Let’s take a walk down history lane, shall we?
The year is 1926. The New York Yankees, once an afterthought, have become a force in the American League after the purchase of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox. Ruth, already a superstar in Boston, went supernova in New York. Brace yourself here. In Ruth’s first five seasons in pinstripes (1920-25), he produced an astronomical OPS+ of 225. 225. The ballclub won its first pennant in ’21, won another in ’22 and won the World Series in ’23. That year, Ruth hit .393/.545/.764.
So why am I starting our journey in 1926? Well, in ’24 the Yankees didn’t win the pennant — Ruth did his part, but other parts of the offense suffered after years of winning. Frankly, that was only the beginning. The ’25 Yankees were terrible, winning only 69 games, in great part due to Ruth missing a big chunk of the season.
However, it wasn’t all bad. You see, in 1925 the Yankees found the other half of what would become the most devastating combination in baseball history. The Bombers already had Ruth, the game’s best player and brightest star. They had reason to believe that when healthy, Ruth would resume smashing every…