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Yankees history: A doubleheader of total domination

The 1939 Yankees were really good, and they showed it in one doubleheader against the Athletics.

Red Rolfe hit a one-out single for the Yankees in the top of their first against the Philadelphia Athletics on June 28, 1939. It was the first game of a doubleheader in Philadelphia. The Yankees started the day with a 46-13 record and were already up 11.5 games in the American League standings.

Rolfe’s single didn’t end up amounting to much. Tommy Heinrich flew out, and then Rolfe was thrown out trying to advance to third on Joe DiMaggio’s single. That would be one of very few times the Yankees would fail to cash in all day.

The following inning Bill Dickey led off with a home run to put the Yankees on the board. The Athletics actually came right back and tied the game in the bottom of the second, but that’s about where the good news ends for them that day.

In the third, the Yankees hit another three home runs. While the first was only a solo shot from DiMaggio, the other two were both two-run homers. Philadelphia did show some fight and got a run back to make the game 6-2, but things went catastrophically bad for them after that.

The Yankees tacked on nine runs in the top of the fourth. They nearly batted around twice, with Rolfe and Heinrich both picking up two hits and scoring each each time they reached base.

They scored another four runs in both the sixth and seventh innings, eventually winning the game 23-2. The Yankees finished the game with 27 hits, eight of which were home runs. DiMaggio and Dahlgren hit two home runs each. Buddy Rosar, who came in to catch for Dickey in the seventh inning, was the only Yankee to not record a hit. Even the Athletics chipped in to make it easy, committing three errors.

The only good news for the Athletics was that it couldn’t get worse in the second game of the doubleheader. Technically, that was true.

Frankie Crosetti stepped to the plate for the first at bat of the second game. He proceeded to lead off the game with a home run. The Yankees followed up a 23-run game by scoring five in the top of the first just a short time later.

The second game did go better for Philadelphia, as this time they went on to only lose 10-0. The Yankees recorded 16 more hits and five more home runs this time. DiMaggio hit another homer, while Joe Gordon hit two.

Over the course of two games across one day, the Yankees outscored the Athletics 33-2. The Bombers themselves scored two or more runs in seven separate innings. The Yankees outhit them 43-10. After New York dropped nine spot in the fourth inning of the first game, Philadelphia put just two more runners in scoring position all day.

Not surprisingly, the Yankees were really, really good that year. They would finish the year 106-45, and then sweep the Reds in the World Series. The Athletics went on to finish 51.5 games back of the Yankees, but somehow they didn’t finish last, as the St. Louis Browns were worse.

Teams have scored more in two combined games of a doubleheader, but it’s hard to find one day more dominant than what the Yankees did on June 28, 1939.

Sources

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/?year=1939&month=06&day=27

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHA/PHA193906281.shtml

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/PHA/PHA193906282.shtml

https://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/NYY/1939.shtml