1941 World Series

After a short, one-year absence, the perennial champion New York Yankees returned to the familiar territory of post-season baseball in 1941. Despite losing the American League pennant to the Detroit Tigers the year before, the "Bronx Bombers" were still favored after winning thirteen of their last fourteen Series games and twenty-eight of their last thirty-one games in baseball's premier event. Joe McCarthy's franchise however, entered the post-season with heavy hearts after Yankee icon Lou Gehrig passed away on June 2 in Riverdale, New York. The "Iron Horse" had finally succumbed to a relatively unknown affliction known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis which has since been renamed Lou Gehrig's Disease. Despite their emotional scars, the power-laden Yanks had managed another one of their dominant pennant runs, winning the American League title by seventeen games. Their cross-town and "cross-league" rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers were determined to keep the World Championship title in National League hands and were dependant on solid pitching to keep the Yankees' sluggers in hold. The Dodger's rotation certainly had their work cut out for them as Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Keller and Tommy Henrich all hit at least thirty homers in 1941, and Joe Gordon slammed twenty-four.

Nothing changed in the Series opener as the "Bronx Bombers" continued to get the job done. Gordon remained a standout as he homered and knocked in two runs for a 3-2 victory that featured a Red Ruffing six-hitter. After losing to the Dodger's Whitlow Wyatt 3-2 in Game 2, the Yankees got a break and reclaimed the Series lead. Brooklyn's Freddie Fitzsimmons was locked in a 0-0 stalemate with Marius Russo in Game 3 when, with two out in the seventh, the Yankees pitcher fired a line drive that caught Fitzsimmons square on the knee. While shortstop Pee Wee Reese caught the deflected ball to end the inning, Fitzsimmons was obviously through for the day. Hugh Casey came in as relief but was nailed for four hits and two runs in the eighth. His teammates were only able to get only four hits off Russo and eventually lost 2-1. Despite trailing two games to one, Brooklyn's pitching rotation was doing their share while holding the Yankees' sluggers to less than stellar stats. Through the first four games of the Fall Classic, the "Bombers" had managed a single home run off the Dodgers and in their thirty-four innings of Series at-bats preceding the fateful ninth of Game 4, the Yanks had scored only ten runs.

Things seemed to be headed in the Dodgers' favor with a 4-3 lead and two out in the ninth (with no Yankees on base) when an error of catastrophic proportions turned the momentum of the game and inevitably, the Series. As a probable third strike on Henrich crossed the plate, it was mishandled by the Dodger's catcher Mickey Owen. Instead of sealing the Series tying victory, the error kept the Yankees alive resulting in a four run rally that snatched the sweet taste of victory from the mouths of Brooklyn and left them with the bitter taste of a 7-4 defeat. The frenzied Ebbets Field crowd (who was poised for celebration) suddenly stood in disbelief as they watched their team implode. First, Henrich stole first on the Owen error. Then DiMaggio followed with a single, and Charlie Keller shot the Yankees ahead with a two-run double. After a walk to Bill Dickey, Gordon further quieted the Dodgers faithful with another two-run double. The Yankees' Johnny Murphy then turned in his second consecutive inning of 1-2-3 relief, and New York had handed Brooklyn a devastating defeat.

Owen said after the game, "Sure, it was my fault. The ball was a low curve that broke down. It hit the edge of my glove and glanced off, but I should have had him out anyway. But who ever said those Yanks were such great sluggers? They're the real bums in this Series, with that great reputation of theirs." It mattered little as the Yankees finished them off the following day when Ernie "Tiny" Bonham put the Dodgers out of their misery, tossing a four-hitter in Game 5. Henrich (who had dodged a bullet in his previous outing) homered in the Yankees' Series-clinching 3-1 triumph. Despite winning their ninth title, the "Bronx Bombers" had certainly failed to live up to their nickname at the plate. Surprisingly, the World Champions had managed only two home runs and averaged a mediocre .247 in the Series. Still, they managed to knock off their cross-town rivals (in what would eventually become known as the "Subway Series"), who got even less offensive production with one homer and a miserable .182 average.

