Babe Ruth's called shot

Babe Ruth's called shot was the home run hit by Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees in the fifth inning of Game 3 of the 1932 World Series, held on October 1, 1932, at Wrigley Field in Chicago. During the at-bat, Ruth made a pointing gesture, which existing film confirms, but the exact meaning of his gesture remains ambiguous.

Although neither fully confirmed nor refuted, the story goes that Ruth pointed to the center-field bleachers during the at-bat. It was allegedly a declaration that he would hit a home run to this part of the park. On the next pitch, Ruth hit a home run to center field. The home run was his fifteenth, and last, in his 41 post-season games.

The facts and the dispute

There is no dispute over the general events of the moment. All the reports say that the Chicago Cubs' "bench jockeys" were riding Ruth mercilessly, and that Ruth, rather than ignoring them, was "playing" with them through words and gestures.

The longtime debate is over the nature of one of Ruth's gestures. It is unclear if he pointed to center field, to the pitcher (Charlie Root), or to the Cubs bench. Even the films of the at-bat (by amateur filmmaker Matt Miller Kandle, Sr.) that emerged during the 1990s have not allowed any definitive conclusions.

With the score tied 4-4 in the 9th inning of game three, he took strike one from Root. As the Cubs players heckled Ruth, and the fans hurled insults, Ruth held up his hand, pointing at either Root, the Cubs dugout, or center field. No one knows for sure what his intentions were. He then repeated this gesture after taking strike two.

Root's next pitch was a curveball that Ruth hit at least 440 feet to the deepest part of center field near the flag pole (some estimates are as high as 490 feet). The ground distance to the center field corner, somewhat right of straightaway center, was 440 feet. The ball landed a little bit to the right of the 440 corner and farther back, apparently in the temporary seating in Sheffield Avenue behind the permanent interior bleacher seats. Calling the game over the radio, broadcaster Tom Manning shouted, "The ball is going, going, going, high into the center field stands...and it is a home run!" Ruth himself later described the hit as "past the flagpole" which stood behind the scoreboard and the 440 corner. Ruth's powerful hit was aided by a strong carrying wind that day.[1]

Newsreel footage (available in MLB's 100 Years of the World Series) shows that Ruth was crowding the plate and nearly stepped forward out of the batter's box, inches away from risk of being called out (Rule 6.06a). The film also shows that as he rounded first base, Ruth looked toward the Cubs dugout and made a waving-off gesture with his left hand; then as he approached third, he made another mocking gesture, a two-armed "push" motion, toward the suddenly quiet Cubs bench. Many reports[2] have claimed that Ruth "thumbed his nose" at the Cubs dugout, but the existing newsreel footage does not show that. (If it occurred, it might have been considered vulgar and would have been edited out.) Attending the game was Franklin Delano Roosevelt,[3] soon-to-be-elected 32nd President of the United States, as well as John Paul Stevens, future Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.[4] FDR reportedly had a laugh as he watched Ruth round the bases.[5] When he crossed home plate, Ruth could no longer hide his smile, and he was patted by his exuberant teammates when he reached the Yankees dugout.[6]

Root was left in the game, but for only one pitch, which Lou Gehrig drilled into the right field seats for his second home run of the day. The Yankees won the game 7–5, and the next day they finished off the demoralized Cubs 13–6, completing the fourth game necessary to win the World Series.

Origins of the called-shot story

Ruth's second home run in game 3 probably would have been merely an exclamation point for the 1932 World Series and for Ruth's career, had it not been for reporter Joe Williams. Williams was a respected but opinionated sports editor for the Scripps-Howard newspapers. In a late edition the same day of the game, Williams wrote this headline that appeared in the New York World-Telegram, evoking billiards terminology: "RUTH CALLS SHOT AS HE PUTS HOME RUN NO. 2 IN SIDE POCKET." [7] Williams' summary of the story included, "In the fifth, with the Cubs riding him unmercifully from the bench, Ruth pointed to center and punched a screaming liner to a spot where no ball had been hit before." Apparently Williams' article was the only one written the day of the game that made a reference to Ruth pointing to center field. The wide circulation of the Scripps-Howard newspapers probably gave the story life, as many read Williams' article and assumed it was accurate. A couple of days later, other stories started to appear stating that Ruth had called his shot, a few even written by reporters who were not at the game.

