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The time the 1936 Yankees scored 25 runs in one game

The 1936 Yankees had a potent offense. On May 24, they showed exactly how potent.

Chris Trotman/Getty Images

Baseball blowouts are a weird thing. In basketball and football, if things get out of hand, teams often do things to make the game end quicker. In baseball, if games turn into blowouts, the solution is simply "put in another pitcher" and in blowouts, that can sometimes mean the last guy in the bullpen, or even a position player. The weirdness of baseball blowouts makes them arguably more watchable than blowouts in other sports.

The Yankees played the Philadelphia Athletics on May 24, 1936 in Philly. They would go on to win the World Seires that season behind an extremely powerful offense. On this day, they showed exactly how powerful their offense could be.

The starting pitcher for the Yankees that day was Monte Pearson. After a scoreless first inning from the Yankees' offense, Pearson got off to a pretty bad start. He allowed two runs in the first inning and got the Yankees in an early hole.

The was not a problem for the 1936 Yankees' offense, however. In the top of the second, the Yankees came out and scored five runs. The big blow came when Tony Lazzeri hit a grand slam. More on him soon.

Two inning later, the Yankees still led 5-2. The offense then put together another five run inning. Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig and Bill Dickey all had run-scoring hits in the fourth, as the Yankees opened up a 10-2 lead.

In the fifth, the Yankees added even more runs. A triple from Dickey scored Red Rolfe and Gehrig. A couple batters later, the bases were loaded for Lazzeri again. Lazzeri hit yet another grand slam, now making it 16-2 Yankees. He was the first player in baseball history to hit two slams in one game.

The offense wasn't done then either. The Yankees scored another run in the sixth, two in the seventh and then six more in the eighth. Lazzeri led off the seventh with a home run, and then added a two-run triple in the eighth inning. He finished the day with 11 RBI, which remains both the Yankees' record and the American League record.

While all this was happening, Pearson cruised the rest of the way. He allowed three hits, a walk and two runs in the first, but in the other eight innings combined, he allowed just five hits, two walks and no runs. The Yankees won the game 25-2.

Meanwhile, the Athletics used five pitchers. Starter George Turbeville lasted just 1.1 innings, allowing five runs. He was relieved by Bill Dietrich, who allowed five runs in 2.2 innings. The next pitcher Philadelphia used was Red Bullock, who was pitching in his third major league game. He had allowed one run in the combined one inning he had pitched in his first two games, which gave him a 9.00 ERA. On this day, he pitched 0.1 innings, allowed five runs and left with an ERA of 40.50. Bullock would pitch just another 15.1 innings in the majors after this game, and only managed to lower his ERA to 14.04.

The Athletics then turned to Herman Fink for 0.2 innings, before finally just throwing Woody Upchurch into the fire. Upchurch pitched the last four innings for Philadelphia, allowing eight runs.

The 25-run output from the Yankees on May 24, 1936 is still the most in team history. The closest the Yankees' have come in current years was when they scored 22 runs on August 25, 2011 (the three-slam game).

Perhaps the most amazing thing of this game was the duration. Now yes, it was the 1930s. The game wasn't televised and there were no commercial breaks. However, it's still amazing that a game in which there were 27 runs scored only took two hours and 34 minutes. A 27-run baseball game had a shorter running time than the movie Titanic.


All data courtesy of the Baseball-Reference Play Index