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Lou Gehrig, Bill Dickey, and a crazy Yankees comeback from 1933

The 1933 Yankees were not to be counted out.

Garth Brooks Press Conference Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Things got off to a pretty good start for the Yankees on May 27, 1933. Starting pitcher Don Brennan threw two scoreless innings to open the game and Lou Gehrig hit a two-run home run in the first inning, giving the Yankees an early lead over the White Sox.

Brennan came back out for the third, and immediately things went south. The Yankees’ starter allowed a single to White Sox pitcher Ted Lyons to open the inning. He walked Jackie Hayes, before Mule Haas cleared the bases with a triple, tying the game. Evar Swanson’s single in the next at-bat gave the White Sox the lead. Brennan got out of the inning after that, but Chicago now led 3-2.

The Yankees eventually tied the game in the fourth, and Brennan settled down. However, the White Sox retook the lead in the sixth. The Yankees sent Brennan back out for the seventh inning. After a two-run home run by Al Simmons, Joe McCarthy pulled him from the game.

His replacement, Wilcy Moore, also allowed a two-run home run in the seventh, putting the Yankees down five runs. After Moore had been pinch hit for in the bottom of the seventh, Jumbo Brown took the mound for the Yankees in the eighth. Brown allowed three runs on three hits and a walk, with a passed ball thrown in there. By the time the inning was over, the White Sox were up 11-3 and the game seemed over.

Lyons was still in for the White Sox to start the bottom of the eighth. He got Gehrig to fly out to start the inning. Ben Chapman then picked up a single. Lyons walked the next two hitters to load the bases. Frankie Crosetti and Red Ruffing hit back-to-back singles, driving in two runs. After Lyons walked in another run, he was taken out with Chicago’s lead down to five runs. Joe Sewell, Babe Ruth, and Gehrig then all added RBI hits off Jake Miller.

The White Sox lead was suddenly down to one run, and Miller was taken out without having recorded an out. Ed Durham was brought in, and he intentionally walked Chapman to load the bases. Tony Lazzeri singled in a run to tie game. That brought Bill Dickey to the plate. Dickey unloaded the bases with a grand slam. The Yankees went into the eighth inning trailing by eight runs, but left it up by four. In total, it was a 12-run inning, coming on eight hits and four runs. Every runner that reached in the inning scored.

With a cushion, Herb Pennock was tasked with getting the last three outs. That started well enough when he got Frank Grube to strike out looking. However, the White Sox then got two-straight singles, and threatened a comeback of their own. Fortunately, Pennock closed the door on them after that. Haas and Swanson had combined to drive in four of Chicago’s runs on the day, but Pennock got them to fly out and ground out to end the game.

After the top of the eighth inning, the Yankees win expectancy for this game was down to 0%. After the Dickey grand slam, it was 99%. The 1933 Yankees finished in second place. They weren’t quite the Murderer’s Row offense, but when you do have a lineup of that quality, you can do crazy things.