1927- Murderers’ Row
The term “Murderers’ Row” was born in 1918 by a sportswriter, and was used to describe the pre-Babe Yankees lineup. At that time it was Frank Baker and Wally Pipp that were making batting history, and little did they know that their efforts were potatoes compared to what lay on the horizon for the Yanks.
In 1918 a New York newspaper article claimed: “New York fans have come to know a section of the Yankees’ batting order as ‘Murderers’ Row.’ It is composed of the first six players in the batting order—Gilhooley, Peckinpaugh, Baker, Pratt, Pipp, and Bodie. This sextet has been hammering the offerings of all comers.”
The term eventually disappeared, only to infamously refer to the 1927 New York Yankees. Graced with the batting phenomenon pair of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, as well as an all-star lineup behind them, no team in baseball had ever deserved the name Murderers’ Row till now.
Owner Jacob Ruppert is the man most often credited for building the team, although general manager Ed Barrow may have had as much to do with it. In a July series against the Washington Senators, the Yankees beat their opponents 21-1 in one game and prompted Senators’ first baseman Joe Judge to say, “Those fellows not only beat you but they tear your heart out. I wish the season was over.”
In the spring of 1927, Babe Ruth signed the biggest contact in the history of baseball, with a salary that at the time was considered an ungodly amount of money. The Babe wasn’t the only one with a pay raise though. Nearly every player of the 1927 Yankees received a substantial raise that year, in hopes of boosting the team’s morale and drive to succeed where they had failed the past 2 years.
The Yankees opened their 1927 season at home against the Athletics with a triumphant win, and went on to make baseball history.
Huggins had managed to successfully bring an eclectic group of athletes together to change baseball forever. Earle Combs would lead off for the ’27 Yankees followed by Mark Koenig, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel, Tony Lazzeri, Joe Dugan, John Grabowski, and the pitcher Waite Hoyt would bottom out the lineup.
Murderers Row became famous for their 927 runs on 400 plus hits, and whopping command performances of doubles, triples and homeruns, with a startling 158 homers for the season.
The Row’s batting average was .307, which helped to give them a remarkable place in Major League Baseball history as the first AL team to sweep the World Series of Baseball, beating the Pittsburg Pirates in the final game.
Murderers’ Row was comprised of a team so talented and influential, that each man has gone down into Baseball legend.