1927 Yankees Essay, Research Paper
The 1920’s were one of the greatest eras for baseball. Some of the greatest
players to ever play the game of baseball played in the 1920’s: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig,
Ty Cobb just to name a few. The 1920’s also produced one of the best teams (if not the best team) of all time: The 1927 Yankees.
In 1920 the Yankees purchased Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox for 125,000 dollars in cash and a 300,000 dollar loan to the owner of the Red Sox. This was the beginning of the building of what journalists later referred to as “The greatest lineup ever assembled.”
The Babe was most famous for his hitting, but he was also a great pitcher, and played right field. Babe Ruth still holds the major league record for homeruns in a career with 714. In 1920 Babe scored 241 runs breaking the modern record of 158. The “Sulten of Swat” is the second best ever in RBI’s ( runners batted in)- holding a total of 2,213. In 1927 he hit a modern record of 60 homeruns which was later broken by fellow Yankee Roger Maris in 1961. He was also the highest paid player of his time at 70,000 dollars a year. The next closest player in terms of salary was only paid 17,500 dollars. In 1927 he was feared so much as a hitter he was walked 138 times. The Babe also won the Triple Crown in 1924 (leading the league in batting average, homeruns, and RBI’s in one season). The Babe used between a 37-42 oz. Bat compared to a 31-36 oz. Bat which modern players use. The Babe was the first professional athlete to endorse products for companies: candy bars, cereal, and even toothpaste. Just one years after the Babe retired he was inducted into Baseballs Hall of Fame in 1936. There are many other breathtaking facts I could state, but that could be a report in itself. Now, maybe you can see why he was called the “Greatest player who ever lived.”
Then in 1921 the Yankees acquired Wait Hoyt a pitcher from the Boston Red Sox. Wait Hoyt was nickname the “schoolboy.” Hoyt produced a 110-85 record over his career. Then in 1969 Wait Hoyt was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Herb Pennock was the next great player the Yankees acquired in their building of the 1927 Yankees. The Yankees liked this left handed pitcher so much they were willing to pay him 17,500 dollars second only to Babe Ruth. Huggins the manager of the Yankees once called Pennock “the greatest lefty in history.” Herb Pennock had a 19-8 record in 1927. He also posted a 3.00 ERA in that great season of 1927. Pennock was also one of the greatest pitcher’s who ever pitched in the World Series posting a 5-0 career record in the World Series. He also retired 22 batters in a row in the 1927 World Series. Herb Pennock was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1948.
In 1923 Lou Gehrig made his rookie debut for the Yankees. Gehrig was probably the second most recognized player for the Yankees. Gehrig was one of the most reliable players ever to play the game of baseball playing 2,130 games in a row. That record for most games played in a row was just recently broken by Cal Ripken Jr. It wasn’t until 1925 before he became the regular first baseman for the most feared team in baseball. In 1927 the breakout year for Gehrig had 175 RBI’s a record at the time. Gehrig also had 117 extra base hits in 1927 (doubles, triples, or homeruns). Gehrig also made his World Series debut in which he drove in the winning run. Gehrig and Ruth combined were later referred to as the greatest one two punch ever. In 1929 Gehrig was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
In 1924 after a breakout year in 1923 when he hit .380 with 145 RBI’s the Yankees acquired Earl Combs, another key link in the building of the 1927 Yankees. In 1927 Earl Combs broke several Yankee records including at bats with 648, 23 triples, and 231 hits. Only 18 times in that great season did he fail to score or reach base. Earl Combs was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1970.
The last great player to be added to this great team was Tony Lazzeri who made his rookie debut in 1926. Lazzeri became the first player ever to hit 60 homeruns in a season when he did so in the Pacific Coast League in 1925. That year he also had 222 RBI’s and 202 runs scored. In 1926 Lazzeri made his major league debut and played every game for the Yankees. Lazzeri was viewed as the best second baseman in baseball. Tony Lazzeri hit .309 with 18 homeruns in 1927.
Finally after all the work the Yankee management had done finally paid of for them in 1927 when they won 110 games in a 154 game season. This lineup produced some of the most amazing number baseball had ever seen. Like I said before this team won 110 games and was the first American League team to ever sweep the World Series.
This team was 77-16 when at least one person on the team homered. They also set another major league record for homeruns with two players from the same team hitting three bombs in one game (Lazzeri and Gehrig). The “27″ Yankees also set many other offensive records like 908 RBI’s, 489 slugging percentage, 975 runs, and 158 homeruns
all were major league records. They were also the firs team to have four regulars to hit more than 100 RBI’s in a season. The Yankees averaged six point three runs per game in the 1927 season. The Yankee pitchers through 82 complete games, of the remaining 73 games, they only had to use one relief pitcher in 46 games. Yankee relief pitchers made 21 different hitless appearances. The Yankees six inside the park homeruns (Lazzeri 2, Morehart, Combs, Ruth, Meusel). The Yankees led the major leagues in every offensive category.
The Yankees also had one of the best one two punch’s in baseball history. Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth combined for some of the best stats in baseball. Ruth and Gehrig went back to back five times in 1927. They combined for a total of 107 runs and 339 RBI’s. They also combined for 107 homeruns in that season of 1927. The Yankees had a record of 77-16 when either Ruth or Gehrig hit a homerun. They also combined for four grand slams (two by each). Ruth and Gehrig finished one-two, respectively, in the league in homeruns, runs scored, slugging, strikeouts, and walks.
But before the 1927 Yankees could go down as one of the greatest teams in history, they had to try to win only their second World Series title. They had won the pennant four previous times during the 1920’s, but had only one World Series title (1923). The Yankees rose to the challenge and swept the Pirates in the 1927 World Series. Sometime during the 1927 season the Yankees were given the name “Murders Row” by the New York journalist because of the way they dominated teams. Now maybe you can see why they were called “the greatest lineup ever assembled.”