Wednesday, December 16, 2009

PTWSW #25: The 1928 New York Yankees

Manager: Miller Huggins
Record: 101-53
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Owner: Col. Jacob Ruppert
GM: Ed Barrow
Coaches: Art Fletcher, Harry Matthews, Charley O'Leary

Future Hall of Famers: Earle Combs, Stan Coveleski, Bill Dickey, Leo Durocher, Lou Gehrig, Waite Hoyt, Tony Lazzeri, Herb Pennock, Babe Ruth

Team Leaders, Batting

Lou Gehrig, .374
OBP: Lou Gehrig, .467 (AL leader)
SLG: Babe Ruth, .709 (AL leader)
OPS: Babe Ruth, 1.172 (AL leader)
2B: Lou Gehrig, 47 (AL leader)
3B: Earle Combs, 21 (AL leader)
HR: Babe Ruth, 54 (AL leader)
RBI: Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth, 142 (AL leaders)
BB: Babe Ruth, 137 (AL leader)
SB: Tony Lazzeri, 15

Team Leaders, Pitching

George Pipgras, 24 (AL leader)
SO: George Pipgras, 139
ERA: Herb Pennock, 2.56
IP: George Pipgras, 300.2 (AL leader)
CG: George Pipgras, 22
SHO: Herb Pennock, 5 (AL leader)
K/BB: George Pipgras, 1.35
SV: Waite Hoyt, 8 (AL leader)


Oldest Player:
Stan Coveleski (b. July 13, 1889)

Youngest Player: Bill Dickey (b. June 6, 1907). Young Dickey's Hall of Fame career began as a minor league callup during the "Murderer's Row" era.

First to Leave Us: Urban Shocker (d. September 9, 1928). Shocker retired before the season began, but he came back to pitch one game in May before being released in July. In August he fell ill with pneumonia, which claimed his life about a month later. It made him the second member of a World Series champion to die before the end of the season.

Last Survivor: Bill Dickey (d. November 12, 1993)

First in Majors: Herb Pennock (debut May 14, 1912)

Last in Majors: Bill Dickey (final game September 8, 1946)

First to Play For the Franchise: Urban Shocker (April 24, 1916)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Bill Dickey (September 8, 1946). Old Dickey's Hall of Fame career ended as Yankee player-manager just after World War II. He resigned in the season's final month, only a year prior to the team's legendary 1947-64 run.

Pre-union Team: The 1922-23 Browns had four: Pat Collins, Cedric Durst, Gene Robertson and Urban Shocker.

Reunion Team: Like the 1927 team, it was the 1931 Tigers with Joe Dugan, Johnny Grabowski, Waite Hoyt and Mark Koenig.


Bob Meusel, cycle on July 26

Season Summary

After an utterly dominating performance in 1927 the Yankees had to be content with mere greatness in 1928. Their 116 team OPS+ wasn't the previous year's 128, but it still led the AL by 10 points. Their ERA+ and DER both fell around the middle of the pack, though they remained slightly above average in both departments. Thanks to a park that favored pitchers, they were still second in fewest runs allowed. Who allowed the fewest, you ask? As a matter of fact, it was a team that emerged as a serious threat to New York's pennant hopes.

At first it looked to be a repeat of last year; the Yankees got off to a hot start and had a double-digit lead in the pennant race by June, which they held onto for most of July. The Bronx Bombers coasted in late July and most of August, which was just about the time the Philadelphia Athletics started heating up. The Yankees' lead shrunk little by little until they suddenly found themselves a half-game behind the A's on September 8. Fortunately for the pinstripers, the next stop on the White Elephants' schedule was New York for a four-game series. The Yankees won three of four to take back first place, where they'd remain the rest of the year. The A's would finish 2.5 back.

The World Series set them up for a rematch with the Cardinals, who'd defeated them in 1926. This time it wasn't even close; the Yankees swept St. Louis and outscored them 27-10 for the Series. The slimmest margin of victory in any game was three runs. Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig combined to hit .593 with seven home runs in the four contests.


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