Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Doubleheaders, still abusively frequent as recently as 1968.

Photo of Joe DiMaggioI noticed that in 1938 Joe DiMaggio played complete games in both games of doubleheaders on 6 of 7 consecutive dates: Aug. 21-27, no game Aug. 22.

The first doubleheader was in Philadelphia against the As. The rest at Yankee Stadium: two against the White Sox, then three against the Indians. Yanks were 9-3. The Yankees played 26 doubleheaders in 1938.

I thought that was a lot of doubleheaders so close together that late in baseball history. So I did a search.

Most consecutive doubleheaders: 1928 Boston Braves Sept. 4-15: 9:

Most consecutive doubleheaders between the same teams: Philadelphia v. Washington five Aug. 5-10, 1901.

Most doubleheaders in one season: Chicago White Sox 44 in 1943, in the middle of World War II when travel was limited. In the 1943 World Series the Yankees beat the Cardinals 4-1; the first three games were played in New York; the remaining four would have been played in St. Louis to eliminate one trip had the format been the traditional 2-3-2.
Photo of Rocky Colavito
Rocky Colavito
In 1968 the Yankees (83-79, 5th) played 24 doubleheaders, including this stretch:
Friday Aug. 23 doubleheader Yankee Stadium v. Detroit (W-T; I attended)
Saturday Aug. 24 single game Yankee Stadium v. Detroit W
Sunday Aug. 25 doubleheader Yankee Stadium v. Detroit (W (winning pitcher: outfielder Rocky Colavito) -W)
Monday Aug. 26 doubleheader Yankee Stadium v. California (W-L)
Tuesday Aug. 27 doubleheader Yankee Stadium v. California (W-L)

Then from Aug. 28 through Sept. 13 off days on Sept. 5, 6, 9; doubleheaders:
Aug. 30 (W-L)
Sept. 2 (W-L)
Sept. 7 (W-W)
Sept. 10 (W-W)
Sept. 13 (W-W).

In 1961 the American League expanded and changed the schedule from 154 to 162 games. The National League did the same in 1962.

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