After thoroughly dominating the American League the previous year, the Yankees had a far more difficult time capturing the A.L. pennant in 1928. Although they once held a 13 ½ game lead over the hard-charging Philadelphia Athletics, the Yankees ended up squandering that comfortable margin, before finally laying claim to the league championship by sweeping Connie Mack’s ball club in a crucial mid-September series. New York finished the season with a record of 101-53, just 2 ½ games ahead of Philadelphia. The St. Louis Cardinals had an even harder time in the National League, advancing to the World Series by finishing only two games ahead of the second-place New York Giants, with a record of 95-59.
Having lost the 1926 Fall Classic to the Cardinals in seven games, the Yankees entered the World Series with revenge on their minds. Still, they found themselves compromised somewhat as they headed into their long-awaited meeting with their nemeses from two years earlier. Injured late in the year, star centerfielder Earle Combs found himself limited to only one pinch-hitting appearance. Meanwhile, with Herb Pennock lost to arm trouble, New York had to make do with only three pitchers.
Even at less than 100 percent, the Yankees dominated the Cardinals in the World Series, outscoring their overmatched opponents by a combined margin of 27-10. The Yankees so overwhelmed the Cardinals that they out-homered them nine-to-one, with Lou Gehrig’s nine runs batted in equaling the total compiled by the entire St. Louis team during the four-game sweep.
New York won Game One behind the stellar pitching of Waite Hoyt, who allowed St. Louis only three hits during a 4-1 complete game victory. Bob Meusel’s two-run homer in the bottom of the fourth inning proved to be the game’s big blow. A 9-3 victory in Game Two had to be particularly satisfying since the Yankees knocked out 1926 World Series hero Grover Cleveland Alexander in just the third inning. Gehrig’s two homers in Game Three led the way to a 7-3 New York victory. The Yankees registered 15 hits in their Series-clinching victory in Game Four, which they won by an identical 7-3 score. Although Gehrig homered again, Babe Ruth eclipsed his teammate by duplicating his World Series feat from two years earlier by hitting three home runs. Ruth ended the Series with three homers, four runs batted in, nine runs scored, and a .625 batting average. Gehrig was equally magnificent, batting .545, hitting four homers, driving in nine runs, and scoring five others. New York’s four-game sweep of St. Louis extended the team’s winning streak in Series play to eight consecutive games.
New York Yankees, 101-53
St. Louis Cardinals, 95-59
New York Yankees, Miller Huggins
St. Louis Cardinals, Bill McKechnie
Brick Owens (AL), Cy Rigler (NL), Bill McGowan (AL), Cy Pfirman (NL)
Hall of Famers:
Yankees: Miller Huggins (mgr.), Earle Combs, Stan Coveleski (dnp), Bill Dickey (dnp), Leo Durocher‡, Lou Gehrig, Waite Hoyt, Tony Lazzeri, Herb Pennock (dnp), Babe Ruth.
Cardinals: Bill McKechnie (mgr.), Grover Cleveland Alexander, Jim Bottomley, Frankie Frisch, Chick Hafey, Jesse Haines, Rabbit Maranville.
- 1928 World Series, Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, Earle Combs, Frankie Frisch, Herb Pennock, Jim Bottomley, Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees, Pete Alexander, St. Louis Cardinals, Waite Hoyt, Yankee Stadium