The Yankees won the American League pennant in convincing fashion for the second straight time under manager Joe McCarthy in 1937, finishing the regular season with a record of 102-52, 13 games ahead of the second-place Detroit Tigers. New York again led all of baseball in scoring, tallying a total of 979 runs during the campaign, while also permitting the opposition to score a total of only 671 times, en route to compiling a league-best 3.65 team ERA. Lefty Gomez won his second pitcher’s Triple Crown by topping all A.L. hurlers with 21 wins, a 2.33 ERA, and 194 strikeouts. New York’s staff also included 20-game winner Red Ruffing and bullpen ace Johnny Murphy, who won 13 games and saved 10 others. Meanwhile, Lou Gehrig, Bill Dickey, and Joe DiMaggio paced the team’s powerful offense. Gehrig and Dickey both had tremendous years, while DiMaggio led the American League with 46 home runs, 151 runs scored, 418 total bases, and a .673 slugging percentage. He also placed among the leaders with 167 runs batted in, 215 hits, 15 triples, a .346 batting average, and a .412 on-base percentage.
The National League champion New York Giants, who captured their third pennant in five years under manager Bill Terry, weren’t nearly as strong as their American League counterparts. They finished just three games ahead of the runner-up Chicago Cubs in the senior circuit, with a record of 95-57. The Giants scored almost 250 fewer runs than the Yankees over the course of the regular season, while allowing their opponents to cross the plate only 70 fewer times. Mel Ott was easily the team’s top offensive threat, finishing the campaign with 31 home runs, 95 runs batted in, 99 runs scored, and a .294 batting average. Shortstop Dick Bartell was the only other Giants player to hit more than 12 home runs or score more than 90 runs. Still, the Giants had arguably the game’s best pitcher in Carl Hubbell, who followed up his MVP performance from the previous season by winning 22 games in 1937.
The Yankees set an early tone to the World Series by defeating Hubbell in Game One. After being held to one hit over the first five innings, the Yankees exploded for seven runs in the bottom of the sixth inning against the Giants’ ace left-hander, en route to posting an 8-1 victory. Tony Lazzeri capped off the scoring for the Yankees with an eighth-inning homer.
The Yankees continued their assault on Giants’ pitching in Game Two, collecting eight runs and 12 hits against three Giant hurlers during another 8-1 victory. After surrendering a first-inning run to the Giants, Red Ruffing kept them off the scoreboard the rest of the way.
The Yankees took a commanding 3-0 Series lead by winning Game Three at the Polo Grounds by a score of 5-1. Yankee starter Monte Pearson had the game well in hand until the bottom of the ninth inning, when he loaded the bases with two men out. Johnny Murphy came in to record the final out.
Hubbell recorded the only victory for the Giants in the Series by going the distance in a 7-3 Giants’ win in Game Four. The Yankees ended the Series the very next day, though, scoring four times in five innings against Giants’ starter Cliff Melton, en route to posting a 4-2 victory. Myril Hoag and Joe DiMaggio hit solo home runs for the Yankees, and Lefty Gomez got his second complete-game victory.
While Gomez starred on the mound for the Yankees, Tony Lazzeri, George Selkirk, Lou Gehrig, and Joe DiMaggio all excelled at the plate. Lazzeri collected six hits in 15 times at-bat, for a .400 batting average. Selkirk led all players in the Series with six runs batted in. Gehrig batted .294, with one homer and three RBIs, while DiMaggio homered once and drove in four runs. The Yankees outscored the Giants over the course of the five games by a combined margin of 28-12.By Bob_Cohen
More From Around the Web
On December 20, 1990, the Chicago White Sox sign free agent ...
On December 20, 1978, former major league infielder Don Blas ...
On December 20, 1978, famed baseball cartoonist Willard Mull ...
- 1937 World Series, Bill Dickey, Bill Terry, Carl Hubbell, Cliff Melton, Dick Bartell, George Selkirk, Joe DiMaggio, Joe McCarthy, Johnny Murphy, Lefty Gomez, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Monte Pearson, Myril Hoag, New York Giants, New York Yankees, Red Rolfe, Red Ruffing, Tony Lazzeri