The story would have had some initial credibility, given Ruth's many larger-than-life achievements, including past reported incidents of promising sick child Johnny Sylvester that he would "hit a home run for him" and then fulfilling that promise soon after. In the public mind, Ruth "calling his shot" had precedent.

At the time, Ruth did not clarify the matter, initially stating that he was merely pointing towards the Cubs dugout to tell them he still had one more strike. At one point very early on, he said, "It's in the papers, isn't it?" In another interview, this one with respected Chicago sports reporter John Carmichael, Ruth said he did not point to any particular spot, but that he just wanted to give the ball a good ride. Soon, however, the media-savvy Ruth was going along with the story that he had called his shot, and his subsequent versions over the years became more dramatic. "In the years to come, Ruth publicly claimed that he did, indeed, point to where he planned to send the pitch."[8] One newsreel footage, Ruth voiced over the called shot scene with the remarks, "Well, I looked out at center field and I pointed. I said, 'I'm gonna hit the next pitched ball right past the flagpole!' Well, the good Lord must have been with me." In his 1948 autobiography, Ruth gave another enhanced version by stating he told his wife "I'll belt one where it hurts them the most" and that the idea of calling his own shot then came to him.[9] Ruth then recounts the at-bat:

No member of either team was sorer than I was. I had seen nothing my first time at bat that came close to looking good to me, and that only made me more determined to do something about taking the wind out of the sails of the Chicago players and their fans. I mean the fans who had spit on Claire [i.e., Ruth's wife].

I came up in the fourth inning [sic] with Earle Combs on base ahead of me. My ears had been blistered so much before in my baseball career that I thought they had lost all feeling. But the blast that was turned on me by Cub players and some of the fans penetrated and cut deep. Some of the fans started throwing vegetables and fruit at me.

I stepped back out of the box, then stepped in. And while Root was getting ready to throw his first pitch, I pointed to the bleachers which rise out of deep center field. Root threw one right across the gut of the plate and I let it go. But before the umpire could call it a strike - which it was - I raised my right hand, stuck out one finger and yelled, "Strike one!"

The razzing was stepped up a notch.

Root got set and threw again - another hard one through the middle. And once again I stepped back and held up my right hand and bawled, "Strike two!" It was.

You should have heard those fans then. As for the Cub players they came out on the steps of their dugout and really let me have it.

I guess the smart thing for Charlie to have done on his third pitch would have been to waste one.

But he didn't, and for that I've sometimes thanked God.

While he was making up his mind to pitch to me I stepped back again and pointed my finger at those bleachers, which only caused the mob to howl that much more at me.

Root threw me a fast ball. If I had let it go, it would have been called a strike. But this was it. I swung from the ground with everything I had and as I hit the ball every muscle in my system, every sense I had, told me that I had never hit a better one, that as long as I lived nothing would ever feel as good as this.

I didn't have to look. But I did. That ball just went on and on and on and hit far up in the center-field bleachers in exactly the spot I had pointed to.

To me, it was the funniest, proudest moment I had ever had in baseball. I jogged down toward first base, rounded it, looked back at the Cub bench and suddenly got convulsed with laughter.

You should have seen those Cubs. As Combs said later, "There they were-all out on the top step and yelling their brains out - and then you connected and they watched it and then fell back as if they were being machine-gunned."

That home run-the most famous one I ever hit - did us some good. It was worth two runs, and we won that ball game, 7 to 5.[10]

Ruth explained he was upset about the Cubs' insults during the series, and was especially upset when someone spat on his wife Claire, and he was determined to fix things.[11] Ruth not only said he deliberately pointed to center with two strikes, he said he pointed to center even before Root's first pitch.[12]

Others helped perpetuate the story over the years. Tom Meany, who worked for Joe Williams at the time of the called shot, later wrote a popular but often embellished 1947 biography of Ruth. In the book, Meany wrote, "He pointed to center field. Some say it was merely as a gesture towards Root, others that he was just letting the Cubs bench know that he still had one big one left. Ruth himself has changed his version a couple of times... Whatever the intent of the gesture, the result was, as they say in Hollywood, slightly colossal."[13]

Despite the fact that the article he wrote on the day of the game appears to have been the source of the entire legend, over the ensuing years, Joe Williams himself came to doubt the veracity of Ruth calling his shot.

