The Giants won 91 games with a mediocre offense but captured the pennant on the strength of pitching, namely Carl Hubbell, the lefty screwballer who finished 23-12 with a league-leading 1.66 ERA. In contrast, the Senators' offense flourished under the likes of player-manager Joe Cronin, Goose Goslin and four others who batted at least .295.
Both teams were led by star player-managers, as Bill Terry hit .322 while guiding the Giants to their first pennant in nearly a decade. Cronin, 27, hit .309 with 118 RBIs. It was the third time in a decade that the Senators had been managed to the pennant by a twenty-something shortstop. The New York Times tabbed it to be a "thrilling struggle," and that's exactly what it was, as the final two games went into extra innings.
Here are headlines from the Times, from October 1933, describing Washington's final World Series memories.
"Baseball Classic to Start Tuesday"
Gates opened at 9 a.m. and the stadium filled to a capacity crowd of 48,000 at the Polo Grounds in New York. Hubbell struck out 10 batters and held Washington to five hits and no earned runs, and Melvin Ott had four hits, three RBIs and a home run to give the Giants a 4-2 win. One of the Senators' top hitters, Charles "Buddy" Myer, was shaken after witnessing a fatal traffic accident on his way to the game and made three errors.
"Giants Overwhelm Senators, 6-1, To Take 2-0 World's Series Lead"
In Game 2, the Giants used a six-run sixth inning to subdue Alvin Crowder, Washington's right-handed ace. Crowder had held the Giants to just two singles before that inning. Washington's lone score came from a Goslin home run that went into the upper right deck of the grandstand.
"Capital Fans Hail Teams on Arrival"
The series moved to Washington's Griffith Stadium, where billboards that hung along the outfield fence resembled many in today's Little League fields. The team arrived about 10 minutes after the Giants, and Cronin walked ahead of his players, receiving the bulk of the cheers.
"The die-hard band of Washington baseball fans received their twice-defeated Senators home tonight with cheers that had warmth if not tumult," reported the Associated Press. "There was no marching in the streets as the Senators came home. There were no bands nor any of the trappings. But more than a thousand fans were on hand to form a receiving line for the grim-looking group of players as they stepped from their train."
Maybe Roosevelt was good luck, as the downtrodden Senators won their only game of the series that day, a 4-0 victory over the Giants. It was lefty Earl Whitehall, though, who held New York to five hits and reversed the momentum.
As it turned out, Game 3 would be the last World Series win in the team's history.
"Giants Turn Back Senators by 2-1 in 11-Inning Game"
The next day, in what was arguably the most exciting game of the Series, Hubbell won the pitching battle, but Washington's Monte Weaver didn't lose quietly. New York stole Game 4, 2-1, in 11 innings.
Bill Terry gave the Giants the lead with a solo home run into some temporary bleachers in center field. The Senators had the tying run on second base in the bottom of the sixth inning when umpire Charles Moran called out Heinie Manush on a play at first. The game was delayed for about five minutes as Manush and several other Senators argued the call in vain. Manush continued to rant in the seventh and this time was ejected, marking the first time since 1910 a player was ejected from a World Series game. Cronin had to restrain Manush from punching Moran, and the game was delayed again as hundreds of angry Washington fans threw glass soda bottles on the field.
The Senators tied the game at 1 in the bottom of the seventh, and it continued into extra innings. The Giants took a 2-1 lead in the top of the 11th, but the Senators responded by loading the bases with only one out.
Cronin sent backup catcher Cliff Bolton, who had batted .410 that year, in to pinch-hit -- a decision that was later questioned in the papers. Bolton hit a ground ball to shortstop John "Blondy" Ryan, who turned it into a game-ending double play.
"For tonight the Senators, proud champions of the American League and 10-to-7 favorites when the conflict began, are remaining in the struggle only by a very slender thread. A victory today would have put them back in the running. ..."
"Giants are Victors in World's Series, Four Games to One"
"A home run that spun off the bat of the sturdily built Melvin Ott and bounced off Fred Schulte's glove into the bleachers in left-center gave Memphis Bill Terry's National League champions a 4-3 victory over the Senators in 10 innings of the most intensive battling of the entire conflict."
Hal Schumacher, 22, gave the Giants the lead with a two-run single in the second inning and pitched well until Washington's Schulte rattled him with a three-run homer in the sixth. Schumacher was relieved by 42-year-old Adolfo Luque, a career 189-game winner who, two decades earlier, had become the first Cuban pitcher in Major League history. Luque shut down the Senators and sent the game into extra innings for the second day in a row.
With two outs in the top of the 10th inning, Ott hit a deep fly ball toward the temporary bleachers in center field. Schulte lunged for it, got a glove on it and deflected the ball into the bleachers. He, too, went sailing into the stands, as momentum caused him to fall head-first over the fence. At first the ball was ruled a ground-rule double, but was then changed to a home run, giving the Giants a 4-3 lead. The Senators had two runners on with two out in the bottom of the inning, but Luque struck out the final batter and gave the Giants their first championship since 1922. The Senators would not appear in another World Series until 1965, after they moved halfway across the country and changed their name to the Minnesota Twins.
"Parade in San Francisco"
About a week later, Cronin and Giants outfielder Frank "Lefty" O'Doul arrived home in San Francisco where they were welcomed by thousands of fans.
"If I had to do it over again I would do it the same way," Cronin said, according to an Associated Press report. "I still think we had the better team, but a few breaks decided everything."
Some things about the game never change.