Donald was the Yankees' number-four or -five starter for most of his career. He was
blessed with the support of New York's tremendous offense and sparkling defense,
but was also a good pitcher in his own right. His only losing record, 0-1, came in
his two-game call-up in his first season, 1938. In 1939 he was 13-3 with a 3.71 ERA
that was nearly a run lower than the league average. His 3.03 ERA in 1940 would have
been the third-best in the AL had he been used enough to qualify. He continued to
pitch effectively until 1945, when eye and
elbow injuries ended his career.
his only World Series start, Game Four of the 1941 WS, Donald took a no-decision,
surrendering four runs in four innings. Nonetheless, the Yankees took a 3-1 Series
lead when the Dodgers' Mickey Owen committed his famous passed ball in the ninth
inning, allowing a Yankee rally to erupt. Donald took a loss in relief in Game Four
of the 1942 Series as the Cardinals handed the Yankees their first losing World Series
in 20 years.
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»July 5, 1939:
Yankees rookie P Atley Donald wins his 10th game without a loss.
»July 25, 1939:
Unbeaten rookie Atley Donald wins his 12th in a row for the Yankees, beating the Browns 5-1.
»April 17, 1945:
Steady rain holds the crowd at Yankee Stadium to 13,923 as Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia throws out the first ball for the Opener against the Red Sox. The Yanks' lone score until the 7th inning is a homer by rookie Russ Derry in the 3rd off Rex Cecil. Meanwhile the Red Sox jump on Atley Donald for three runs in the 1st inning and another in the 7th on Ben Steiner's solo homer. But helped by four Boston errors, and another homer by Russ Derry—this one a grand slam, New York scores seven runs in the 7th inning to finish the scoring at 8–4. Sox first baseman George Metkovich makes a record three errors in the frame on a missed tag, bad throw, and fumble. Forty-one-year old Jim Turner pitches the last two innings for New York.