Red Ruffing

Charles Herbert "Red" Ruffing (May 3, 1905 – February 17, 1986) was an American professional baseball player. A pitcher, he played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1924 through 1947. He played for the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and Chicago White Sox. Ruffing is most remembered for his time with the highly successful Yankees teams of the 1930s and 1940s.

Ruffing dropped out of school as a child to work in a coal mine in his native Illinois. He played for the mine's company baseball team as an outfielder and first baseman. After he lost four toes from his left foot in a mining accident, he became unable to run in the field, and switched to pitching. He played in minor league baseball in 1923 and 1924 before making his MLB debut with the Red Sox. After struggling with Boston, pitching to a 36–93 win–loss record, the Red Sox traded Ruffing to the Yankees, where he became successful, pitching as the Yankees' ace through 1946. After one season with the White Sox, Ruffing retired from pitching to work in coaching. He served as a bullpen coach for the White Sox, a pitching coach for the New York Mets, and a scout and minor league instructor for the Cleveland Indians.

Ruffing was a member of six World Series championship teams with the Yankees. He also appeared in six MLB All-Star Games. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967. The Yankees dedicated a plaque to Ruffing in Monument Park in 2004.

Red Ruffing
RedRuffingGoudeycard
Pitcher
Born: May 3, 1905
Granville, Illinois
Died: February 17, 1986 (aged 80)
Mayfield Heights, Ohio
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 31, 1924, for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
September 15, 1947, for the Chicago White Sox
MLB statistics
Win–loss record273–225
Earned run average3.80
Strikeouts1,987
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction1967
Vote86.93% (fifteenth ballot)

Early life

Ruffing was born on May 3, 1905, in Granville, Illinois.[1] He was one of five children. His parents, John and Louise Ruffing, emigrated to the United States from Germany.[1] Ruffing was raised in Coalton, Illinois[1] and Nokomis, Illinois.[2] He went to school in Nokomis.[1] His father was a coal miner, working in a mine in Coalton, Illinois, until he suffered a broken back. John became the superintendent of the mine, and also served as mayor of Coalton.[1]

Red quit school at the age of 13 to work for his father in the mine, earning $3 per day ($50 in current dollar terms), working as a coupler. Conditions in the mine were dangerous. Red's cousin, who also worked in the mine, died in an accident.[1] He also played baseball as an outfielder and first baseman for the mine's company team,[1][3] and for a semi-professional team in Nokomis.[4][5]

When Ruffing was 15 years old, he suffered an accident in the mine, where his left foot was crushed between two cars. Though the doctor was able to save his foot, Red lost four toes.[1][3] He was supposed to begin his professional baseball career in the Kentucky–Illinois–Tennessee League that year, but he found himself unable to run as fast as he previously could.[3] Doc Bennett, the manager of a nearby semi-professional team, suggested that Ruffing should try to continue pursuing a baseball career by becoming a pitcher.[1]

Professional career

Minor leagues (1923–24)

Bennett helped arrange for Ruffing to sign his first professional contract when he reached the age of 18. Ruffing signed with the Danville Veterans of the Illinois–Indiana–Iowa League, a minor league baseball team in the Class B designation level. With Danville, Ruffing had a 12–16 win–loss record. After pitching for Danville in the 1923 season, the Boston Red Sox purchased Ruffing from Danville for $4,000 ($58,820 in current dollar terms).[1][3]

The Red Sox assigned Ruffing to the Dover Senators of the Class D Eastern Shore League to pitch at the start of the 1924 season.[1] He had a 4–7 record for Dover.[3]

Major leagues

Boston Red Sox (1924–30)

Ruffing made his major league debut with the Red Sox on May 31, 1924. He pitched without earning a decision in over 23 innings pitched, and had a 6.65 earned run average (ERA).[6] He saw regular playing time with the Red Sox over the next few years but had limited success. He had a 9–18 win-loss record with a 5.01 ERA in the 1925 season, as the Red Sox finished in last place in the eight team American League (AL).[7] Ruffing had a 6–15 win-loss record and a 4.39 ERA in the 1926 season,[8] and a 5–13 win-loss record with a 4.66 ERA in the 1927 season,[9] with the Red Sox finishing in last place both years. His best season to date, in terms of earned run performance, came in 1928, when he posted a 3.89 ERA. However, he led the AL in earned runs allowed, with 125, and had a 10–25 win-loss record, which led the AL in losses.[1][10] On a positive note, he also led the AL with 25 complete games.[4] As Ruffing had a .314 batting average during the 1928 season, the Red Sox and Ruffing considered having him shift to the outfield. The team decided against a position change due to the limitations of Ruffing's left foot.[1][3]

