May 30, 2009

1937: NY Giant Carl Hubbell's 24 Game Winning Streak Snapped

May 31,1937: New York Giants Hall of Fame pitcher Carl Hubbell (King Carl) set a record by winning 24 consecutive games.

On May 31st, 1937 at New Yorks Polo Grounds, the NYFD had to turn away a crowd of an estimated 20,000 fans who did not have tickets for the game, for public saftey.

An incredible 60,000 had already jammed into the Polo Grounds and the surrounding hills, to watch Carl (The Meal Ticket) Hubbell continue his win streak. But it was on this day that he took his 1st loss in ten months losing 10-3 to the Brooklyn Dodgers.

One of the things that makes baseball so great are the unsung heroes, that shine for a day to break or spoil a record. Today it was Brooklyn Dodger, back up catcher Paul Chervinko, making his first MLB start of a short 45 game career. Chervinko would contribute with two RBIs helping Brooklyn defeat the Giants & beat Hubbell for the first time on the season.
The streak started back in July 1936. Hubbell was 10- 6 at the time. He went on to win his next 16 decisions leading the NL with 26 wins & an .813 winning percent.

On July he won three games in a five day span, shutting out Pittsburgh 6-0, then beating Cincinnati in relief. He came home to get a 2-1 win over the 1st place Cardinals. On August 19th his 2-1 win over Brooklyn brought the Giants within a 1/2 game of 1st place, a spot they would secure in the upcoming days. Of Hubbell's 16 straight wins, 14 were complete games, 2 were in relief and his ERA was 1.86. Besides leading the league in wins & winning %, he won the ERA title, and MVP award. The Giants won the NL by five games, and in the World Series Carl went 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA.

In 1937 he picked up where he left off starting out 8-0. He shut out the Boston Braves in the 2nd game of the season 3-0, then beat Brooklyn, Chicago, Pittsburgh (twice), St. Louis, & Cincinnati (also twice). The last win in the streak was in relief at Cincinnati.

Hubbell went on to lead the league in wins (22), strike outs (156) & winning percentage (.733), en route to another World Series. During his streak he beat every NL team (except Boston) four to five times.

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