Ruth’s Called Shot

ruth

On October 1, 1932 the New York Yankees played the Chicago Cubs in the World Series at historic Wrigley Field and the most well know myth in baseball history was born. Babe Ruth walked to the batter’s box in the fifth inning of game three, after receiving the first two strikes he pointed towards the bleachers and hit the ball out of the park. This became known as the ‘called shot.’

Truth is, no one will ever know what really happened. The two teams were in a fierce battle for the championship title and the Chicago crowd was getting rowdy. Ruth yelled back at the crowd between pitches despite the onlookers probably not being able to hear him at all. After the first two strikes they just got louder. This is where it gets tricky…

Ruth made a gesture, but it is unclear what he was doing. Some people say he was pointing to the bleachers to tell the crowd where the ball would go. Others, like Cubs catcher Gabby Harnett, saw Ruth making a gesture towards the Cubs dugout as a response to the heckling coming from the team. Charlie Root let the next pitch go, and the rest as they say is history.

There are a few home videos and photographs of baseball’s most famous at bat, but what Ruth is pointing at remains unclear.  After the game some sports writers went with the story, and Ruth rode the wave he was given by the media outlets. The debate will go on despite people never having proper material to ever learn the truth. But, it is always nice to have the story to tell, at least until someone invents a time machine and uses it to see what really happened. But that is okay, because the story has been used as an inspiration by many people.

Let me tell you something kid, Everybody gets one chance to do something great. Most people never take the chance, either because they’re too scared, or they don’t recognize it when it spits on their shoes. This is your big chance and you shouldn’t let it go by…. Remember kid, there’s heroes and there’s legends. Heroes get remembered but legends never die. Follow you’r heart kid and you’ll never go wrong.” -Babe Ruth in Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez’s dream when he realized he had to go to the other side of the fence to get the Babe Ruth autographed ball from “the beast” in the popular movie, The Sandlot.

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