The Red Sox chose Ruffing to be their Opening Day starting pitcher for the 1929 season.[11] During the 1929 season, he again led the AL in losses, with 22, and earned runs, with 135.[12] He won only nine games.[13] Ruffing often had difficulty pitching more than five innings in a game.[14] Someone in the Red Sox organization suggested to Ruffing that he should try to gain weight by drinking beer, which saw him grow from 185 pounds (84 kg) to 240 pounds (110 kg).[3]

During the 1930 season, Bob Quinn, the owner of the Red Sox, was in debt and afraid he would lose the team due to foreclosure. To raise capital, he traded Ruffing to the New York Yankees for reserve outfielder Cedric Durst, $50,000 ($749,900 in current dollar terms), and a $50,000 loan from Jacob Ruppert, the Yankees' owner.[1] Ruffing ended his five-and-a-half year tenure with the Red Sox with a 39–93 win-loss record;[3][4] his winning percentage (.289) was lower than that of the Red Sox during his tenure (.344).[1]

New York Yankees

Miller Huggins, who served as the Yankees' manager through 1929, had attempted to acquire Ruffing from the Red Sox for the last couple years of his Yankees' tenure. When Ruffing told him that he was considering moving to the outfield, Huggins told him he should continue as a pitcher.[3] Bob Shawkey, a former pitcher who succeeded Huggins as the Yankees new manager in 1930, had convinced Ed Barrow, the Yankees' general manager, to acquire Ruffing. Shawkey believed he could change Ruffing's approach to pitching to obtain better results.[14] Shawkey worked with Ruffing to change his pitching delivery, so that Ruffing used his body more. This helped Ruffing save his arm strength for the later innings of the game.[1][14] The trade of Ruffing for Durst is now reckoned as one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history; Durst was a reserve outfielder who always batted at the bottom of the lineup when he was used.[15] The 1930 season proved to be Durst's worst year in the majors.[16] Ruffing had a 0–3 record with the Red Sox before the trade. He won 15 games for the Yankees after the trade, losing only five games.[4][14]

The Yankees chose Ruffing as their starting pitcher for Opening Day in 1931.[17] During the 1931 season, Ruffing had a 16–14 win-loss record with a 4.41 ERA. The Yankees finished the season in second place.[18] On August 13, 1932, Ruffing threw a complete game shutout and hit a home run in the tenth inning off of Washington Senators' pitcher Tommy Thomas to give the New York Yankees a 1–0 victory.[19] Ruffing became the first pitcher in major league history to win a game 1–0, hit a home run in the game, and strike out ten or more batters. Two other pitchers have since achieved this feat: Early Wynn in 1957, and Yovani Gallardo, who did it in 2009.[20] Ruffing won 18 games during the 1932 season. He had a 3.09 ERA, second in the AL only to Lefty Grove's 2.84. Ruffing had 190 strikeouts, which led the AL.[1][21] The Yankees won their first pennant since 1928. Ruffing won his first World Series game during the 1932 World Series against the Chicago Cubs.[22] He started Game One, and the Yankees swept the Cubs four games to zero.[23]

Ruffing had a 9–14 win-loss record with a 3.91 ERA in the 1933 season, as the Yankees finished in second place in the AL.[24] He threw a one-hitter on June 20, 1934, against the Cleveland Indians.[25] Two weeks later, Joe Cronin selected Ruffing for the 1934 Major League Baseball All-Star Game. At that point, he had a 9–3 win-loss record on the season.[26] He finished the season with a 19–11 win-loss record, as the Yankees finished second in the AL.[27] Ruffing pitched to a 16–11 record in the 1935 season, as the Yankees again finished second in the AL.[28] His 3.12 ERA was third in the league, behind only Grove and Ted Lyons.[29]

Ruffing won 20 games during the 1936 season.[4] His 3.85 ERA was the sixth-best in the league, and his 20 wins tied him for third place, with Johnny Allen and Wes Ferrell, behind Tommy Bridges and Vern Kennedy.[30] He started Game One of the 1936 World Series against the New York Giants,[31] but lost. The Yankees defeated the Giants four games to two.[32] In a salary dispute with the Yankees, Ruffing did not report to spring training, and he held out at the start of the 1937 season, missing the first month. He signed in May, receiving a $15,000 salary ($261,424 in current dollar terms).[33] Ruffing had a 20–7 win-loss record for the Yankees in 1937.[34] He finished with the fourth-best ERA in the league, 2.98, trailing Lefty Gomez, Monty Stratton, and Allen, and his 20 wins were second only to Gomez, who had 21.[35] His performance earned him eighth place in AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award voting.[36] He started Game Two in the 1937 World Series, earning the victory, as the Yankees defeated the Giants four games to one.[37]

