Monte Pearson, Monty Stratton, New York Yankees, Pinky Higgins, Red Rolfe, Red Ruffing, Spud Chandler

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