Clash of Titans
Two of baseball’s most famous teams arrived at Yankee Stadium on September 9, 1928 for a four-game series that began with a doubleheader. The Philadelphia Athletics, managed by Connie Mack, held a one-half game lead over the New York Yankees.
While many writers and fans have since anointed the 1927 New York Yankees as the greatest team ever, the 1928 edition was having trouble defending their title. The team had built a sizeable lead throughout the summer before watching the Athletics roar back. The 1928 team did not enjoy good health, and such standout pitchers as Herb Pennock, Wilcy Moore, and Urban Shocker missed starts throughout the season. In addition, despite the label “greatest team of all time,” the Yankees had mediocre players at shortstop, at third base, and behind the plate.
Connie Mack had needed a decade to rebuild his Philadelphia Athletics after he sold most of his star players between 1914 and 1915. Now he had a nucleus of future Hall of Fame players in Mickey Cochrane, Al Simmons, Jimmie Foxx, and Lefty Grove. To provide veteran leadership, Mack signed Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, and Eddie Collins. By September, however, the Athletics were using the veterans sparingly. Eventually, these seven players and Mack would all be inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
The Yankees had manager Miller Huggins, Earle Combs, Waite Hoyt, Herb Pennock, and Tony Lazzeri in addition to Babe Ruth and Lou