Baseball History: Hank Borowy and Cubs Win NL Pennant

hank bowory 1949The last time the Chicago Cubs played in the World Series was 70 years ago.

On July 27 during the 1945 season, the Cubs made an acquisition that helped in the cause.

Hank Borowy was considered the ace of the New York Yankees pitching staff. He was 10-5 and was named to the all-star team in the American League although the game would not be played due to restrictions during World War II.

Borowy was 56-30 with the Yankees from 1942-1945. He was an all-star in 1944, while ending the season with a 17-12 record. He had pitched in the World Series in 1942 and 1943 helping the Yanks to the title in the latter season.

According to a story in the 1946 edition of the Sporting News Baseball Guide, Yankees President Larry McPhail felt that Borowy couldn’t finish games in the second half of the season.

All Borowy did in response to being sold to Chicago for $97,000 was finish the year at 11-2 as the Cubs won the National League pennant. He was named the Sporting News NL Pitcher of the Year for his efforts. For the season, the 29-year old was 21-7 with a 2.65 ERA. He led the NL with a 2.13 ERA in his 15 contests as he completed 11 of them.

388px-Hank_BorowyIn the 1945 World Series, Borowy tossed a six-hit shutout in Detroit as the Cubs beat the Tigers and Al Most Valuable Player Hal Newhouser 9-0 in Briggs Stadium.

Borowy lost game five 8-4 in Chicago, but came back the next day in Wrigley Field to blank the Tigers in four frames of relief work to earn the victory as the Cubs won 8-7 in 12 innings.

In the seventh contest on day later, Borowy couldn’t get an out as he faced only three hitters in a five-run Detroit first inning. The Tigers went on to win 9-3 with Newhouser leading the way.

With the Yankees in the post-season against the St. Louis Cardinals, Borowy appeared in one game in 1942, while winning the third game the following year.

Borowy ended his 10-year career at 108-82. After playing for the Cubs, he was with the Philadelphia Phillies, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tigers.