In 1931, Joe McCarthy was hired as manager and brought the Yankees back to the top of the AL….after which they swept the Chicago Cubs in the 1932 World Series….and brought the team’s streak of consecutive World Series game wins to 12. This series was made famous by Babe Ruth’s “Called Shot“ in game three of the series at Wrigley Field….which was a fitting “swan song” to The King of Swat’s illustrious World Series career…..as he was traded to the Boston Braves for the next season…..where he hit his 714th and final home run.
With Ruth retired, Gehrig finally had a chance to take center stage, but it was only one year before a new star appeared, Joe DiMaggio. The team won an unprecedented four straight World Series titles from 1936 to 1939. For most of 1939, however, they had to do it without Gehrig….who took himself out of the lineup and retired due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis….which is now commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” in his memory. The Yankees declared July 4, 1939 to be “Lou Gehrig Day”, on which they retired his number 4….which was the first retired number in baseball. Gehrig made a famous speech in which he declared himself to be “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”….as he died two years later.