Did Ruth call his shot or not?
OCTOBER 1, 1932 *
ILLINOIS – What did or didn’t happen in Wrigley Field on this date in 1932 is still debated today. Some believe
New York Yankees’ outfielder Babe Ruth called his shot while batting in the third game of the World Series; that is, pointed toward the bleachers, indicating he was going to hit a home run there and then hitting one there. Ruth definitely gestured, as this still frame from an amateur photographer’s film from that day shows, but was he calling his shot?
The Yankees were up 2 games to none against the Cubs in the ’32 series.
New York took an early lead in game three on a home run by Ruth, only to be tied by the Cubs. It was the 5th inning and Ruth came to bat again. Ruth in the batter’s box and the Cubs in their dugout were jawing back and forth at each other. It’s obvious from the film that Ruth was gesturing, and with the count 2-balls and 2-strikes Ruth appeared to point toward centerfield. On the next pitch he hit a mammoth home run about 450 feet.
Myth or true story, sportswriter Joe Williams of Scripps-Howard newspapers started it with this headline in the next day’s paper:
"RUTH CALLS SHOT AS HE PUTS HOME RUN NO. 2 IN SIDE POCKET"
Cubs pitcher Charlie Root, who gave up the home run, insisted Ruth did not call his shot. "If he had,” Root said, “I'd have put one in his ear.”
Sports Illustrated Greatest Teams,
by Tim Crothers, 1998