Another part of folklore has Ruth being mad at the Cubs in general for the perceived slight of cutting Babe's ex-Yankee teammate, Mark Koenig, now with the Cubs, out of his full World Series share.

Nonetheless, the called shot further became etched as truth into the minds of thousands of people after the 1948 film The Babe Ruth Story, which starred William Bendix as Ruth. The film took its material from Ruth's autobiography, and hence did not question the veracity of the called shot. Two separate biographical films made in the 1990s also repeated this gesture in an unambiguous way, coupled with Ruth hitting the ball over the famous ivy-covered wall, which did not actually exist at Wrigley Field until five years later.

Eyewitness accounts

Eyewitness accounts were equally inconclusive and widely varied, with some of the opinions possibly skewed by partisanship.

  • "Don't let anybody tell you differently. Babe definitely pointed." — Cubs public-address announcer Pat Pieper (As public-address announcer Pieper sat next to the wall separating the field from the stands, between home plate and third base. In 1966 he spoke with the Chicago Tribune "In the Wake of the News" sports columnist David Condon: "Pat remembers sitting on the third base side and hearing [Cubs' pitcher] Guy Bush chide Ruth, who had taken two strikes. According to Pat, Ruth told Bush: 'That's strike two, all right. But watch this.' 'Then Ruth pointed to center field, and hit his homer,' Pat continues. 'You bet your life Babe Ruth called it.'")[14]
  • "My dad took me to see the World Series, and we were sitting behind third base, not too far back.... Ruth did point to the center-field scoreboard. And he did hit the ball out of the park after he pointed with his bat. So it really happened." former Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, United States Supreme Court[15]
  • "What do you think of the nerve of that big monkey. Imagine the guy calling his shot and getting away with it." – Lou Gehrig[16]
  • The Commissioner of Baseball, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, attended the game with his young nephew, and both had a clear view of the action at home plate. Landis himself never commented on whether he believed Ruth called the shot, but his nephew believes that Ruth did not call it.
  • Shirley Povich, the Washington Post columnist detailed in an interview with Hall of Fame catcher Bill Dickey. "Ruth was just mad about that quick pitch, Dickey explained. He was pointing at Root, not at the centerfield stands. He called him a couple of names and said, "Don't do that to me anymore, you blankety-blank."[17]
  • Ray Kelly, Ruth's guest for the game, said "He absolutely did it ... I was right there. Never in doubt."[18]
  • Erle V. Painter, the Yankees athletic trainer at the time, shared his recollection of the shot with the Baseball Hall of Fame. He stated, "Ruth made a three-quarter turn to the stands and held up one finger. It was plain he was signifying one strike didn't mean he was out. Root put over another strike and the Babe repeated the pantomime, holding up two fingers this time. Then, before taking his stance, he swept his left arm full length and pointed to the centerfield fence."[19]

The called shot particularly irked Root. He had a fine career, winning over 200 games, but he would be forever remembered as the pitcher who gave up the "called shot", much to his annoyance.[20] When he was asked to play himself in the 1948 film about Ruth, Root turned it down when he learned that Ruth's pointing to center field would be in the film. Said Root, "Ruth did not point at the fence before he swung. If he had made a gesture like that, well, anybody who knows me knows that Ruth would have ended up on his ass. The legend didn't get started until later." Root's teammate, catcher Gabby Hartnett, also denied that Ruth called the shot. On the other hand, according to baseball historian and author Michael Bryson, it is noted that at that point in the game, Ruth pointed toward the outfield to draw attention to a loose board that was swinging free. Some people may have misinterpreted this as a "called shot", but Cubs personnel knew exactly what he was pointing to, and hammered the board back into place.[21]

In 1942, during the making of The Pride of the Yankees, Babe Herman (who was at that time a teammate of Root with the minor league Hollywood Stars) was on the movie set as a double for both Ruth (who played himself in most scenes) and Gary Cooper (who played Lou Gehrig). Herman re-introduced Root and Ruth on set and the following exchange (later recounted by Herman to baseball historian Donald Honig) took place:

  • Root: "You never pointed out to center field before you hit that ball off me, did you?"
  • Ruth: "I know I didn't, but it made a hell of a story, didn't it?"

Root went to his grave vehemently denying that Ruth ever pointed to center field.

Rediscovered 16 mm films

Ruth1932-1
A still of Ruth pointing during the at-bat. Root's back is turned to Ruth at that moment.