The Yankees started Ruffing on Opening Day for the 1938 season.[38] He was again named an All-Star during the 1938 season. Yankees' manager Joe McCarthy, who managed the AL team in the All-Star Game, chose teammate Lefty Gomez as the starting pitcher. As McCarthy did not believe in pitching two players from the same team in an All-Star Game, Ruffing did not appear in the game.[39][40] He led the AL with 21 wins in the 1938 season. He also tied for the AL lead in shutouts during with three, while his 3.31 ERA was third-best in the league, behind only Grove.[4][41][42] Ruffing pitched the opening game of the 1938 World Series against the Cubs.[43] He won two games in the series as the Yankees defeated the Cubs.[22][44] Ruffing finished fourth in AL MVP voting for the 1938 season.[45]

McCarthy named Ruffing to be the starting pitcher for the Yankees on Opening Day in 1939.[46] McCarthy, managing the AL All-Star team that year, also selected Ruffing as his starter for the 1939 MLB All-Star Game.[47] He missed several weeks late in the 1939 season due to an arm injury,[43] but managed to start Game One of the 1939 World Series. He defeated the Cincinnati Redlegs in that game, and the Yankees won the series in a four games to zero sweep.[48] Ruffing won 21 games during the 1939 season.[49] His four shutouts in the 1939 season again tied him for the AL lead,[4] while he finished second in wins behind Bob Feller, and fourth in ERA (2.93) behind Grove, Lyons, and Feller.[50] He finished fifth in the balloting for the AL MVP.[51]

Ruffing was the Yankees' Opening Day starting pitcher in 1940.[52] He was named to the 1940 All-Star team, and Cronin, acting as manager, selected Ruffing as his starting pitcher.[53][54] Ruffing finished the season with a 15–12 win-loss record.[55] Ruffing was a member of the 1941 All-Star team as well, but he did not pitch in the game.[56] He had a 15–6 win-loss record during the 1941 season, and was named the starting pitcher for Game One of the 1941 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers.[57] Ruffing defeated the Dodgers, as the Yankees won the series four games to one.[58]

Ruffing pitched for the Yankees during Opening Day of the 1942 season.[59] That year, he compiled a 14–7 win-loss record. He was again named an All-Star, and again did not pitch in the All-Star Game, which was started by teammate Spud Chandler.[60] Though teammate Tiny Bonham had a better season, pitching to a 21–5 win-loss record, McCarthy again chose Ruffing as his Game One starter for the 1942 World Series,[61][62] setting a record with six World Series Game One starts that stood until Whitey Ford started his seventh Game One in the 1963 World Series.[63] Ruffing defeated the St. Louis Cardinals in Game One, his seventh World Series victory. This set a record that was surpassed by Ford in 1960.[1] Ruffing pitched again in the Game Five, with the Yankees down three games to one. Ruffing lost the game, as the Cardinals defeated the Yankees to win the series.[22][64]

After the 1942 season, Ruffing took a job with Vultee Aircraft, a defense contractor. Despite his age (37) and missing toes, a United States Army doctor certified Ruffing as Class 1-B in the Selective Service System, overruled Ruffing's personal physician, who had ruled Ruffing unfit for service. The Army decided that Ruffing could serve in a non-combat role.[1][65] Ruffing missed the 1943 and 1944 seasons due to his service during World War II. He served in the Sixth Ferrying Group of the Air Transport Command of the United States Army Air Forces at the rank of private. However, he did pitch for the Air Transport Command's baseball team, throwing a perfect game against Joe DiMaggio's team,[66] and leading his team to the championship against Ted Lyons' team.[67] In 1944, he played with an All-Star team for troops stationed in Hawaii.[1]

Ruffing turned forty years of age during the war, resulting in his discharge in June 1945.[68][69] He rejoined the Yankees that month, signing for the same $20,000 salary ($278,336 in current dollar terms) he earned in 1942.[70] He made his first appearance with the Yankees since the 1942 season in July 1945.[71] Pitching for the Yankees as a spot starter in 1946, he had a 5–1 win-loss record and a 1.77 ERA when he suffered a broken kneecap from a line drive hit by Hank Majeski, and missed the remainder of the season.[1]

In total, Ruffing won 231 games with the Yankees. This mark was the most in franchise history, until Ford surpassed it in 1965.[72] He remains the winningest right-handed pitcher in Yankees' history.[73]

Chicago White Sox (1947)

Suffering from recurrent knee injuries, the Yankees released Ruffing after the 1946 season. He signed with the Chicago White Sox for the 1947 season,[74] but continued to be limited by his knee. In May, the White Sox removed Ruffing from their active roster after he was hit in his bad knee with another line drive.[75] He rejoined the White Sox' active roster in July.[76] He pitched to a 3–5 win–loss record and a 6.11 ERA in nine games pitched on the season.[77] Ruffing retired after the 1947 season.[4]

