Babe Ruth's Called Shot: The Myth and Mystery of Baseball's Greatest Home Run

Babe Ruth's Called Shot: The Myth and Mystery of Baseball's Greatest Home Run

by Ed Sherman
     
 

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Game Three of the 1932 World Series between the Cubs and Yankees stood locked at 4-4. Some 50,000 fans had gathered at Wrigley Field that bright October day, but above their roar Ruth heard insults pouring from the Cubs’ dugout. He watched a fastball from Cubs pitcher Charlie Root set the count at 2-2. Agitated, the Bambino made a gesture, holding out two

Overview

Game Three of the 1932 World Series between the Cubs and Yankees stood locked at 4-4. Some 50,000 fans had gathered at Wrigley Field that bright October day, but above their roar Ruth heard insults pouring from the Cubs’ dugout. He watched a fastball from Cubs pitcher Charlie Root set the count at 2-2. Agitated, the Bambino made a gesture, holding out two fingers—but what did it mean? Lou Gehrig heard him call out: “I’m going to knock the next one down your goddamn throat.” Then the game’s greatest showman pounded Root's next pitch. The ball whizzed past the centerfield scoreboard and began its long journey into history. In an instant, the legend of the Called Shot was born, the debate about what Ruth actually did still dividing fans and sports historians alike more than 80 years later. Deftly placing the homer in the social and economic contexts of the time, Chicago sportswriter Ed Sherman gives us the first full-length, in-depth look at one of baseball's most celebrated and enduring moments—including the incredible stories of two hand-held videos taken by fans and rediscovered decades later—and answers the question: Did Ruth really call his shot?

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
02/15/2014
Sherman (shermanreport.com) explores the facts and myths surrounding one of the oldest and most hotly debated mysteries in American sports—baseball legend Babe Ruth's arguable "called" home run during Game Five of the 1932 World Series against the Chicago Cubs. Eyewitnesses such as players, sportswriters, and game attendees, as well as current sports analysts and owners of grainy, inconclusive video footage, all chime in with varied, often contradictory accounts of what occurred that day at Wrigley Field and what the Bambino's series of hand gestures really meant. Nearly everyone agrees that the Babe, just before smacking a long homer that helped the Yankees win the game and eventually the series, raised one and then two fingers, but whether he was indicating the number of strikes in the at-bat, pointing at hecklers in the Cubs' dugout, or letting everyone know where he intended to land the next pitch, remains a mystery. VERDICT Sherman's research doesn't uncover any definitive answers, but the book succeeds as a fun and accessible history of the "called shot" story, which most Ruth and golden age Yankees fans will enjoy.—DK
From the Publisher
"Highly entertaining and fascinating ... If you know a baseball fan, it's a perfect gift. ... You'll have to read about it yourself."
—Chicago Tribune

"A fun and accessible history of the Called Shot story."
—Library Journal

"Nothing makes for better reading than terrific reporting, and few singular moments in sports history have been debated, discussed, and researched with the fervor of Babe Ruth's Called Shot. It took place more than 80 years ago, but it is argued about as if it happened last week. Ed Sherman brings it into sharp focus in a uniquely entertaining and greatly detailed way."
—John Feinstein, author of the bestselling A Good Walk Spoiled and Open

“Sherman cuts through the hype and hyperbole to deliver the true history of the event, revealing not just what happened but how and why a single at bat became the stuff of legend.”
—Glenn Stout, bestselling author of Yankees Century and The Cubs and series editor of Best American Sports Writing

"Babe Ruth remains the singular colossus of American sport, and his home run in the fifth inning of Game Three of the 1932 World Series remains the most indelible moment of his career. Ed Sherman takes us back to that afternoon on the North Side, which for so long has remained shrouded in mystery, with this detail-rich biography of the most mythologized at-bat in the annals of the national pastime. Finally we have the definitive account of the so-called Called Shot.
—Jeremy Schaap, six-time Emmy Award winner and author of the New York Times bestselling Cinderella Man

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780762785391
Publisher:
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date:
02/18/2014
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

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Meet the Author

Ed Sherman, a longtime Chicago Tribune writer, reports on sports media for his highly acclaimed website, ShermanReport.com. The winner of numerous awards, he has written two books, and his work has appeared in Crain's Chicago Business, ESPN.com, Golf  World, and The Sporting News. He lives in Highland Park, Illinois, with his wife and two sons.

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