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History of the World Series - 1922

If the Yanks as a whole had a difficult time getting things going in 1922, consider Ruth's plight. The Bambino didn't appear in a league game until May 20. He and Bob Meusel had been suspended by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis for making an unauthorized barnstorming tour after the 1921 Series. Later, the Babe was handed short suspensions after run-ins with umpires and other indiscretions. When the pennant chase roared to a finish, Ruth had appeared in only 110 of 154 games. His batting average plummeted 63 points from the previous season, falling to .315, and naturally his home-run and RBIs totals suffered. Ruth's homer figure of 35 not only cost him the majors' seasonal crown, it also dropped him to third in the American League. And his 99 RBIs didn't even rank among the AL's top five.

Miller Huggins' team persevered and won a Series rematch with the Giants, pennant winners by seven games in the NL. The Yankees had fortified themselves with an off-season trade that netted pitchers Joe Bush and Sad Sam Jones and shortstop Everett Scott from the Boston Red Sox and the April purchase of outfielder Whitey Witt from the Philadelphia Athletics. The club further strengthened itself in a July deal with the Red Sox that made third baseman Joe Dugan a Yankee.

The Giants, too, made some moves. Key additions were third baseman Heinie Groh and pitcher Jack Scott. Groh, acquired in a winter trade, had batted .331 in 97 games for Cincinnati in 1921. Scott was signed during the 1922 season after being released by the Reds. Groh hit only .265 for the Giants in the regular season but went 3-for-3 in the first game of the World Series -- which had reverted to a best-of-seven format -- as John McGraw's club rallied for a 3-2 victory. Shut out by Bush through seven innings, the Giants rebounded from a 2-0 deficit in the eighth on Irish Meusel's two-run single and Ross (Pep) Youngs' sacrifice fly.

The Giants broke on top quickly in Game 2 as Meusel rocked Bob Shawkey for a three-run homer in the top of the first. The Yankees battled back to tie the score with runs in the first, fourth and eighth innings. Then, with the game still tied and at least a half-hour of daylight remaining, umpire George Hildebrand inexplicably called the game because of "darkness" after the 10th inning. Fans were furious, and Landis was nonplused. The commissioner, trying to make the best of a bad public-relations situation, announced that receipts of the game would be turned over to charities.

At this juncture, Ruth was 2-for-8 at the plate with one RBI. A troublesome season wasn't getting any better -- and it soon would deteriorate.

Jack Scott, who compiled an 8-2 record for the Giants while appearing in only 17 games, fired a four-hitter in Game 3 and beat the Yankees, 3-0. In Game 4, the National Leaguers' Dave Bancroft rapped a key two-run single and Hugh McQuillan notched a complete-game 4-3 victory. Nehf applied the clincher (as he had done the year before), stopping the Yanks on five hits in a 5-3 victory that featured a three-run Giants uprising in the eighth inning. Ruth was 0-for-9 in the three successive losses.

Groh batted .474 for the Giants in the Series and fiery teammate Frankie Frisch was right behind at .471. As for Ruth, the Sultan of Swat he was not. The Bambino wound up with two hits in 17 at-bats and a .118 average. Aaron Ward, who hit only seven homers during the season, was transformed into the Yankees' muscle man in the Series. The Yanks' second baseman walloped his club's only two homers of the fall classic, but they were his only hits in the five games. (The Yankees not only exhibited little power, they hit only .203 as a team and also suffered offensively because of numerous baserunning blunders.)

The Giants' four victories-to-none triumph -- with one tie, of course -- would prove McGraw's third and last World Series championship. Ruth and company, frustrated by the events of 1922, were still seeking their first.

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