Hubbell Blanks Bees
NEW YORK – It was the New York Giants ‘Meal Ticket’, Carl Hubbell, who got the start for the men in blue and white on opening day in 1937. Coming off of a 1936 MVP season in which Hubbell led the league in wins with 26, and an ERA of 2.31, it seemed like a no-brainer that player/manager Ralph Terry would give his southpaw the chance to extend his regular season consecutive winning streak to 17. Facing the Giants were Casey Stengel’s cellar-dwelling Boston Bees. Abandoning the red, white and blue of the traditional Braves uniform the year before, it was now gold and blue that represented Beantown in the National League.
On this shivering April 23 afternoon, the 1937 season began much like 1936 had ended for Hubbell. Pitching masterfully throughout, Carl allowed only 2 meager hits and no runs, in a workmanlike contest that lasted a mere hour and fifty-three minutes.
Your view is from the visiting team’s dugout, watching Hubbell pitch a final screwball to Boston’s Gene Moore, who would strike out to end the game. Only 16,608 hearty fans braved the inclement weather at the Polo Grounds that day, and many had already filed out before the ninth inning. However, the lucky fans in the nearly empty Polo Grounds watched ‘King Carl’ extend his consecutive winning streak of regular season games with this last strike out of Boston’s Gene Moore in the top of the ninth inning.
In 1937, the Hall of Fame-bound Hubbell proved that he was still the preeminent pitcher of the era, leading the league in both wins and strikeouts, and carrying the Giants to the World Series where they would face the cross-town rival Yankees.