In the 1970s, a 16 mm home movie of the called shot surfaced and some believed it might put an end to the decades-old controversy. The film was shot by an amateur filmmaker named Matt Miller Kandle, Sr. Only family and friends had seen the film until the late 1980s. Two frames from the film were published in the 1988 book, Babe Ruth: A Life in Pictures, by Lawrence S. Ritter and Mark Rucker, on p. 206. The film was broadcast on a February 1994 FOX television program called Front Page.[22] Later in 1994, still images from the film appeared in filmmaker Ken Burns documentary film Baseball.

The film was taken from the grandstands behind home plate, off to the third base side. One can clearly see Ruth's gesture, although it is hard to determine the angle of his pointing. Some contend Ruth's extended arm is pointing more to the left field direction, toward the Cubs bench, which would be consistent with his (continued) gesturing toward the bench while rounding the bases after the hit. Others who have studied the film closely assert that in addition to the broader gestures, Ruth did make a quick finger point in the direction of Cubs pitcher Charlie Root, or center field just as Root was winding up.

In 1999, another 16 mm film of the called shot appeared. This one had been shot by inventor Harold Warp, and coincidentally it was the only major league baseball game Warp ever attended. The rights to his footage were sold to ESPN which aired it as part of the network's SportsCentury program in 2000 as well as a countdown show of Best Damn Sports Show. Warp's film has not been as widely seen by the public as Kandle's film, but those who have seen it and have offered a public opinion on the matter seem to feel that it shows Ruth did not call his shot. The film itself shows the action much more clearly than the Kandle film, showing Ruth visibly shouting something either at Root or at the Cub dugout while pointing.

The authors of the book Yankees Century also believe the Warp film proves conclusively that the home run was not at all a "called shot". However, Montville's 2006 book, The Big Bam, asserts that neither film answers the question definitively.

Legacy and cultural references

Baby Ruth sign 1935
The Baby Ruth sign outside Wrigley Field, as seen during the 1935 World Series, three years after the "Called Shot". Note the 440 marker in the center field corner. Ruth's hit went to the right of it and farther back.

Shortly after the called shot, the Chicago-based Curtiss Candy Company, makers of the Baby Ruth candy bar, installed a large advertising sign on the rooftop on one of the apartment buildings on Sheffield Avenue. The sign, which read "Baby Ruth", was just across the street from where Ruth's home run had landed. Until the 1970s, when the aging sign was taken down, Cubs fans at Wrigley Field had to endure this not-so-subtle reminder of the "called shot".

In the 1948 biographical film The Babe Ruth Story, Ruth delivers on a promise he made to a young cancer patient that he would hit a home run. Not only does Ruth succeed in fulfilling the promise, but the child is subsequently cured of his cancer.

In an early scene in the 1984 film, The Natural, a Ruth-like player called "the Whammer" points his bat menacingly toward and past Roy Hobbs, declaring his own "called shot." However, Hobbs strikes the Whammer out on three pitches.

Major league slugger Jim Thome used a similar bat-pointing gesture as part of his normal preparation for an at-bat.

In the 1989 film Major League, the climax of the movie depicts Indians catcher Jake Taylor pointing towards the outfield, clearly making a reference to Ruth's called shot. Fittingly, Jake was playing against the New York Yankees. The pitcher then throws a pitch high and inside, referencing Root's suggestion that he would have thrown at Ruth if he had really called his shot. Jake repeats the called shot, but instead of going for a home run, bunts the next pitch for a modified squeeze play, allowing the winning run to come in from second base.

In the 1992 The Simpsons episode "Homer at the Bat", Homer Simpson, when up for bat at a softball game, points to the stands. When he hits the ball and it goes to the opposite side, he points to that side and pretends that's where he meant to hit it. In the 1999 episode "Wild Barts Can't Be Broken", Ruth's "illegitimate great-grandson" Babe Ruth IV is a hitter for the Springfield Isotopes. While at bat, he points towards the right field bleachers at Duff Stadium, looking at a "dying little boy" (shown to be Bart, who was healthy), then points down to signal a bunt. He is immediately tagged out, as three opposing players were a mere few feet away from him.

In the 1993 film, The Sandlot, the characters are fans of Ruth and reference his called shot by imitating it.