"Sure, it was my fault (the error in the ninth inning of Game 4). The ball was a low curve that broke down. It hit the edge of my glove and glanced off, but I should have had him out anyway. But who ever said those Yanks were such great sluggers? They're the real bums in this Series, with that great reputation of theirs." - Mickey Owen
1941 World Series
1941 World Series Program, Brooklyn Dodgers Version
1941 World Series Program, New York Yankees Version

1941 World Series Official Program
Brooklyn Dodgers Version

1941 World Series Official Program
New York Yankees Version

New York Yankees (4) vs Brooklyn Dodgers (1)
1941 World Series Fast Facts
Game 1
Date / Box Score
Location
1 st Pitch
From
To
Judge Kenesaw Landis (MLB Commissioner, 1920-44)
Undetermined
Attendance
68,540
Game 2
Date / Box Score
Location
Attendance
66,248
Game 3
Date / Box Score
Location
Attendance
33,100
Game 4
Date / Box Score
Location
Attendance
33,813
National Anthem
Lucy Monroe (RCA Victor Company Singer)
Game 5
Date / Box Score
Location
Attendance
34,072
1941 World Series Fast Facts

1941 World Series
Game 1
Line Score / Box Score
1941 World Series Game 1 Capsule
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brooklyn 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 6 0
New York 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 x 3 6 1
Brooklyn Pitcher(s) New York Pitcher(s)
Curt Davis (L)
Hugh Casey (6 th )
Johnny Allen (7 th )
Red Ruffing (W)
-
-
Brooklyn Home Runs New York Home Runs
None Joe Gordon (2 nd )

1941 World Series
Game 2
Line Score / Box Score
1941 World Series Game 2 Capsule
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Brooklyn 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 3 6 2
New York 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 1
Brooklyn Pitcher(s) New York Pitcher(s)
Whit Wyatt (W)
-
Spud Chandler (L)
Johnny Murphy (6 th )
Brooklyn Home Runs New York Home Runs
None None

1941 World Series
Game 3
1941 World Series Game 3 Ticket Stub
1941 World Series Game 3 Ticket Stub
Line Score / Box Score
1941 World Series Game 3 Capsule
Team
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
R
H
E
New York
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
2
8
0
Brooklyn
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
4
0
New York Pitcher(s)
Brooklyn Pitcher(s)
Marius Russo (W)
-
-
-
New York Home Runs
Brooklyn Home Runs
None
None

1941 World Series
Game 4
Line Score / Box Score
1941 World Series Game 4 Capsule
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 4 7 12 0
Brooklyn 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 4 9 1
New York Pitcher(s) Brooklyn Pitcher(s)
Atley Donald
Marv Breuer (5 th )
Johnny Murphy (W, 8 th )
-
Kirby Higbe
Larry French (4 th )
Johnny Allen (5 th )
Hugh Casey (L, 5 th )
New York Home Runs Brooklyn Home Runs
None Pete Reiser (5 th )

1941 World Series
Game 5
Line Score / Box Score
1941 World Series Game 5 Capsule
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
New York 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 3 6 0
Brooklyn 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 1
New York Pitcher(s) Brooklyn Pitcher(s)
Tiny Bonham (W) Whit Wyatt (L)
New York Home Runs Brooklyn Home Runs
Tommy Henrich (5 th ) None