Career summary

Ruffing finished his career with 273 wins, 225 losses, 1,987 strikeouts and a 3.80 ERA.[4] He also had 16 saves.[78] Ruffing compiled 335 complete games in his 536 games started.[79] Ruffing could also handle the bat very well compared to most other pitchers, hitting 36 home runs and batting .269 in 1,937 career at-bats. He hit over .300 in eight different seasons, and was frequently used as a pinch hitter in games he did not pitch.[4] He also played in the outfield in emergency situations.[80] Ruffing's home run total as a pitcher trails only Ferrell, Warren Spahn, and Bob Lemon.[81] Ruffing holds the AL record for most runs and earned runs allowed.[82]

Ruffing threw a fastball, a "sharp" curveball, and a slider.[78] According to AL umpire Bill Summers, "[O]n account of Red Ruffing, the slider got to be the thing."[1] Joe Paparella, also an AL umpire, said "The first game I ever worked behind the plate in the major leagues was against the guy who invented the slider and had the best slider ever seen — Red Ruffing".[78]

Coaching career

After he retired from pitching, Ruffing stayed with the White Sox organization to instruct their players. The White Sox named Ruffing the manager of their Class A minor league affiliate, the Muskegon Clippers of the Central League, for the 1949 season.[83] That season, the Clippers finished in fifth place out of six teams.[84] In 1950, Ruffing managed the Daytona Beach Islanders of the Florida State League, a Cleveland Indians' affiliate.[85][86]

When Al Simmons retired from his coaching position with the Indians just before the 1951 season due to his failing health, bullpen coach Jake Flowers was moved to the third base coaching position, and Ruffing took over Flowers's duties.[86][87] From 1952 through 1961, Ruffing was a player personnel executive for the Indians. Ruffing returned to the baseball field serving as pitching coach for the expansion New York Mets in 1962,[88] which were run by George Weiss, the general manager, and Casey Stengel, the manager. Weiss and Stengel had held the same positions with the Yankees during Ruffing's tenure.[1] As a team, the Mets had a 5.04 ERA across the 1962 season, which was the worst in the major leagues. The job also involved scouting duties, which Ruffing did not like, and he retired shortly after the season ended.[1] He returned to baseball again for the 1969 season, at the request of former teammate Don Heffner, who was managing the Denver Bears of the American Association. Ruffing served as Heffner's pitching coach.[5]

Personal life

Ruffing married Pauline Mulholland, a native of Chicago, at the end of the 1934 season. The couple settled in Long Beach, California.[3] When he worked for the Indians in the 1950s, the Ruffing family relocated to Cleveland. The couple had a son, named Charles, Jr.[1]

Ruffing suffered a stroke in 1974, at the age of 68, which left him paralyzed on his left side. As a result, he used a wheelchair for the remainder of his life.[1][89] This was Ruffing's second stroke, and he also suffered from kidney and heart problems.[4] He contracted skin cancer, necessitating the partial amputation of one of his ears. He died on February 17, 1986, at Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, of heart failure.[1][90]

Honors

In balloting for the National Baseball Hall of Fame following his retirement, Ruffing often received votes from approximately 50% of the voters in the Baseball Writers' Association of America, short of the 75% required for induction. Bob Feller wrote an article in The Saturday Evening Post in 1962, calling Ruffing, Satchel Paige, and Luke Appling the three most deserving players who had yet to be elected.[1] The balloting of 1967 was Ruffing's final year of eligibility, as he had retired twenty years prior. Ruffing finished with 212 votes, tied with Joe Medwick for the highest vote count, but was seven votes short of the 219 required for induction.[91] However, a runoff election held the next month saw Ruffing into the Hall of Fame the next month.[92]

During an Old-Timers' Day ceremony held on July 10, 2004 at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees dedicated a plaque in Ruffing's memory. The plaque is displayed in Monument Park.[73] ESPN.com ranked Ruffing as the ninth greatest Yankee of all time.[93]

A museum in Nokomis, Illinois, the Bottomley-Ruffing-Schalk Museum, is dedicated to Ruffing and fellow Hall of Famers Ray Schalk and Jim Bottomley.[94]

