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#5 Greatest HR in Yankee History

October 31, 2012

The “Called Shot” home run, frame by frame (Webster’s Dictionary)

Babe RuthWorld Series Game 3 | vs. Chicago Cubs | 10/1/1932

Few moments in sports history have been more scrutinized than Babe Ruth’s “Called Shot.”  Did he point to centerfield?  Did he point to the Chicago bench?  Was he showing the pitcher how many strikes he had?  Answers to these questions have been swallowed by legend and myth to the point that differentiating between fact and fiction is nearly impossible.

What we do know is that there was plenty of animosity between the Yanks and Cubs as the Bombers arrived in Chicago with a 2-0 series lead.  Yankee manager Joe McCarthy had been ousted by the Cubs in 1930 and desperately wanted to beat them.  Ruth’s friend and former Yankee teammate, Mark Koenig, helped the Cubs win the pennant yet was given half of a World Series share by his Chicago teammates.  That irked Ruth.

As the game began the visitors were pelted with lemons and curses.  While Ruth stood in left field, fruits and vegetables were fired at him from the rabid fans, but he silenced Wrigley Field with a 3-run home run to deep right-center in the 1st inning off of Charlie Root.

Ruth came up again in the 5th and quickly fell into an 0-2 count vs. Root.  That’s when he stepped out of the batter’s box… and pointed.  Some remember that he pointed at Root, others that he pointed at the Chicago dugout or the centerfield bleachers.  Wherever he pointed, Ruth crushed a pitch into the right field bleachers, 436 feet from home plate.  It was Ruth’s 15th and final World Series home run, a record that stood until it was broken by Mickey Mantle in 1964.  The shot was so prolific, that it elicited cheers from the Chicago fans.  Ruth, always the showman, treated each Cubs infielder to a different curse word as he rounded the bases before bowing in front of the home dugout and crossing the plate.

The Yanks went on to win the game, 7-5, behind Ruth’s 2 home runs and 2 more from Lou Gehrig.

As I hit the ball every muscle in my system, every sense I had, told me I had never hit a better one, that as long as I lived nothing would ever feel as good as this one…  I didn’t exactly point to any spot, like the flagpole.  I just sorta waved at the whole fence, but that was foolish enough.  All I wanted to do was give the thing a ride, outta the park, anywhere.

| Babe Ruth |

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