September 22, 1927 (85 years ago today)
September 22, 2012

85 years ago today.........September 22, 1927

Yankee Stadium
The Detroit Tigers vs. The New York Yankees

The Yankees scored the first run of the game in the bottom of the first. Earle Combs, the Hall of Fame center fielder for the Yankees, lead off with a walk and scored when 1B Lou Gehrig tripled.

This was Gehrig's 18th triple of the 1927 season. The Iron Horse would finish the season with those eighteen triples, but he wasn't the leader in three-baggers in 1927.

In the top of the third, Charlie Gehringer, the Hall of Fame second base man for the Tigers, hit his 11th triple in 1927 and drove in a run to tie the game. Gehringer was thrown out at the plate with a perfect relay throw from RF Babe Ruth to 2B Tony Lazzeri to catcher Johnny Grabowski.

In the bottom of the third the Yankees responded. Earle Combs, the Kentucky Colonel, tripled (his 21st) and scored on SS Mark Koenig's single. Ruth reached first on an error by Gehringer and Koenig took third. Then Lou Gehrig singled scoring Koenig. When Bob Meusel popped up, Gehringer made his 2nd error of the inning and Ruth scored. After Lazzeri walked, 3B Joe Dugan drove in Gehrig for the fourth run of the inning.

The Yankees had a 5-1 lead after 3 inning.

The Tigers answered back in the top of the fourth. Hall of Famer Heinie Manush (CF) singled and then took second base on a passed ball by Grabowski. Hall of Fame right fielder Harry Heilman then singled him home. Third baseman Martin McManus then singled in Heilman for the second run of the inning for the Tigers.

The score was now 5-3 in favor of the Bronx Bombers.

In the bottom of the fourth Combs hit his second triple (#22) of the game. When Mark Koenig hit a ground ball to second base, Gehringer caught the streaking Combs in a run down at home. Earle Combs was tagged out at home by the pitcher Ownie Carrol. The Yankees failed to score in the fourth inning.

In the bottom of the sixth, with two outs, Earle Combs smacked his third consecutive triple to center field. The man nicknamed 'The Waiter' by his teammates for his ability to 'set the table'; tried to stretch his triple into an inside-the-park home run but was thrown out at the plate by another perfect relay play. This time Manush hit the cut-off man Gehringer who fired to catcher Johnny Bassler to tag out Combs. Earle Combs had just set a major league record: three consecutive triples in a game. The 3rd triple was his 23rd of the season and that would lead the major leagues in 1927.

After each team scored one more run, the ninth inning began with the Yankees in the lead by the score of 6-4.

In the top of the ninth, the Tigers 3B McManus reached on an error by Yankee shortstop Mark Koenig. Shortstop Jackie Tavener then singled, moving McManus to second. Catcher Bassler with an out on a sacrifice bunt, moved McManus to third and Tavener to second. With Johnny Neun pinch hitting for the pitcher Ownie Carrol, Neun doubled to drive in both runners. Johnny Neun advanced to third on the throw home as Tavener slid in safely. The game was now tied 6-6.

Yankee manager Miller Huggins then brought in Herb Pennock to replace pitcher Wilcy Moore. Tiger first baseman Luzerne 'Lu' Blue then hit a sacrifice fly out to left fielder Bob Meusel and the Tigers took the lead 7-6 when Johnny Neun raced home ahead of the throw.

The team known as Murder's Row had one last chance in the bottom of the ninth.

Tiger manager George Moriarty now turned to pitcher Ken Holloway to replace Carrol, who he lifted earlier with pinch hitter Neun. Holloway gave up a single to second baseman Mark Koenig and next up was George Herman 'Babe' Ruth.

The crowd sensed the dramatic moment.

Ruth had gone 0-4 in the game. He had scored a run back in the third after reaching base on Gehringer's error. He also made a great throw to help nail Gehringer at the plate back in the third, to end the inning.

The crowd didn't have to wait long.

With a swing Ruth crushed the pitch from Holloway high up into the right field bleachers. The ball sailed into the upper deck about six rows from the top of the stadium. The mighty Bambino, the Sultan of Swat, watched his home run #56 and began to run the bases, bat in hand. The crowd roared down it's appreciation to the Babe.

A boy in knickerbockers cut across the diamond and, as Ruth rounded 3B, pounded his back with both hands. They ran home together, the boy holding onto the handle of the bat which Babe still carried around the bases.

At last sight, in a swirling crowd of other juveniles, the youngster was like the tail of a flying comet, holding onto the bat for dear life and being dragged into the dugout by the Babe, who raced to escape the rush.

85 years ago today: September 22, 1927

Yankees 8, Tigers 7

Hall of Fame Yankee centerfielder Earle Combs sets a major league record with 3 straight triples 9/22/1927