Sunday, April 11, 2010

Murderer's Row

On April 12, 1927, at Yankee Stadium the Yankees would open their 1927 season against the Philadelphia Athletics, and would start a record setting season. Earle Combs would lead off for the ’27 Yankees followed by Mark Koenig, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel, Tony Lazzeri, Joe Dugan, John Grabowski, and the pitcher Waite Hoyt would bottom out the lineup. These Yankees could pitch with the best as seen earlier, but they could also hit and run better than anyone. In ’27 Murderer’s Row would account for 975 runs on 400 plus hits, which was 70 more than Detroit who was second in runs scored in the AL. The Row wouldn’t score these runs playing small ball – bunting to get on base and then hitting behind the runner to score a run – they would hit doubles, triples, and home runs on command. The Yankees didn’t hit the most doubles in the AL with 291, but why would they stop at second base when they could get to third? Murderer’s Row would hit 103 triples, and 158 home runs. No team in the AL would get close to these numbers, and opposing team’s pitching staffs had to have lost sleep at night knowing they had to pitch to the Yankees the next day. The Row also had the highest team batting average at .307, the highest slugging percentage at .489, and the most stolen bases at 90 in the American League in 1927. These 1927 Yankees would be of extreme significance to Major League Baseball history by becoming the first team to be in first place all year, have the most wins (an AL record, 110), highest winning margin (an AL record), first team in American league to finish higher than .700 winning percentage (.714), and the first AL team to sweep the World Series. The 1927 Yankees would win the AL pennant by 19 games (an AL record), and finish the season as World Series Champions beating the Pittsburgh Pirates with a final record of 110-44. Did I mention that they did all of this playing the in biggest park in MLB history? The dimensions of the field were 281 feet to the left field foul pole, 415 feet to leftfield, 490 feet to left-center, 487 feet to centerfield, 429 feet to right-center, 344 feet to right field, and 295 feet to the right field foul pole.


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