Saturday, January 9, 2010

PTWSW #34: The 1937 New York Yankees

Manager: Joe McCarthy
Record: 102-52
Ballpark: Yankee Stadium
Owner: Col. Jacob Ruppert
GM: Ed Barrow
Coaches: Earle Combs, Art Fletcher, Johnny Schulte

Future Hall of Famers: Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Tony Lazzeri, Red Ruffing

All-Stars: Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Johnny Murphy, Red Rolfe

Team Leaders, Batting

Lou Gehrig, .351
OBP: Lou Gehrig, .473 (AL leader)
SLG: Joe DiMaggio, .673 (AL leader)
OPS: Lou Gehrig, 1.116 (AL leader)
2B: Lou Gehrig, 37
3B: Joe DiMaggio, 15
HR: Joe DiMaggio, 46 (AL leader)
RBI: Joe DiMaggio, 167
BB: Lou Gehrig, 127 (AL leader)
SB: Frankie Crosetti, 13

Team Leaders, Pitching

Lefty Gomez, 21 (AL leader)
SO: Lefty Gomez, 194 (AL leader)
ERA: Lefty Gomez, 2.33 (AL leader)
IP: Lefty Gomez, 278.1
CG: Lefty Gomez, 25
SHO: Lefty Gomez, 6 (AL leader)
K/BB: Lefty Gomez, 2.09 (AL leader)
SV: Johnny Murphy, 10


Oldest Player: Pat Malone (b. September 25, 1902). This makes the 1937 Yankees the first World Series champion with all its members born in the 20th Century.

Youngest Player: Joe DiMaggio (b. November 25, 1914)

First to Leave Us: Lou Gehrig (d. June 2, 1941)

Last Survivor: Tommy Henrich (d. December 1, 2009)

First in Majors: Lou Gehrig (debut June 15, 1923)

Last in Majors: Joe DiMaggio (final game September 30, 1951)

First to Play For the Franchise: Lou Gehrig (June 15, 1923)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Joe DiMaggio (September 30, 1951)

Pre-union Team: None had more than two.

Reunion Team: The 1939 Browns had Joe Glenn, Don Heffner and Myril Hoag.


Lefty Gomez, Pitching Triple Crown
Joe DiMaggio, cycle on July 9
Lou Gehrig, cycle on August 1

Season Summary

The Yankees were again the best offensive team in the AL, but the Tigers narrowed the previous year's gap a bit. The Yankees only averaged .21 runs per game more than Detroit, and their 106 team OPS+ was only slightly better than the Tigers' 104. The Yankees topped the AL in home runs, with Detroit only 24 behind them. It may have been an imbalance issue. Lou Gehrig, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Tommy Henrich and George Selkirk all posted an OPS+ of 140 or more, while no one else was above 100. The Yankee pitching staff was even better than in 1936. Despite a remodeled, more hitter-friendly ballpark, the pinstriped twirlers allowed fewer runs per game than before, improved their team ERA+ to 122, and led the league in strikeout-to-walk ratio. One weakness of the 1936 staff was a tendency to allow free passes; the 1937 staff allowed the fewest walks per nine innings and actually improved their strikeout rate.

The pennant race was similar to 1936 too, albeit slightly closer. There was the same early-season sorting-out that took place before the Yanks found their way to first and stayed there the remainder of the course. They took longer than their 1936 counterpart to begin running away with it, as their lead was only five games on August 1. That was also the first day of a nine-game winning streak which brought their lead into double digits and effectively put away the competition. Their final lead was 13 games.

Continuing the similarities to 1936, the World Series was a rematch with the Giants with the same end result. The Yankees won the first two games by 8-1 scores and then got a 5-1 victory in Game 3. Only a six-run inning in Game 4 prevented the Giants from being swept; Lefty Gomez picked up his second victory in Game 5 to clinch the Series. With this, their sixth World Series title, the Yankees now stood atop the Major League leaderboard in championships, where they've remained ever since.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives

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