The 1927 New York Yankees were the greatest team in the history of Major League Baseball. And as if there was ever any doubt, Babe Ruth confirmed it for us all.
“Those Yankees were the best team, he said according to Angelfire.com. ¨Figure it out. After we got going we won twelve straight World Series games-twelve in a row. It was murder. The Yankees had the greatest punch baseball ever knew. We never even worried five or six runs behind…Wham! Wham! Wham! Wham! and Wham! No matter who was pitching.”
And that they did. They went 110-44, finishing a whopping 19 games over the second place Philadelphia Athletics. Think about that, 19 games over the second place team. The Boston Red Sox finished in the cellar-59 games back. Yes, you read that right. Then they swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the world series.
It was the year that Ruth hit his 60 home runs and Lou Gehrig added 47, and the team earned the nickname ¨The Murderers Row.¨ Gehrig led the American League with 175 RBI. Around the diamond it was Pat Collins at catcher, Gehrig at first, Tony Lazzeri at second, Mark Koenig at short, Joe Dugan at third, and Earle Combs, Bob Meusel and Ruth in the outfield.
Just to put it into perspective, they had 158 home runs as a team. The only other team over 100 was the National Leagues´ New York Giants, who had 109. Ruth hit more homers by himself than 12 of the 16 teams in the majors.
That´s domination. And the pitching staff had the lowest ERA in the majors. Waite Hoyt led the way with arecord of 22-7. Herb Pennock went 19-8, and Urban Shocker was 18-6. Since it was before the advent of the closer, Wilcy Moore averaged over four innings per appearance in route to his 19-7. 2.28 ERA performance out of the pen.
Even though he had the most feared lineup in history, Yankees manager Miller Huggins was quick to recognize the contribution of his pitching staff. “The backbone of any ball club is the pitching staff,¨ Huggins said, also according to Angelfire. ¨The New York Yankees are sometimes spoken of as an exception. I have heard it said their tremendous batting punch carries them through. Now, I appreciate that batting punch as much as anyone, but no team would lead it’s league as we did in 1927 unless they possessed some real pitching strength…”
While cases have been made for the 1961 Yankees, The 1978 Yankees, the 1998 Yankees, and a few other clubs from other organizations, the manner in which the ´27 Yankees dominated baseball has never been repeated.
On July 4, 1927, after the Yankees beat Washington by an identical score of 21-1 in both games of the double header, the Senators Joe Judge said, ¨ “Those fellows not only beat you, but they tear your hearts out.”