Calling the shot

On October 1, 1932, Babe Ruth walked to the batter’s box in the fifth inning at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, he pointed towards the bleachers in right center field and hit the ball out of the park. This became known as the ‘called shot.’

The New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs were playing game three of the World Series. The crowd was getting rowdy and despite the inability for anyone to hear him, Ruth yelled at them between pitches. After the first two strikes they got louder. This is where things get tricky….

Ruth made a gesture, but it remains unclear if he was calling his shot or gesturing towards fans. 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 gesturing towards the Cubs dugout as a response to heckling coming from players. Charlie Root let the next pitch go, and the rest as they say is history.

video source: sherpa_Multimedia YouTube channel

There are a few home videos and photographs of baseball’s most famous at bat, but where Ruth pointed remains unclear.  Some sports writers went with the story of the called shot, and Ruth rode the wave he was given by the media outlets. The debate will go on despite the lack of conclusive evidence. But in the end, it is a story to tell, at least until someone invents a time machine and uses it to see what really happened. But it is okay, because the story of the called shot  has been used as an inspiration to many and referred to in many books and movies.

“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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