The 1940 World Series matched the Cincinnati Reds against the Detroit Tigers, the Reds winning a closely contested seven-game series for their second championship 21 years after their scandal-tainted victory in 1919. This would be the Reds last World Series championship for 35 years despite appearances in 1961, 1970, and 1972. Bill Klem worked the last of his record 18 World Series as an umpire.
Other story lines marked this series. Henry Quillen Buffkin Newsom, the father of Detroit's star pitcher Bobo Newsom, died in a Cincinnati hotel room the day after watching him win Game 1. Newsom came back to hurl a shutout in Game 5 in his memory. Called on to start a third time after a single day of rest by Tiger manager Del Baker, he pitched well in Game 7 until the seventh inning, when the Reds scored two runs to take the lead and eventually the game and the Series.
The Reds' star pitchers Paul Derringer and Bucky Walters won two games apiece, with Derringer winning the decisive seventh game. Walters hurled two complete games, allowing only eight hits and three runs combined. He also hit a home run in Game 6 in the midst of his 4–0 shutout, which sent the Series to a Game 7.
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