New York Yankees
4 Oct 1939 – 8 Oct 1939
| Bill McGowan (AL), Beans Reardon (NL), Bill Summers (AL), Babe Pinelli (NL)|
Umpire: Bill McGowan Yankees: Joe McCarthy (mgr.), Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Lefty Gomez, Joe Gordon, Red Ruffing.
Reds: Bill McKechnie (mgr.), Ernie Lombardi, Al Simmons.
Red Barber and Bob Elson
1938 World Series, 1937 World Series, 1941 World Series, 1936 World Series, 1943 World Series
The 1939 World Series featured the three-time defending champion New York Yankees against the Cincinnati Reds, who were making their first Series appearance since winning the scandal-tainted 1919 World Series. The Yankees swept the Series in four games for the second straight year, winning their record fourth consecutive title (they would later win five straight from 1949 to 1953). Yankee manager Joe McCarthy won his fifth title, tying the record held by Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack.
In the 10th inning of the final game, a famous play at the plate typified the Series. "King Kong" Charlie Keller scored when he and the ball both collided with catcher "Schnoz" Ernie Lombardi, and then Joe DiMaggio also scored while Lombardi, rolling on the ground, tried in vain to retrieve the ball. Lombardi had been smacked in the groin, but the puritanical press reported it as Lombardi "napping" at the plate.
The Yankees matched the Reds in hits with 27, but out-homered them 7 to 0. Keller led the Yanks with seven hits, three home runs, six RBI, eight runs scored, a .438 average and a 1.188 slugging percentage.
Keller broke the record for most homers by a rookie in a World Series game with two in Game 3. Also in Game 3, Junior Thompson gave up five hits in 4 2⁄3 innings worked. Four of the five were home runs, tying the record for long balls allowed during a Series game set by the Cubs' Charlie Root in 1932.
Despite the loss, the Reds were an organization on the rise, having improved from eighth and last in the National League in 1937 (56–98, .364) to fourth in '38 (82–68, .547) and first as NL champions in '39. Ironically, despite being dominated by the Bronx Bombers in the 1939 Series, the Reds would return in 1940 to win the World Series while the Yankees finished behind Detroit and Cleveland in the AL pennant race, snapping their consecutive World Series streak at four.
1939 World Series Wikipedia
AL New York Yankees (4) vs. NL Cincinnati Reds (0)
In the opener, starters Ruffing and Derringer put on a fine show. In the bottom of the ninth with one out and the score tied 1–1, Keller tripled. The Reds walked Joe DiMaggio, but Bill Dickey ended it with a walk-off single to center.
Lasting just 87 minutes, both pitchers threw complete games, Monte Pearson winning it with a two-hitter. A three-run third inning, keyed by Charlie Keller's double, gave Pearson all he'd need, with Babe Dahlgren adding a solo homer in the fourth.
Yankee ace Lefty Gomez lasted just one inning. Bump Hadley replaced him on the mound and promptly gave up go-ahead runs in the second, but the Yankees turned on the power with four home runs, half of them by Charlie Keller and all served up by Reds starter Gene "Junior" Thompson.
Neither side scored until the seventh. Homers by Keller and Dickey put the Yankees on the board, but the Reds struck back with three in their half of the inning. A wild play involving Joe DiMaggio (described above) gave the Yankees three runs in the 10th to wrap up another Series sweep.
1939 World Series (4–0): New York Yankees (A.L.) over Cincinnati Reds (N.L.)