Today In Tribe History; September 27, 1940
By Vince Guerrieri
On September 27, 1940 – 71 years ago today – Floyd Giebell was supposed to be a sacrificial lamb.
The Indians were beginning a three-game series at home against Detroit – the final series of the year – and were two back of the Tigers with three games to play. One Tigers win would clinch the pennant for them.
Indians manager Ossie Vitt started 27-game winner Bob Feller. Del Baker, the manager of the Tigers, didn’t want to waste an ace pitcher in this game, started Giebell, who spent most of the year in Toledo with the Mud Hens.
Giebell scattered six hits and two walks, but gave up no runs. Feller gave up three hits, but one was a two-run home run to Rudy York. The Tigers won the game 2-0 and with it the pennant.
The Indians went on to win the next two games. The Tigers went to the World Series, losing to the Reds in seven games. Giebell was of no help to them in the Fall Classic. Having only made two appearances for Detroit in 1940, he wasn’t eligible to play in the World Series.
Giebell went on to appear in 17 games in 1941, but his ERA ballooned – from 1.00 in 1940 to 6.03 in 1941 – and he never played in the major leagues again.
Bob Feller, of course, went on to a Hall of Fame pitching career. But for one day, he was outdueled by Floyd Giebell.