Murderers' Row: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Murderers’ Row is also the title of a 1962 novel by Donald Hamilton and a 1966 motion picture, Murderers’ Row, based on the book starring Dean Martin as secret agent Matt Helm.

Murderers’ Row was the nickname given to the New York Yankees baseball team of the late 1920s, in particular the first six hitters in the 1927 team lineup.


Original "Murderers' Row"

The term was originally coined in 1918 by a sportswriter to describe the 1918 pre-Babe Ruth Yankee lineup, a team with quality hitters such as Frank Baker and Wally Pipp, which led the American League in home runs with 45. A 1918 newspaper article described it: “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.”[1]

1927 Yankees

The term was eternally associated with the advent of the Ruth and Lou Gehrig Yankee teams beginning in the mid-1920s, and is commonly recognized to refer specifically to the core of the 1927 Yankee hitting lineup.

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.”

Season Results

The 1927 season was particularly spectacular by baseball standards for the Yankees. After losing in the 1926 World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals, they went 110-44 the next year, winning the A.L. Pennant by 19 games and sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1927 World Series. Only four teams have won more regular season games: the 1906 Chicago Cubs and the 2001 Seattle Mariners with 116, the 1998 Yankees with 114 and the 1954 Cleveland Indians with 111. However, the 1998 Yankees and 2001 Mariners played in 162-game schedules. More importantly, both the Cubs and the Indians lost the World Series in their years, and the Mariners did not reach the World Series in 2001, losing to the Yankees in a five-game American League Championship Series. The 1998 Yankees went 11-2 in the playoffs, sweeping the San Diego Padres in the World Series.

The 1927 Yankees batted .307, slugged .489, scored 975 runs, and outscored their opponents by a record 376 runs. Center fielder Earle Combs had a career best year, batting .356 with 231 hits, left fielder Bob Meusel batted .337 with 103 RBIs, and second baseman Tony Lazzeri drove in 102 runs. Gehrig batted .373, with 218 hits, 52 doubles, 18 triples, 47 home runs, a then record 175 RBIs, slugged at .765, and was voted A.L. MVP. Ruth amassed a .356 batting average, 164 RBIs, 158 runs scored, walked 137 times, and slugged .772. Most notably, his 60 home runs that year broke his own record and remained the Major League mark for 34 years until Roger Maris broke it.

The pitching staff led the league in ERA at 3.20, and included Waite Hoyt, who went 22-7, which tied for the league lead, and Herb Pennock, who went 19-8. Wilcy Moore won 16 as a reliever. The 1927 Yankees would eventually send six players along with manager Miller Huggins and president Ed Barrow to the Baseball Hall of Fame; only the 1928 Yankees had more with 9 players along with Huggins and Barrow. Three other Yankee pitchers had ERAs under 3.00 that season. After sweeping the Pirates in the Series, the Yankees repeated the feat by sweeping the Cardinals in the 1928 World Series. The Yankees remain the only team to ever sweep the World Series in consecutive years; the Yankee teams of 1938-1939 and 1998-1999 repeated the feat.


Elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame

Starting lineup

# Player Position Batting average Home runs Runs batted in
1 Combs, EarleEarle Combs Center fielder .356 6 64
2 Koenig, MarkMark Koenig Shortstop .285 3 62
3 Ruth, BabeBabe Ruth Right fielder .356 60 164
4 Gehrig, LouLou Gehrig First baseman .373 47 175
5 Meusel, BobBob Meusel Left fielder .337 8 103
6 Lazzeri, TonyTony Lazzeri Second baseman .309 18 102
7 Dugan, JoeJoe Dugan Third baseman .269 2 43
8 Collins, PatPat Collins Catcher .275 7 36


Player Position Batting average Home runs Runs batted in
Bengough, BennyBenny Bengough Catcher
Grabowski, JohnnyJohnny Grabowski Catcher
Gazella, MikeMike Gazella Infielder
Morehart, RayRay Morehart Infielder
Wera, JulieJulie Wera Infielder
Durst, CedricCedric Durst Outfielder
Paschal, BenBen Paschal Outfielder


Player Role W-L ERA
Hoyt, WaiteWaite Hoyt Starting pitcher
Pennock, HerbHerb Pennock Starting pitcher
Pipgras, GeorgeGeorge Pipgras Starting pitcher
Ruether, DutchDutch Ruether Starting pitcher
Shocker, UrbanUrban Shocker Starting pitcher
Thomas, MylesMyles Thomas Relief pitcher
Shawkey, BobBob Shawkey Relief pitcher
Giard, JoeJoe Giard Relief pitcher
Beall, WalterWalter Beall Relief pitcher
Moore, WilcyWilcy Moore Closing pitcher

See also


  1. ^ The Big Apple: Murderers' Row. Barry Popik. Accessed October 29, 2007.

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