See also

References

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  2. ^ Bases loaded: Nokomis second to none in baseball history
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  74. ^ "White Sox Sign Red Ruffing; Send Platt to Toledo Club". Chicago Daily Tribune. December 6, 1946. p. 39. Retrieved September 7, 2013. (subscription required)
  75. ^ "'Red' Ruffing Dropped From List Of Active Players By White Sox". The Hartford Courant. May 9, 1947. p. 19. Retrieved September 7, 2013. (subscription required)
  76. ^ "Red Ruffing Rejoins Chisox Active List". Christian Science Monitor. Associated Press. July 12, 1947. p. 14. Retrieved September 7, 2013. (subscription required)
  77. ^ "1947 Chicago White Sox Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  78. ^ a b c James, Bill; Neyer, Rob (2008). The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers: An Historical Compendium of Pitching, Pitchers, and Pitches. Simon & Schuster. p. 367. ISBN 1439103771. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  79. ^ Swaine, Rick (2004). Beating the Breaks: Major League Ballplayers who Overcame Disabilities. McFarland & Company. p. 94. ISBN 0786481951. Retrieved January 2, 2014.
  80. ^ Kieran, John (April 28, 1931). "Sports of the Times – More Merrymaking on the Diamond". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  81. ^ Vecsey, George (January 30, 2009). "Sports of the Times: Phillies Pitchers of Old Revel in Past and Present". The New York Times. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
  82. ^ "Spanning Multiple Seasons or entire Careers, Playing in the AL, From 1901 to 2011, sorted by smallest Earned Runs". Baseball-Reference.com. 2012. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  83. ^ "Red Ruffing Will Pilot Muskegon". St. Petersburg Times. International News Service. December 2, 1948. p. 19. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  84. ^ LeMieux, Dave (April 9, 2012). "Lookback: Muskegon's own baseball Golden Age". Muskegon Chronicle. MLive.com. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  85. ^ Langworthy, Fred (February 23, 1950). "Ruffing? Yes, Indeed!". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. p. 8. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  86. ^ a b "Red Ruffing Appointed By Greenberg To Replace Simmons As Tribe Coach". Hartford Courant. Associated Press. April 6, 1951. p. 19. Retrieved September 6, 2013. (subscription required)
  87. ^ "Red Ruffing Named to Simmons' Berth as Cleveland Coach". The Milwaukee Journal. Associated Press. April 5, 1951. p. 2. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  88. ^ "Ruffing, Mets' Pitching Coach, Faces Big Task". St. Joseph's Gazette. Associated Press. March 13, 1962. p. 8. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  89. ^ "Red Ruffing still a giant at heart despite confinement to wheel chair". The Telegraph-Herald. Dubuque, Iowa. United Press International. August 8, 1977. p. 9. Retrieved September 8, 2013.
  90. ^ "Former Yankees Great Ruffing Dead at 80". San Jose Mercury News. February 20, 1986. p. 2G. Retrieved September 8, 2013. (subscription required)
  91. ^ "Hall of Fame Rejects Red Ruffing, Medwick". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. January 26, 1967. p. 1C. Retrieved September 6, 2013.
  92. ^ Daley, Arthur (February 17, 1967). "Recovering a Hall of Fame Fumble". St. Petersburg Times. St. Petersburg, Florida. p. 2-C. Retrieved August 7, 2012.
  93. ^ "9. Red Ruffing – ESPN NY – 50 Greatest Yankees – ESPN". ESPN.com. July 18, 1999. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  94. ^ Kane, Dave (October 8, 2009). "Town's baseball ties on display at museum". The Register-Mail. Galesburg, Illinois. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved September 13, 2012.

External links

1929 Boston Red Sox season

The 1929 Boston Red Sox season was the 29th season in the franchise's Major League Baseball history. The Red Sox finished last in the eight-team American League (AL) with a record of 58 wins and 96 losses.

1932 New York Yankees season

The 1932 New York Yankees season was the team's 30th season in New York, and its 32nd season overall. The team finished with a record of 107–47, winning their seventh pennant, finishing 13 games ahead of the Philadelphia Athletics. New York was managed by future Hall of Famer Joe McCarthy. A record nine future Hall of Famers played on the team (Earle Combs, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Tony Lazzeri, Herb Pennock, Red Ruffing, Babe Ruth, Joe Sewell).

The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they swept the Chicago Cubs. They are the only major-league team ever to go an entire season without being shut out.

1934 New York Yankees season

The 1934 New York Yankees season was the team's 32nd season in New York and its 34th season overall. The team finished with a record of 94–60, finishing 7 games behind the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. It would also be the final year Babe Ruth would play as a Yankee.

1935 New York Yankees season

The 1935 New York Yankees season was the team's 33rd season in New York and its 35th season overall. The team finished with a record of 89–60, finishing 3 games behind the Detroit Tigers. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

1936 World Series

The 1936 World Series matched the New York Yankees against the New York Giants, with the Yankees winning in six games to earn their fifth championship.

The Yankees played their first World Series without Babe Ruth and their first with Joe DiMaggio, Ruth having been released by the Yankees after the 1934 season. He retired in 1935 as a member of the Boston Braves.

