Friday, June 13, 2014

June 13, 1937: The Yankees Offense Goes Off In St. Louis; Joltin Joe Goes Yard Three Times

     On June 13, 1937, tied 9-9 in the top of the ninth at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, New York Yankees second baseman Tony Lazzeri sparked a huge rally with a three run shot that put his club up 11-9. Before the inning was over the Yankees had scored seven runs and would end up taking the first game of  a doubleheader against the Browns 16-9. The papers of the day called the Yankees pitching staff taxed due to injuries, which led to the men who could get the job done to being overworked.

      The pitching woes continued for the club in the second game of the doubleheader as three different pitchers gave up eight runs. On the other side of the diamond, the Browns skipper Rogers Hornsby let his starter Julio Bonetti go the distance for his Browns. Bonetti gave up eight runs of his own through nine, with a six run fifth being the one that haunted him most. Three of the eleven hits given up by Bonetti came of the bat of Joe DiMaggio, and each of the hits for The Yankee Clipper were of the home run variety, making it the first three home run game of his career. Bonetti nearly escaped with a win, but watched the his opponents tie it in the ninth, before the game was called in the eleventh due to both teams having to hop a train, as the Browns were headed to Philly, while the Yankees had a long homestand in front of them. Like good clubs do, the Yankees worked their way through the injuries that haunted their pitching staff, and figured out ways to win ballgames, as they made a run at the 1937 World Series title.

     While the three home runs by DiMaggio were largely ignored in the newspapers the next day (probably because of the tie), it marked a significant moment in the career of the young slugger. He would only hit three home runs in a game two more times, and he had to wait more than a decade to accomplish the feat again. His second three home run contest came during his historic 56 game hitting streak on May 23, 1948 in a 6-5 win in Cleveland, then his last three home run contest came during an 8-1 win over the Senators in Washington on September 10, 1950.

Box scores for both contests
Game 1: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLA/SLA193706131.shtml

Game 2: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/SLA/SLA193706132.shtml




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