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Having dominated the American League the previous year, the Yankees entered the 1937 campaign with basically the same squad that finished 102-51 in 1936.  Although youngsters such as Tommy Henrich and Spud Chandler ended up making major contributions to the team, New York’s starting lineup and pitching rotation remained essentially intact.  The decision of General Manager Ed Barrow not to tinker too much with success proved to be a wise one, since the Yankees finished the year with an almost identical record of 102-52, en route to distancing themselves from the second-place Detroit Tigers by 13 games.

New York again posted an outstanding run-differential, scoring a league-leading 979 runs, while permitting the opposition to score a total of only 671 times, compiling in the process a league-best 3.65 team ERA.  Lefty Gomez anchored the 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, while placing second 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.  Johnny Murphy excelled out of the bullpen, winning 13 games and saving 10 others, while 29-year-old rookie Spud Chandler finished 7-4, with a 2.84 ERA.

On offense, leadoff hitter Red Rolfe had another solid season.  Although the third baseman’s batting average dropped 43 points, to .276, he compiled an on-base percentage of .365, enabling him to finish second in the league with 143 runs scored.  Frank Crosetti batted just .234, but he walked 86 times, allowing him to post a very respectable .340 on-base percentage.  Crosetti finished fourth on the team with 127 runs scored.  Rookie Tommy Henrich shared time in right field with George Selkirk, with the two men combining to hit 26 home runs and drive in 110 runs, while posting batting averages of .320 and .328, respectively.  Bill Dickey had the most productive season of his career, hitting 29 home runs, driving in 133 runs, and batting .332, en route to earning his second consecutive fifth-place finish in the league MVP voting.

Once again, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio were the team’s primary threats on offense.  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, while topping the circuit with 127 bases on balls and a .473 on-base percentage.  Meanwhile, 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.  He also finished second among A.L. outfielders with 21 assists.  Gehrig placed fourth in the league MVP voting, while DiMaggio came in second.  Both men earned All-Star honors, along with teammates Bill Dickey, Lefty Gomez, Johnny Murphy, and Red Rolfe.

After vanquishing the American League, the Yankees faced the Giants in the World Series for the second straight time.  The team that called New York’s Polo Grounds its home proved to be no match for the Bronx Bombers, who took the first three games of the Fall Classic by a combined margin of 21-3.  After Carl Hubbell won Game Four for the Giants, Lefty Gomez threw his second complete-game victory of the Series, giving the Yankees their sixth world championship.

By Bob_Cohen
 

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Tagged:
1937 World Series, Bill Dickey, Carl Hubbell, Ed Barrow, Frankie Crosetti, George Selkirk, Joe DiMaggio, Johnny Murphy, Lefty Gomez, Lou Gehrig, New York Giants, New York Yankees, Red Rolfe, Red Ruffing, Spud Chandler, Tommy Henrich, Tony Lazzeri

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