ROLL OUT THE BARREL:THE 1927 Yankees
The season was anything but over
for the Yankees and for Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. They just were rolling
along, rolling over teams. Like the team's theme song it was the time
of "roll out the barrel, we'll have a barrel of fun!" The mystique and
drawing power of the Yankees was such that a second big-voiced man was
kept on the payroll to use a megaphone to shout out the names of the
pitchers and batters to those who sat in the distance reaches of Yankee
Stadium. The mystique and drawing power of Murderer's Row was such that
more than ever before fans came to the ballpark with baseball gloves
hoping to catch a ball smashed by Ruth or Gehrig or one of the other
There was a culture in place for all the sluggers, for all members of
the Yankees. Miller Huggins had schooled each and every player about
attitude, disposition, bearing. If they didn't get it the first time
there was always time for lectures and lessons in Hug's spartan Yankee
Stadium office that consisted of a desk for him, a desk chair and a
leather couch for all others. \
Players were required to report for games at 10:00 at the Stadium - -to
sign in, not to practice. It was a way designed to cut down on late
night goings on. No food, no beer was allowed in the clubhouse between
games of a doubleheader.
There was a machine-like way about the Yankees, a precise, orderly,
ritualistic rhythm that was repeated game after game. When the team was
at bat and there were two outs, the regulars stood at the ready, poised
at the second step of the dugout primed to rush out to their defensive
positions on the field when the final out of the inning occurred.
There was to be no backslapping, no flamboyant displays, no noisemaking
or razzing, no teasing of players on the other teams.
"We were never rough or rowdy," Waite Hoyt said, "just purposeful."
Throughout that long 1927 season, no Yankee ever had a fight on the
field. And only once was a player thrown out of a game by an umpire -
Joe Dugan Unseen by the fans and the opposition, the only emotional
show taking place at Yankee Stadium after a victory was players exiting
the dugout into the clubhouse chanting all the way:
"Roll Out the Barrel!"
"Roll Out the Barrel."
Waite Hoyt explained: "When we were challenged, when we had to win, we
stuck together and played with a fury and determination that could only
come from team spirit. We had a pride in our performance that was very
real. It took on the form of snobbery. And I do believe we left a
heritage that became a Yankee tradition"
Those Yankees who were not in the day's starting lineup were expected
to pay attention to everything that was happening on the field. There
was no slouching in the dugout and no conversation about anything but
baseball despite Waite Hoyt's famous lines: "In the daytime you sat in
the dugout and talked about women. And in the nighttime you went out
with women and talked about baseball. It's great to be young and a
The Yankee bullpen was in left field on an embankment that was slightly
graded. Huggins called down when he needed to and when the phone rang it
was usually a signal that a pitcher should get ready. Ed Barrow sat in
his mezzanine box at Yankee Stadium observing all that took place on the
field. If there was any lolling around, any one trying to sneak a
snooze, any food being consumed "Cousin Eggbert" used the telephone in
his box to get things in Yankee order usually blending profanity with
annoyance with questions like "What the hell do you think we are paying
(Excerpted from Harvey Frommer's FIVE O'CLOCK LIGHTNING: : BABE RUTH,
LOU GEHRIG AND THE 1927 NEW YORK YANKEES, THE GREATEST BASEBALL TEAM
# # #
You can reach
Harvey Frommer at:
About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath,
The Sporting News, among other publications.
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Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer are the authors of
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