October 7, 1933: Senators Lose 4-3 To Giants; Drop World Series In Five Games

1933 Goudey baseball card of Joe Cronin of the Washington Senators card number 63 - Public Domain via Wiki Commons

Washington Senators' player/manager Joe Cronin led the 1933 Senators to a 99-53 regular season record and a first place finish in the American League, but they were no match for the National League's New York Giants, who won the World Series in five games with a win on October 7, 1933.

The Washington Senators made back-to-back World Series appearances in 1924 and 1925, winning the first Series in D.C. baseball history by beating the New York Giants in the '24 Series and losing to the '25 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates the next fall. After a seven-year drought, the Senators returned to the Fall Classic in 1933. The '33 Senators finished with a 99-53 record that season, 7.0 games ahead of the New York Yankees in the American League, earning the right to face the 91-61 New York Giants.

"And there is a measure of consolation for the Nats in the fact that they were beaten by a great ballclub, making its own breaks and capitalizing on them..." - Washington Post's Shirley Povich on '33 Series

Washington's offense under first-year manager (and shortstop) Joe Cronin featured six of eight every day players with averages over .295 with Joe Kuhel (.322/.385/.467, 34 doubles, 10 triples, 11 HRs) and Heinie Manush (.372/.459/.831, 32 doubles, 17 triples, 5 HRs) leading the way.

The '33 Giants, led by outfielder Mel Ott (.283/.367/.467, 36 doubles, 23 HRs) and starters Carl Hubbard (23-12, 1.66 ERA) and Hal Schumacher (19-12, 2.66 ERA) proved too much for the Senators to handle, however, as the home team took each of the first two games of the series in the Polo Grounds. The World Series shifted to the nation's capital after that, and the Senators, with the help of a complete game shutout by Earl Whitehill, claimed the third game of the series and the first in Griffith Stadium in what to this day stands as the last World Series win by a D.C.- based baseball team.


• via historycomestolife on YouTube.

Game 4 was tied 1-1 after seven and went to extra innings before Giants' shortstop Blondy Ryan drove in what ended up being the winning run in the top of the eleventh. New York's 2-1 win gave them a 3-1 advantage in the seven game series. The next night, on October 7, 1933, 28,454 fans turned out at Griffith Stadium for what would end up being the deciding game of the 1933 World Series.

The Giants lead 3-0 after five and a half innings, but a three-run home run by Senators' outfielder Fred Schulte in the home-half of the seventh brought Manush and Cronin around and tied things up. They were still tied up at 2-2 after nine innings, but a two-out solo home run by Ott in the top of the tenth gave the Giants a 3-2 lead. Schulte tracked the Ott's blast to the wall in center and reportedly got a glove on it, but his momentum carried him into the crowd and he failed to make the catch.


• via jazzgirl1920s on YouTube.

After a debate, it was ruled a home run for Ott and it ended up being the winning run when Joe Kuhel struck out with two runners on in the home-half of the tenth inning to end the World Series and the last World Series game played by a team from the nation's capital since that day... 80 years later, no D.C.-based baseball team has been back to the Series.

"Those Giants had what it takes, no doubt of that," Washington Post reporter Shirley Povich wrote in an October 9, 1933 column on the World Series. "And there is a measure of consolation for the Nats in the fact that they were beaten by a great ballclub, making its own breaks and capitalizing on them to the fullest extent."

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