1939 October

1st The Tigers and Indians split, Cleveland winning the opener, 8–3, behind Feller’s 24th win. The Tigers take the nitecap, 1–0, behind Bobo Newsom’s 20th win of the year. Bobo won 3 with St. Louis before being traded to Detroit.

3rd  Frank Frisch abandons the broadcasting booth to return to managing, signing for 2 years with the Pirates. The announcement was made on the 30th, two days after Pie Traynor resigned as the manager of the Bucs.

4th  The WS, with the Yankees as heavy favorites, begins in New York. The pitching of Red Ruffing for New York and Paul Derringer for Cincinnati produces a tense, low-scoring duel that is tied 1–1 until the last of the 9th, when Yankees C Bill Dickey singles home DiMaggio with the winning run.

5th  In game 2 of the World Series, Yankees P Monte Pearson does not allow a base hit until one out in the 8th when Ernie Lombardi singles. The Reds are shut out 4–0. Babe Dahlgren hits a HR and double to pace the Bombers off losing pitcher Bucky Walters.

7th  The Series resumes at Crosley Field, and Yankee power proves too much for the Reds, who collect ten singles. Bump Hadley pitches well enough in relief of Lefty Gomez to wrap up a 7–3 victory. Yankees OF Charlie Keller hits 2 HRs, and DiMaggio and Dickey also connect. Junior Thompson is the loser.

In Chicago’s City Series, Hank Lieber belts a two on 2-out 9th inning homer to lead the Cubs to a 5–3, and give the Cubs a 3–1 series edge. The Sox win the next 3 to take the Windy City bragging rights.

8th  In the 10th inning of game 4, the Reds make 3 errors and watch in shock as the Yankees run wild, scoring three runs The inning is climaxed by Joe DiMaggio’s slide across the plate left unguarded by Ernie Lombardi, who was stunned by a kick in the groin by the preceding runner, Charlie Keller. The Yankees win 7–4, beating Walters for the 2ndtime, and sweep the Reds to win their 4th straight World Championship. Starter Paul Derringer guns down the first 14 Yankees to tie a WS mark set exactly two years ago. It will not be tied or topped this century.

10th Ted Lyons pitches a 7th game win for the White Sox in their City Series with the Cubs. The loser is Earl Whitehill. It is Lyons second five-hit win as the series ends, as it started, under the lights at Comiskey.

11th  Bucky Harris signs to manage Washington again.

Lou Gehrig is appointed NYC Parole Commissioner by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.

In Los Angeles, Bob Feller is paid $2,000 to pitch against the Philadelphia Colored Royal Giants. Feller fans 14 in 7 innings and leaves with the score, 2–2, after which the Royal Giants score 3 to win, 5–2, with Terris McDuffie winning over Lee Stine.

14th In Baltimore, the Negro League all stars complete four-game series of games against a big-league all-star team (as noted by historian John Holway) by losing 3–1. The winning pitcher is Pete Appleton, while the losing pitcher is Marion “Sugar” Cain. Webster McDonald pitched hitless and runless ball for 8 relief innings for the Negro Leaguers. The double header on October 8 was won by the Major Leaguers, 3–1 and 2–0.

17th  Bucky Walters is voted NL MVP by the BBWAA, with Johnny Mize 2nd.

Red Sox player/coach Moe Berg appears with the panel of experts on the radio show “Information Please.”

19th Cincinnati release future Hall of Famer Al Simmons. He’ll sign next on December 10 with the A’s.

24th  Despite missing 32 games, the AL MVP is Joe DiMaggio, with Jimmie Foxx the runner-up, in the BBWAA poll. DiMag has 280 points, while Foxx draws 170.

26th Brooklyn Dodger exec Larry MacPhail proposes that a new World Series format be used in which, as now, the top 2 teams in each league compete against each other; at the same time the 2nd place teams play each other; the 3rd place teams play each other, and so on. The results of these games are added up and a trophy or money presented to winners. The idea doesn’t reach first base.