The New York Yankees won the 1936 World Series in five games over their cross-town rivals, the New York Giants.

Joe DiMaggio had a good Series, batting .346 with three doubles and three RBIs. He received a warm reception when he returned to his home in San Francisco and was surprised when he was taken to city hall in the mayor’s car and was carried on the shoulders of admirers into the mayor’s office.

Joe was extremely quiet, although he did say that he would have a better season in 1937 because he had become more familiar with American League pitchers.

In the middle of October, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America announced the MVP results.

Lou Gehrig won the award, getting four of the eight first-place votes and a total of 73 points. It was Gehrig’s second MVP award. He had won it in 1927, the season that Babe Ruth set the single-season home run record, when the league decided the MVP winner.

DiMaggio finished with 26 votes, thanks to his .323 batting average, .576 slugging average, 29 home runs and 125 RBI.

In 1936, baseball rules required teams to send player contracts out no later than February 25. In late January, the Yankees mailed their contracts. The New York Times asked a question that is unbelievable today, at least to everyone but Derek Jeter.

“Principal interest in the speculation surrounding the documents centered about the question of rises or reductions for Lou Gehrig, Lefty Vernon Gomez, Charley (Red) Ruffing, jovial Pat Malone, and the spectacular Joe DiMaggio.”

“Gehrig is expected to do as well or better than last year while DiMaggio, a major league standout in his first year, can look forward to more than the $8,000 he collected for 1936”

Lou Gehrig was the MVP and Joe DiMaggio was the majors’ top rookie, yet the possibility of a pay cut for Gehrig was not considered a ridiculous possibility. Baseball teams sent players’ contract offers for either the same salary they made the previous season or a contract that contained a pay cut.

Both Gehrig and DiMaggio rejected the Yankees’ first offer.

In February, DiMaggio was offered $15,000 and Gehrig, who was asking for $50,000, was offered $31,000.

“Yankees’ owner Colonel Jacob Ruppert said that ‘somebody has to take a stand on this salary business and I’m taking it. No player is worth more than $31,000.'”

“Connie Mack once said that $25,000 was too big a salary, and I’m going him $6,000 better. The players, including Joe DiMaggio and the other Yankee holdouts have my ultimatum—take the contracts offered or leave them.”

DiMaggio, who was one of the first rookies in history to hold out, finally signed just before the opening of spring training for what was believed to be $17,500, despite Yankees manager Joe McCarthy’s statement that DiMaggio signed at the Yankees’ terms.

Gehrig finally signed for $36,000 and a $750 signing bonus, which made him baseball’s highest paid player.



* Dawson, James P. “DiMaggio Agrees to Ruppert Terms; Report Is That He Will Get $17,000 or More for Work in Yankee Outfield.” New York Times. 13 March 1937

* Dawson, James P. “Slight Concession Puts Gehrig in Line; Yankee Star Will Get $750 Bonus on Signing $36,000 Contract.” New York Times. 19 March 1937, p. 29.

* “DiMaggio Gets Welcome; Yankee Slugger Warmly Greeted by San Francisco Admirers.” New York Times. 14 October 1936, p. 35.

* “Second ‘Most Valuable’ Player Award Bolsters Gehrig’s All-Time Star Rating; Gehrig Ties Mark for Player Prize.” New York Times. 17 October 1936, p. 13.

* “Yankee Stars Hope for Word of Pay Increases; Contracts Mailed to Yankee Squad.” New York Times. 21 January 1937, p. 28.

* “Yanks Renew Effort to Satisfy DiMaggio; New Contract Reported at $15,000.” New York Times. 13 February 1937, p. 17.

* “Ruppert Unmoved by Holdout Pleas; Offer of $31,000 to Gehrig is Final; Colonel Says DiMaggio Received Substantial Rise, With This Year’s Record Doubtful.” New York Times. 25 February 1937, p. 27.

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