With the Giants having evicted the Yankees from the Polo Grounds at the conclusion of the previous campaign, the 1923 World Series between the two clubs carried with it a certain amount of acrimony. Creating additional feelings of animosity were the Giants’ consecutive victories over the Yankees in each of the previous two Fall Classics. However, for the first time, the Yankees had an opportunity to host the Giants in their very own ballpark – spacious Yankee Stadium, which experienced its inaugural season in 1923.
The Giants earned the right to advance to the World Series by finishing the regular season with a record of 95-58, 4 ½ games ahead of the second-place Cincinnati Reds. The Yankees had a much easier time capturing the American League pennant, finishing 16 games ahead of the runner-up Detroit Tigers, with a record of 98-54.
The Series got off to a promising start for the Yankees, who posted an early 3-0 lead in Game One against Giants’ starter Mule Watson. The Giants, though, came back to knock out Yankee starter Waite Hoyt with four runs in the top of the third inning. Relievers Rosy Ryan (Giants) and Joe Bush (Yankees) kept the opposing lineups in check most of the way from that point on, with the Yankees eventually managing to tie the score with a run in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Giants finally prevailed when outfielder Casey Stengel provided the winning margin with an inside-the-park home run in the ninth inning to give the Giants a 5-4 victory.
A pair of solo home runs by Babe Ruth helped lead the Yankees to a 4-2 victory in Game Two, giving future Hall of Famer Herb Pennock his first World Series win. However, the Giants rebounded in Game Three, with Art Nehf out-dueling Sad Sam Jones to put the Giants ahead in the Series with a 1-0 victory. The game’s only run scored in the top of the seventh inning on another home run by Casey Stengel, this one of the more conventional variety.
The Giants’ Game Three victory proved to be their final one of the Series. Eight runs by the Yankees staked starter Bob Shawkey to an early lead in Game Four, and the veteran right-hander held on to win the contest by a margin of 8-4, despite four hits by Giants’ outfielder Ross Youngs. Yankee starter Joe Bush was the story of Game Five, allowing the Giants only one run and three hits during a lopsided 8-1 Yankee win. Irish Meusel collected all three safeties for the Giants, while brother Bob accumulated three hits and three RBIs for the Yankees.
The Giants appeared to be well on their way towards evening the Series in Game Six, taking a 4-1 lead into the top of the eighth inning. However, the Yankees scored five times in that frame to take a lead they refused to surrender. With Sam Jones yielding no runs to the Giants over the final two innings after entering the game in relief of Yankee starter Herb Pennock, the Yankees gained a measure of revenge against the Giants, claiming their first world championship with a 6-4 victory.
Frankie Frisch and Casey Stengel starred in defeat for the Giants. Frisch collected 10 hits in 25 times at-bat, for a batting average of .400. Stengel posted a batting average of .417, with two homers and four runs batted in.
Joe Bush excelled on the mound for the winning Yankees. The right-hander allowed only seven hits in just under 17 total innings of work, compiling in the process an ERA of 1.08. Meanwhile, Babe Ruth and second baseman Aaron Ward were the hitting stars of the team. Ward hit a homer and batted .417, while Ruth avenged himself for his poor performance in the 1922 Fall Classic by hitting three home runs, scoring eight times, and batting .368.
New York Yankees, 98-54
New York Giants, 95-58
New York Yankees, Miller Huggins
New York Giants, John McGraw
Billy Evans (AL), Hank O'Day (NL), Dick Nallin (AL), Bob Hart (NL)
Hall of Famers:
Yankees: Miller Huggins (mgr.), Lou Gehrig (dnp), Waite Hoyt, Herb Pennock, Babe Ruth. Giants: John McGraw (mgr.), Dave Bancroft, Frankie Frisch, Travis Jackson, George Kelly, Casey Stengel‡, Bill Terry (dnp), Hack Wilson (dnp), Ross Youngs.By Bob_Cohen
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- 1923 World Series, Aaron Ward, Art Nehf, Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, Bob Shawkey, Casey Stengel, Frankie Frisch, Herb Pennock, Irish Meusel, Joe Bush, John McGraw, Mule Watson, New York Giants, New York Yankees, Polo Grounds, Ross Youngs, Rosy Ryan, Sam Jones, Waite Hoyt, Yankee Stadium