The 1938 World Series matched the two-time defending champion New York Yankees against the Chicago Cubs, with the Yankees sweeping the Series in four games for their seventh championship. They became the first team to win at least three championships in a row. (They would win again in 1939 to become the first team to win four straight, would win five straight from 1949 through 1953, and would assemble a third three-year streak from 1998 to 2000. The Oakland Athletics matched the three-straight accomplishment from 1972 through 1974.)
The Cubs' defeat extended their championship-less drought to thirty years. As of this writing, that streak has lasted 104 years and counting. 1938 is also their second-most recent World Series appearance. Their only subsequent appearance was in 1945.
Eleven Hall of Famers took part in the Series, seven Yankees and four Cubs (one of whom, Tony Lazerri, had played his entire career with the Yankees up till the previous year. Of these eleven, it was the final World Series in the careers of four of them: Lazzeri, Billy Herman, Dizzy Dean, and Lou Gehrig, who would abruptly retire in the middle of the next season due to an as-yet undiagnosed case of the terminal disease ALS.
1938 World Series in The War That Came Early
On October 8, 1938, a platoon of U.S. Marines were able to listen to Game 3 of the 1938 World Series on the radio while stationed in Peking, though they listened to it on October 9 due to the time difference. After New York Yankee Joe Gordon went 2-4 with a home run and three RBI, Sgt. Pete McGill concluded that the game was sealed for Yankees, and correctly predicted that the 3-0 lead this gave them in the World Series would be insurmountable by the Chicago Cubs.