You’ve never seen the 1927 New York Yankees in action, but you sure wish you did. Led by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, this group completely dominated their opposition all the way to a World Series title. They were the first of many New York dynasties, dynasties that bred generations of Yankees fanatics…as well as fans who were fanatical about hating the Yankees. Here are some fun facts you might now know about the greatest Yankee team of them all.
Ruth Had the Power of 25 Men
Of the many offensive categories New York led handily in 1927 was home runs, with 158. The only other team with more than 100 dingers was the New York Giants, who had 109. This total was powered by Ruth’s record-setting performance of 60 homers in 1927. When looking back at the 16 teams who comprised the major leagues, the Colossus of Clout hit more homers all by himself than 12 whole squads.
They Supplied Their Own Fireworks on Independence Day
The Yankees set off plenty of metaphorical fireworks in the Bronx during a July 4 doubleheader against the Washington Senators, sweeping the twin bill by a combined score of 33-2. Ruth racked up 5 hits and 2 RBI, while Gehrig, collected 4 hits, which included 2 dingers and 1 double, along with 7 combined RBI. Boom.
Their Jerseys Were Still Evolving
New York didn’t include number on the backs of their jerseys until 1929, but the 1927 season was significant for another reason, because until then, the Yankees didn’t acknowledge their team name on their uniforms. The catch here, though, is that in ’27, the Yanks only did so on their road uniforms.
L.O.U. = M.V.P.
Lou Gehrig was deserving of winning the 1927 MVP award. He slashed .373/.474/.765 with 47 home runs and led the league in doubles (52), RBI (173), and total bases (447). What’s weird, though, is that Babe Ruth – he who set a new single season homer record with 60 dingers – didn’t earn a single MVP vote.
Y’see, the original rules for the American League MVP voting stated that a player was ineligible to receive the award if they had already won it in the past. Ruth was named MVP in 1923, meaning he couldn’t get it again ’27. The iteration of the MVP award as we know it was instituted in 1931, which allowed Gehrig to take home the honors again in 1936.
They Weren’t the Original “Murderers’ Row”
Most of us view the ’27 Yankees as the “Murderers’ Row,” but this moniker wasn’t cooked up for them. Yes, it was a Yankees thing, but the original iteration came about in 1918.
One wonders why, because the first six players of the Yankees’ 1918 batting order making up the original Murderers’ Row included Frank Gilhooley, Roger Peckinpaugh, John “Home Run” Baker, Del Pratt, Wally Pipp, and Frank Bodie. No Ruths or Gehrigs there, eh?
If you’re wondering why the nickname didn’t stick, it’s because the 1918 crew wasn’t good at ba eball, finishing the season with a record of 60-63.