1938 World Series

The 1938 World Series matched the two-time defending champion New York Yankees against the Chicago Cubs, with the Yankees sweeping the Series in four games for their seventh championship overall and record third straight (they would win four in a row from 1936 to 1939, and five in a row later from 1949 to 1953).

Dizzy Dean, who had helped carry the Cubs to the National League pennant despite a sore arm, ran out of gas in the Series as the Yanks crushed the Cubs again, as they had in 1932. Yankee starting pitcher Red Ruffing won two games, although he allowed 17 hits in 18 innings pitched. After Game 2 of the Series, the Bronx Bombers would not return to Wrigley Field for nearly 65 years until a three-game interleague series with the Cubs beginning June 6, 2003.

This was the first World Series played at Wrigley Field following the bleacher reconstruction of 1937, which had significantly shortened the left-center field power alley.

1939 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1939 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the seventh playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 11, 1939, at Yankee Stadium in The Bronx, New York City, the home of the New York Yankees of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 3–1.

1940 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1940 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the eighth playing of the mid-summer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on July 9, 1940, at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, Missouri, the home of the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns. The game resulted in the National League defeating the American League 4–0.

1940 New York Yankees season

The 1940 New York Yankees season was the team's 38th season in New York and its 40th overall. The team finished in third place with a record of 88–66, finishing two games behind the American League champion Detroit Tigers and one game behind the second-place Cleveland Indians. New York was managed by Joe McCarthy. Their home games were played at the Yankee Stadium.

1942 World Series

The 1942 World Series featured the defending champion New York Yankees against the St. Louis Cardinals, with the Cardinals winning the Series in five games for their first championship since 1934 and their fourth overall.

The 1942 Cardinals set a franchise record for victories with 106. Every Cardinal—except for Harry Gumbert—was a product of the team's farm system, which had been put in place by Branch Rickey.

The Yankees won Game 1 despite a Cardinals rally, but the Cardinals swept the rest. The loss was the Yankees' first since the 1926 World Series, also to the Cardinals. They had won eight Series in the interim (a record for most consecutive series won between losses) and had won 32 out of 36 World Series games in that period, including five sweeps (1927 vs. the Pirates, 1928 vs. the Cardinals, 1932 and 1938 vs. the Cubs and 1939 vs. the Reds).

1943 World Series

The 1943 World Series matched the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals against the New York Yankees, in a rematch of the 1942 Series. The Yankees won the Series in five games for their tenth championship in 21 seasons. It was Yankees manager Joe McCarthy's final Series win. This series was also the first to have an accompanying World Series highlight film (initially, the films were created as gifts to troops fighting in World War II, to give them a brief recap of baseball action back home), a tradition that still persists.

This World Series was scheduled for a 3–4 format because of wartime travel restrictions. The 3–4 format meant there was only one trip between ballparks, but if the Series had ended in a four-game sweep, there would have been three games played in one park and only one in the other.

Because of World War II, both teams' rosters were depleted. Johnny Beazley, Jimmy Brown, Creepy Crespi, Terry Moore and Enos Slaughter were no longer on the Cardinals' roster. Joe DiMaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Red Ruffing and Buddy Hassett were missing from the Yankees, and Red Rolfe had retired to coach at Dartmouth College.

Cardinals pitchers Howie Pollet, Max Lanier and Mort Cooper ranked 1–2–3 in the National League in ERA in 1943 at 1.75, 1.90 and 2.30, respectively.

1947 Chicago White Sox season

The 1947 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox's 47th season in the major leagues, and their 48th season overall. They finished with a record 70–84, good enough for 6th place in the American League, 27 games behind the first place New York Yankees.

1967 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1967 followed rules in transition. The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) held its first election in any odd-number year since 1955 and its last election with provision for a runoff in case of no winner. (In June the rules were rewritten to restore a single annual vote permanently.)

In the event, the BBWAA voted twice by mail and elected Red Ruffing on the second ballot.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider executives, managers, umpires, and earlier major league players.

It selected two people, Branch Rickey and Lloyd Waner.

Cedric Durst

Cedric Montgomery Durst (August 23, 1896 – February 16, 1971) was an outfielder in Major League Baseball who played between 1922 and 1930 for the St. Louis Browns (1922–23, 1926), New York Yankees (1927–30) and Boston Red Sox (1930). Listed at 5' 11", 160 lb., Durst batted and threw left-handed. He was born in Austin, Texas.

Though he was always regarded as a fine defensive player, Durst was a weak hitter almost every year in his major league career. He played in parts of three seasons with the Browns before joining the Yankees. While in New York, Durst was a member of the 1927 and 1928 World Champion Yankees, playing exclusively as a reserve outfielder for Earle Combs (CF), Bob Meusel (LF) and Babe Ruth (RF). During the 1930 midseason, he was sent by New York to the Red Sox in exchange for Red Ruffing. The 1930 season proved to be Durst's last year in the majors.In a seven-season career, Durst was a .244 hitter (269-for-1103) with 15 home runs and 122 RBI in 481 games, including 146 runs, 39 doubles, 17 triples, and seven stolen bases. In five postseason games, he hit .333 (3-for-9) with one home run, two RBI and three runs.

