Monte Pearson had a world of talent, but he had a hard time harnessing it. Walter Johnson, who managed him in Cleveland, said that Pearson should be a 30-game winner with his stuff, but the righty was never able to fully command his fastball. Arm injuries slowed him twice when he was pitching well, in 1933 and 1937. He ended up as a reliable starter for Joe McCarthy on the 1936-1939 Yankees, who won four straight titles. Pearson started Game Four of the ’36 Fall Classic against the Giants, tossing a complete game victory and allowing just two runs. The following October he started Game Three and came within one out of another complete game, allowing just one run against the G-Men. In 1938, McCarthy tapped him to start Game Three again, and Pearson went the full nine, allowing five hits and one run while fanning nine Cubs. Finally, in 1939, Pearson took the ball for Game Two against the Reds and twirled a masterful shutout, allowing just two hits while striking out eight batters. His postseason mark was stellar – four starts, only 19 hits in 35 2/3 innings, three complete games, 28 K’s and only seven walks, and a 1.01 ERA.
On August 27, 1938, Pearson fired a no-hitter against his former team, the Indians, in the second game of a doubleheader played at Yankee Stadium. Pearson fanned seven and walked two in the game, which was also his 10th straight victory.
- Pearson was 66-28 against the Athletics, Browns, Red Sox, and White Sox, four of the worst teams in the AL for most of his career; and 33-30 against the better teams (Tigers, Yankees, Indians, Senators). Mostly, he benefited from pitching for two very good AL teams, the Indians and Yankees. His career .621 winning percentage is due to his great teammates. He had a career 4.00 ERA, which was just about 12% below league average.