AL SCHACHT, RED ROLFE, LEFTY GOMEZ and LEO 1936 world series

By Leo Cloutier. New York, N.Y. October 10, 1981
With the American and National League intra-division playoffs slated to be settled to the full satisfaction of all concerned by sundown tomorrow, all eyes will now focus on the Championship Series to determine the two pennant-winners, which opens on Tuesday.
Upon conclusion of that survival-of-the-fittest entanglement will follow the inaugural battle of the 79th World Series, with major league baseball supremacy at stake, on Tuesday, October 20.
We look upon the coming World Series with much anticipation, for it will mark the 45thwe've attended and covered in the long series of diamond classics.
We have fond memories of the year 1936, 45 years past, when we visited the famed Polo Grounds in The Big Apple to cover the event for the first time.
That occasion also marked our first sojourn to the Big Town. And being a young lad at the time, covering our first World Series assignment as sports editor of The Berlin reporter, and mingling with the big wigs of our national pastime, you can probably appreciate the recollections we have of the entire trip, which we will treasure very much.
IN THAT PARTICULAR World Series, the then two New York City aggregations - Yankees and Giants - were the combatants.
The Yankee Club of that era was a powerhouse, with Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Red Rolfe, Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, George Selkirk, Frank Crosetti and Jake Powell providing the punch, and Lefty Gomez, Charley Ruffing, Johnny Murphy, Johnny Allen, Monte Pearson, Bumbp Hadley and Johnny Broaca comprising the mound corps.
The Giants of that year were a potent outfit, too, headed by such stalwarts as Billy Terry,Dick Bartell, Hank Leiber, Mel Ott, Travis Jackson, Hughie Critz, Jim Ripple and Gus Mancuso not to forget such standout hurlers as Carl Hubbell, Fred Fitzsimmons, Hal Schumacher, Roy Parmalee, etc.
Rolfe, the Pride of Dartmouth College and Penacook, who died on July 8, 1969, at the age of 61, was an all-important cog in the Yankee machine that year. He held down third base, fielded in spectacular fashion and hammered the ball for a most commendable .400 average in the World Series.
One of the highlights of the World Series was the presence of President Franklin D. Roosevelt at one of the games.
IT WAS A MOST IMPRESSIVE sight as the nation's No. 1 fan rode in a car through the gates under the Polo Grounds clubhouse and circled the field to his private box alongside the Giant dugout.
Roosevelt was accorded a tremendous standing ovation by the enormous throng which stormed the park.
Having posed for an army of photographers and after throwing out the first ball to start the tilt, the President entered into the spirit of it. He kept tabs of the skirmish on his scorecard, ate peanuts and hot dogs, drank tonic and cheered every worthy move made by the players on both sides. And he remained at the game until its very end, although the affair was nothing more than a massacre in broad daylight. It lasted more than three hours, with the Yankees romping, 18-4.
This was the fourth so-called Subway Series between the Yankees and Giants, their first after an interval of 13 years.
It marked the World Series debut of one of the most heralded rookies ever to wear big-league togs, Joe DiMaggio. He had helped the Yankees to capture the American league pennant by a margin of 19 1/2 games that season.
The Giants featured their ace mounds-man, King Carl Hubbell, The National League's Most Valuable Player that year. He had posted an incredible record of 26-6, with a winning streak of 16 straight. He made it 17 in a row when he defeated Charley Ruffing on a wet field in the opener of the fall classic, 6-1, to end a Yankees string of 12 consecutive World Series triumphs.
THE THE 18-4 DEBACLE, Tony Lazzeri became the second player to hit a homer with the bases loaded in a World Series. The first was Elmer Smith of Cleveland in 1920.
Gomez, the lanky Yankee southpaw mound wizard, notched two victories with comparative ease, 18-4 and 13-5.
The climax of the World Series was the victory banquet held at the Commodore Hotel, and which we attended with Ray McGivney, a former Berlin High classmate and pal, who then lived in New York City and now resides in Chapel Hill, N.C.
Scores of baseball executives, players, scribes and other celebrities of sports and the entertainment whirl were in attendance at the gala party.
And one of the greatest moments, which we will forever remember, was the late entrance into the spacious ballroom of the fabulous Babe Ruth, followed by Colonel Jake Ruppert, owner of the Yankees, and Ed Barrow, General manager.
As the three men walked down the few steps leading to the hall, the entire gathering gave them a standing ovation.
We had the pleasure of occupying a seat at the same table with Joe Cronin, Eddie Collins, Phil Troy, Moe Berg, Jimmy Foxx, Al Schacht and Tony Canzoneri, who then was a boxer of renown, and McGivney.
Everything was on the house at the banquet-- eats, smokes, drinks, etc. We fell into the spirit of the occasion right from the very outset, and did out utmost to keep pace with the others seated at our table. We had at least one of each of whatever was passed around during the long evening.
At no time did anyone offer this lad any fatherly advice on how many sips of this and that to consume, or the number of cigars and cigarettes to smoke, or the amount of food we should eat to stay comfortable.
BEING A YOUNG LAD just out of the back-woods, and hitting the Big Town for the first time, and the World Series to boot, we went all out, with the sky the limit. The soiree lasted until 5 o'clock in the morning.
The next thing we knew, and it wasn't until 9 o'clock the next night, we were "resting" in bed in our room at the Lincoln Hotel.
Needless to say, our head felt as big as the Graf Zeppelin, our upset stomach like the muddy waters of the Mississippi, and the remainder of our body felt as if it had been run over, once lightly, by a steamroller.
We did not recover from the ordeal immediately, for, according to the records, we were three days and as many nights overdue home.
It was a good thing we checked out of our rooms when we did for, upon arrival in Berlin, we learned that a posse had been organized and was ready to head for New York City and thereabout to locate what they surmised was a missing sports editor.
And, as for the concoction of eats, drinks and smokes, which we partook at the victory banquet that night, it was the first time that we had indulged in such a mixture and, we might add, also the last!
Oh, yes. The Yankees beat the Giants in six games.



By Leo E. Cloutier

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