After his major league career was over, Durst played and managed in the minor leagues for two more decades. After drawing his release from the Red Sox, he played regularly for the St. Paul Saints (American Association) in 1931 and 1932, and with the Hollywood Stars and San Diego Padres in the Pacific Coast League for six more seasons. The best of his PCL seasons was 1933, when he played 180 games for Hollywood, batting .318 with 14 home runs. During the 1936 season at San Diego, his roommate was future superstar Ted Williams. Durst managed the Padres from 1939 to 1943.After leaving baseball, Durst worked as a guard at Convair aircraft in San Diego, eventually becoming chief of Convair's police force.Cedric Durst died in San Diego, California at age 74.

Lew Riggs

Lewis Sidney Riggs (April 22, 1910 – August 12, 1975) born in Caswell County, North Carolina was a third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals (1934), Cincinnati Reds (1935–40) and Brooklyn Dodgers (1941–42 and 1946).

He helped the Cardinals win the 1934 World Series, the Reds win the 1939 National League pennant and 1940 World Series and the Dodgers win the 1941 NL pennant. He was named to the 1936 National League All-Star team.

His eighth-inning pinch single off Red Ruffing scored teammate Cookie Lavagetto in the opening game of the 1941 World Series, before Ruffing and the New York Yankees held on for a 3-2 victory.

Riggs never quite achieved the same level in his baseball career after leaving the Dodgers in 1942 in order to serve his country in the Army Air Force during World War II.

In 10 seasons he played in 760 Games and had 2,477 At Bats, 298 Runs, 650 Hits, 110 Doubles, 43 Triples, 28 Home Runs, 271 RBI, 22 Stolen Bases, 181 Walks, .262 Batting Average, .317 On-base percentage, .375 Slugging Percentage, 930 Total Bases and 37 Sacrifice Hits.

He died of cancer in Durham, North Carolina at the age of 65. He was survived by his wife of 30 years, Nellie Dace Hornaday Riggs.

List of New York Yankees Opening Day starting pitchers

The New York Yankees are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in The Bronx, New York City, New York. They play in the American League East division. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Yankees have used 57 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 110 seasons. Since the franchise's beginning in 1901, the 58 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 57 wins, 36 losses, 1 tie (57–36–1), and 17 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game. Although in modern baseball, ties are rare due to extra innings, in 1910, New York's Opening Game against the Boston Red Sox was declared a tie due to darkness – at the time, Hilltop Park had lacked adequate lighting.Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry, and Mel Stottlemyre hold the Yankees record for most Opening Day starts with seven. The other pitchers with three or more Opening Day starts for New York are CC Sabathia (6), Lefty Gomez (6), Red Ruffing (5), Jack Chesbro (4), Roger Clemens (4), Bob Shawkey (4), Ray Caldwell (3), Jimmy Key (3), Vic Raschi (3), and most recently Masahiro Tanaka (4). Jimmy Key holds the Yankee record for best Opening Day record with a perfect 3–0.On Opening Day, Yankee pitchers have a combined record of 35–12–1 when playing at home. Of those games, pitchers have a 1–0 record at Oriole Park, a 3–1–1 record at Hilltop Park, a 2–3 record from Polo Grounds, a 28–8 record at Yankee Stadium, and a 1–0 record at Shea Stadium. When on the road for Opening Day, Yankee pitchers have a combined record of 27–27.

During the 1901 and 1902 seasons, the franchise played in Baltimore as the "Baltimore Orioles". The franchise has Opening Day record of 1–1 as Baltimore. After their move to New York in 1903, the franchise was known as the New York Highlanders until 1912. As the Highlanders, they had a 6–3–1 Opening Day record. For seasons in which New York would later win the World Series, the starting pitchers have a 16–8 record.

Max West

Max Edward West (November 28, 1916 – December 31, 2003), was an outfielder and first baseman for the Boston Bees/Braves (1938–42 and 1946), Cincinnati Reds (1946) and Pittsburgh Pirates (1948).

West signed as an outfielder with Sacramento of the Pacific Coast League in 1935 and joined Mission of the same league the following year. After batting .330 with 16 home runs and 95 RBIs for Mission in 1937, West’s contract was purchased by the Boston Braves. He batted .234 his rookie year but increased his average to .285 in 1939 with 19 home runs and 82 RBIs (all career highs), finishing 23rd in voting for the 1939 National League MVP.