1941 World Series
New York Yankees
Composite Hitting Statistics
Name
Pos
G
AB
H
2B
3B
HR
R
RBI
Avg
BB
SO
SB
p
pr
p
p
c
of
p
2b
of
of
p
ss
3b
c
p
p
ph
1b
1
1
1
1
5
5
1
5
5
5
2
5
5
1
1
1
2
5
4
0
1
2
18
19
2
14
18
18
2
18
20
0
3
4
2
21
0
0
0
1
3
5
0
7
3
7
0
2
6
0
0
0
1
6
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3
1
0
2
4
5
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
0
5
1
5
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
.000
.000
.000
.500
.167
.263
.000
.500
.167
.389
.000
.111
.300
.000
.000
.000
.500
.286
0
0
0
0
3
2
0
7
3
3
0
3
2
0
0
0
0
0
4
0
0
0
1
2
1
0
3
1
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
Totals
166
41
5
1
2
17
16
.247
23
18
2
1941 World Series
Brooklyn Dodgers
Composite Hitting Statistics
Name
Pos
G
AB
H
2B
3B
HR
R
RBI
Avg
BB
SO
SB
p
1b
p
2b
p
p
c
p
ph
2b
p
3b
of
c
ss
of
3b-2
of
of-1
p
3
5
3
3
1
1
1
2
2
4
1
3
5
5
5
5
3
5
3
2
0
18
2
7
2
2
1
0
2
8
1
10
17
12
20
20
8
18
5
6
0
3
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
4
2
4
4
2
4
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
1
0
2
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
1
0
3
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
2
3
1
0
2
0
.000
.167
.500
.000
.000
.000
.000
.000
.000
.125
1.000
.100
.235
.167
.200
.200
.250
.222
.200
.167
0
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
2
1
3
0
1
1
2
0
0
0
6
1
2
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
2
0
0
6
1
1
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
Totals
159
29
7
2
1
11
11
.182
14
21
0

1941 World Series
New York Yankees
Composite Pitching Statistics
Name
W
L
G
GS
CG
S
Sh
IP
ERA
H
SO
ER
BB
1
0
0
0
1
1
1
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
1
1
2
1
1
1
0
1
1
0
1
1
1
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
9.0
3.0
5.0
4.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
1.00
0.00
3.60
9.00
0.00
1.00
1.00
4
3
4
6
2
6
4
2
2
2
2
3
5
5
1
0
2
4
0
1
1
2
1
2
3
1
3
2
Totals
4
1
8
5
3
0
0
45.0
1.80
29
21
9
14
1941 World Series
Brooklyn Dodgers
Composite Pitching Statistics
Name
W
L
G
GS
CG
S
Sh
IP
ERA
H
SO
ER
BB
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
1
0
0
0
1
3
3
1
1
2
1
2
0
0
1
1
0
1
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
3.2
5.1
5.1
7.0
1.0
3.2
18.0
0.00
3.38
5.06
0.00
0.00
7.36
2.50
1
9
6
4
0
6
15
0
1
1
1
0
1
14
0
2
3
0
0
3
5
3
2
3
3
0
2
10
Totals
1
4
13
5
2
0
0
44.0
2.66
41
18
13
23


This was the first Subway Series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees , who had already faced the crosstown New York Giants five times, and the Series was now 1-0 in favor of the Bronx Bombers.
The New York Yankees pitching staff only allowed nine earned runs and finished with a team earned run average of 1.80. Here is how that group ERA compares to other American League World Series pitching staffs through 1941:
Rank A.L. Teams ERA World Series
1st Cleveland Indians 0.89 1920 World Series
2nd New York Yankees 1.22 1939 World Series
3rd Philadelphia Athletics 1.29 1911 World Series
4th Philadelphia Athletics 1.47 1905 World Series
Boston Red Sox 1.47 1916 World Series
6th Chicago White Sox 1.50 1906 World Series
7th Boston Red Sox 1.70 1918 World Series
8th Philadelphia Athletics 1.73 1930 World Series
9th New York Yankees 1.80 1941 World Series

Do you believe Joe Gordon would have won the World Series Most Valuable Player Award had there been one in 1941? Share your opinion on Baseball Fever today, but keep in mind that Gordon did tie the 5-Game World Series record for walks (seven) & batting average (.500) while simultaneously setting the record for slugging average (.929).
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