The Yankees won their third consecutive pennant in 1938, finishing the regular season with a record of 99-53, 9 ½ games ahead of the second-place Boston Red Sox.  Displaying their outstanding team balance, the Yankees led the league in runs scored (966) and fewest runs allowed (710) for the third straight year.  New York’s deep starting staff included Red Ruffing, who led all A.L. hurlers with 21 victories, Lefty Gomez, who won 18 games, and Monte Pearson, who chipped in with 16 victories.  Meanwhile, New York’s starting lineup featured four players who earned All-Star honors, including Joe DiMaggio and Bill Dickey, who placed second to Boston’s Jimmie Foxx in the league MVP voting.

After finishing second to the Giants in the National League in each of the previous two campaigns, the Chicago Cubs earned the right to face New York in the World Series by finishing the regular season with a record of 89-63, two games in front of the runner-up Pittsburgh Pirates.  The Fall Classic appeared to be something of a mismatch on paper, since the Yankees outscored the Cubs by some 250 runs during the regular season, out-homered them almost three-to-one, and permitted their opposition to score only about 100 more times.  Nevertheless, the Cubs hoped that their outstanding pitching, led by 22-game winner Bill Lee, might be able to slow down the Yankee machine.

It didn’t take the Cubs long to realize that they were indeed no match for the Yankees.  New York outscored Chicago during the Fall Classic by a combined margin of 22-9, trailing on the scoreboard in only six of the total 36 innings played.  Red Ruffing got the Yankees off to a good start in Game One, earning a complete-game 3-1 victory over Bill Lee, who also pitched well for the Cubs. 

Chicago’s sore-armed right-hander Dizzy Dean took a 3-2 lead into the top of the eighth inning of Game Two, before two-run homers by Frank Crosetti and Joe DiMaggio sent him down to defeat by a final score of 6-3. 

The Cubs pushed across a run in the top of the fifth inning in Game Three against Yankee starter Monte Pearson, to take a brief 1-0 lead.  However, New York scored five times in the next four frames to win the contest by a final score of 5-2.  Solo home runs by Bill Dickey and rookie second baseman Joe Gordon were the big blows for New York.

The Yankees put the Cubs out of their misery the very next day, scoring four times in the bottom of the eighth inning to win going away by a score of 8-3.  Red Ruffing threw his second complete-game victory of the Series for New York.

Bill Dickey and Joe Gordon starred at the plate for the Yankees throughout the Fall Classic.  Dickey batted .400, homered once, and drove in two runs.  Gordon also batted .400 and homered once, and he knocked in a total of six runs.

New York’s overwhelming performance prompted Chicago first baseman Ripper Collins to later say, “We came, we saw, and we went home.” 

By Bob_Cohen

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1938 World Series, Bill Dickey, Bill Lee, Chicago Cubs, Dizzy Dean, Frankie Crosetti, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Lefty Gomez, Lou Gehrig, Monte Pearson, New York Yankees, Red Ruffing, Ripper Collins


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