West was named to the 1940 National League All-Star Team, his only career appearance, and was inserted as the starting right fielder at the last minute by NL manager Bill McKechnie (over Mel Ott). In his only career All-Star at bat, he hit what would be the eventual game-winner, a 3-run home run in the first inning off Red Ruffing at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. Unfortunately, it would be his only All-Star plate appearance, as he was injured (although not seriously) leaping for Luke Appling's double off the wall in the 2nd inning and had to leave the game.

West finished 26th in voting for the 1940 NL MVP, and 27th in voting for the 1942 NL MVP. In March 1943, West joined the Army Air Force, serving with the Sixth Ferrying Group, Air Transport Command at Long Beach, California, where he regularly played baseball with (the aforementioned) Red Ruffing, Gerald Priddy and Nany Fernandez.

In April 1946, after returning from military service, West was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Jim Konstanty. He played just 73 games that year, only batting .212. He was with San Diego of the Pacific Coast League in 1947, returned to Pittsburgh in 1948 (where he batted just .178 in 87 games) and returned to San Diego the following year. West led the Pacific Coast League in home runs on three occasions, and in 1949 he hit 48 home runs with 166 RBIs. He continued playing in the PCL until 1954.

In 7 seasons West played in 824 Games and had 2,676 At Bats, 338 Runs, 681 Hits, 136 Doubles, 20 Triples, 77 Home Runs, 380 RBI, 19 Stolen Bases, 353 Walks, .254 Batting Average, .344 On-base percentage, .407 Slugging percentage, 1,088 Total bases and 15 Sacrifice hits.

West operated a sporting goods firm with Ralph Kiner in California after retiring from baseball.

West died in Sierra Madre, California from brain cancer at the age of 87.

Whitey Kurowski

George John Kurowski (April 19, 1918 – December 9, 1999) was a third baseman in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the St. Louis Cardinals (1941–49). Kurowski batted and threw right-handed. He debuted on September 23, 1941, and played his final game on October 1, 1949. In a nine-season career, Kurowski posted a .286 batting average with 106 home runs and 529 RBI in 916 games played. Kurowski's childhood nickname came from his already white hair.A native of Reading, Pennsylvania, Kurowski overcame several personal problems. Kurowski overcame childhood osteomyelitis, which forced the removal of part of a bone on his right forearm. Before he started his baseball career, his older brother died in a mine accident, and his father died from a heart attack during spring training in 1942. His most productive season came in 1947, when he posted career-highs in average (.310), home runs (27), RBI (104), runs (108), doubles (27), slugging % (.544) and on-base % (.420).

An All-Star during five consecutive seasons (1943–47), Kurowski exceeded the 20 home run mark three times to set a major league record for a third baseman (1944–45, 1947), and hit over .300 three times (1945–47). He also led the National League three times in putouts, twice in fielding %, and once in double plays.

In four World Series appearances, Kurowski hit .253 (21-for-83) with one home run and nine RBI in 23 games, as the Cardinals were World Champions in 1942, 1944 and 1946. His only home run in the Series, in 1942, off Red Ruffing, broke a 2–2 tie in the ninth inning of Game Five to clinch the title for St. Louis over the New York Yankees. He also appeared five times in the MVP ballot, in 1942 and from 1944 through 1947.

In 1949, Kurowski developed arm and elbow problems and his playing career ended. After that, he coached and managed in the minor leagues for 18 years until 1972. He gained induction into the National Polish-American Hall of Fame in 1988. [1]

In an article in 1976 in Esquire magazine, sportswriter Harry Stein published an "All Time All-Star Argument Starter," consisting of five ethnic baseball teams. Kurowski was the third baseman on Stein's Polish team.

Kurowski died in Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania, at age 81.

Yankeeography

Yankeeography is a biography-style television program that chronicles the lives and careers of the players, coaches, and other notable personnel associated with the New York Yankees Major League Baseball team. The series is aired on the YES Network and is produced by MLB Productions. The series is hosted by Yankees radio personality John Sterling. The series has earned five New York Sports Emmy Awards since its inception. In addition to airing on YES, MLB Productions has packaged many of the shows into DVD boxed sets.

After debuting as a weekly show with the 2002 launch of YES, Yankeeography only debuts new episodes periodically (as there are fewer prominent Yankees yet to be spotlighted). For instance, four episodes premiered in 2006: Tino Martinez, David Cone, the Yankees' 1996 World Series team, and Billy Martin. All Yankees with retired numbers have had shows completed with the exception of Bill Dickey. The show has been criticized for producing episodes on players who remain active while Hall of Famers from much earlier eras such as Jack Chesbro, Tony Lazzeri, Red Ruffing and Lefty Gomez were not profiled. Some profiles have been updated to reflect new developments.

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