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#19 Greatest HR in Yankee History

October 22, 2012

Lou Gehrig is the 1st to congratulate Ruth as he crosses the plate with his 60th HR

Babe Ruth | 60th | vs. Washington Senators | 9/30/1927

With a comfortable 18.5 game lead over the Philadelphia Athletics in the AL pennant race, the only drama for the Yankees this late in the season was whether or not the Babe would break his own home run record of 59, set in 1921.  Having hit 2 home runs the day before to tie the record, an eager crowd hoped they would have a chance to witness history.  In perhaps his final at bat of the game, the Sultan strode to the plate in the 8th inning and crushed the record-setting blast to left field, in a dramatic moment that had come to be expected from Ruth.  The Yanks went on to beat the Senators, 4-2, thanks to stingy pitching from George Pipgras and Herb Pennock.

The pennant race was over by September, but Babe was fighting to break his 59 home-run record.  He needed 17 to do it in the last month, or better than one every two days.  He did it of course.  The 60th was made in Yankee Stadium against Washington.  Tom Zachary, a left-hander, was the pitcher, and the homer came in the final game.

The Babe had smashed out two home runs the day before to bring his total to 59 for the season, or the exact equal of his 1921 record.  He had only this game to set a new record.  Zachary, a left-hander, was by the nature of his delivery a hard man for the Babe to hit.  In fact, the Babe got only two homers in all his life against Tom.

Babe came up in the eighth inning and it was quite probable that this would be his very last chance to break his own record.  My mother and I were at the game and I can still see that lovely, lovely home run.  It was a tremendous poke, deep into the stands.  There was never any doubt that it was going over the fence.  But the question was, would it be fair? It was fair by only six glorious inches!

| Ruth’s wife, Claire, recalling the event |

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