Pennant Hopes Dashed by the Homer in the Gloamin’

The Story of How the 1938 Pittsburgh Pirates Blew the National League Pennant


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SKU: 9780786472024 Categories: , ,

About the Book

After many disappointing seasons during the 1930s, the 1938 Pittsburgh Pirates looked like they were finally poised to claim their first National League pennant since 1927. A hot streak during June and July propelled manager Pie Traynor’s squad into first place. Yet after commanding the top spot for more than two months, Pittsburgh could not hold off the charging Chicago Cubs and experienced one of the most monumental collapses in baseball history. This detailed historical account examines the entire 1938 season, while also looking at the players and events that were a major part of this star-crossed season.

About the Author(s)

Ronald T. Waldo, a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, lives in Pittsburgh. His articles have appeared in Pittsburgh Pride Magazine and Sports Collectors Digest, and he is the author of several books on baseball history.

Bibliographic Details

Ronald T. Waldo
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 272
Bibliographic Info: 20 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7202-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0174-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi

Preface  1

 1. Murderers’ Row and the Waner Brothers  5

 2. Bill Benswanger and Arky Vaughan Arrive on the Scene  25

 3. New Blood Offers Hope to Pirates Fans for 1938 Season  40

 4. Bad Luck During Spring Training in San Bernardino  53

 5. Bucs Bust Out of the Gate Due to Arky Vaughan’s Heroics  69

 6. Paul Waner’s Slump and Talk of Rebuilding for Next Year  88

 7. Pirates Regroup as Benswanger and Traynor Nix Deal with New York Giants  107

 8. Johnny Rizzo Shines as Pirates Climb into First Place  126

 9. Pittsburgh Feels the Pressure and Starts to Wilt in the Summer Heat  146

10. Traynor’s Boys Attempt to Hang on While Chicago Surges  166

11. Pittsburgh’s Final Collapse and the Homer in the Gloamin’  186

12. Disastrous Season and a Second-Division Finish in 1939  207

13. The End of an Era  222

Appendix A: 1938 Pittsburgh Pirates Roster  232

Appendix B: 1938 Statistics  234

Chapter Notes  236

Bibliography  257

Index  259