In 2000, a novel titled Babe & Me was published by author Dan Gutman. A young boy travels back in time to prove the shot was called.

In George Carlin's 2001 book Napalm and Silly Putty, he "reveals" that, "Contrary to popular belief, Babe Ruth did not call his famous home run shot. He was actually giving the finger to a hot dog vendor who had cheated him out of twelve cents."

In the mid-2000s Bud Light made a commercial of the called shot, humorously depicting Ruth pointing towards center field because he had spotted a vendor selling Bud Light there.

In 2005, the jersey which Ruth was wearing during the game was sold for US$1,056,630 at auction.[23]

In the 2006 computer animated film Everyone's Hero, the shot is instead played by protagonist Yankee Irving using Ruth's famed bat. Yankee hits a home run on Ruth's suggestion. According to the film, the story takes place during the 1932 World Series.

In the 2006 movie The Benchwarmers, one of the main characters, Richie, points his hand towards center field, resembling Ruth's called shot. Richie's hand then starts dragging down to a spot right in front of home plate. Richie then hits the ball right where his hand points to.

In the 2007 video game Team Fortress 2, the baseball fanatic Scout, in one of his taunts called the Home Run, points at the sky in the distance and then whacks an opponent with his baseball bat, hitting the player in the direction he pointed, landing an instant kill on anyone caught by it.

At WrestleMania 35, a vignette of the famous home run was played before John Cena reprised his 'Doctor of Thuganomics' gimmick, interrupting Elias.

References

  1. ^ Montville, Leigh (2006). The Big Bam: the life and times of Babe Ruth. Doubleday. p. 502. ISBN 0-385-51437-9.
  2. ^ "Is This The Ball?". Baberuthbaseball.com. 1932-10-01. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  3. ^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=j68wAAAAIBAJ&sjid=pIoDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6123,1564844&dq=world+series&hl=en
  4. ^ Toobin, Jeffrey (March 22, 2010). "After Stevens". The New Yorker. p. 41.
  5. ^ "Sports Moment | American History Lives at American Heritage". Americanheritage.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  6. ^ http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FCI/is_10_62/ai_107488942/
  7. ^ KARL VOGEL Lincoln Journal, Star. "Minden family's film shows Babe Ruth's "called shot' homer." Lincoln Journal Star (NE) 24 Dec. 1999: NewsBank - Archives. Web. 23 Feb. 2016.
  8. ^ Chris Harry, Sentinel Staff Writer. "ON HIS HONOR; Justice John Paul Stevens witnessed Babe Ruth's historic 'called' shot." Orlando Sentinel, The (FL) 30 Sept. 2007: NewsBank. Web. 17 Feb. 2016.
  9. ^ Ruth, Babe; Considine, Bob (1948). The Babe Ruth Story: As Told to Bob Considine. E.P. Dutton. p. 191.
  10. ^ Ruth, Babe; Considine, Bob (1948). The Babe Ruth Story: As Told to Bob Considine. E.P. Dutton. pp. 193–194.
  11. ^ "Daily News America – Breaking national news, video, and photos – Homepage – NY Daily News". Articles.nydailynews.com. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  12. ^ "Ruth's Called Shot Among Greatest World Series Homers – 500 Home Run Club – The Most Inspiring Sluggers in Baseball History". 500hrc.com. 2006-09-30. Retrieved 2013-04-22.
  13. ^ Meany, Tom (1947). Babe Ruth: The Rollicking Life Story of Baseball's Big Fellow. A.S. Barnes.
  14. ^ Condon, David (February 17, 1966). "In the Wake of the News". Chicago Tribune. p. 11.
  15. ^ "After Stevens". The New Yorker. March 22, 2010. p. 41.
  16. ^ "Lou Gehrig Quotes". Baseball-Almanac.com. Archived from the original on 2 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-25.
  17. ^ Povich, Shirley (1969). All These Mornings.
  18. ^ "Ray Kelly, 83, Babe Ruth's Little Pal, Dies". The New York Times. November 14, 2001. Retrieved 2015-03-02.
  19. ^ Atkin, Ross (10 April 1980). "BASEBALL Ruth lore: fact or fiction?". Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 3 September 2018.
  20. ^ Snell, Roger. Root for the Cubs. Archived from the original on 2009-06-18. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  21. ^ Bryson, Michael. The Twenty-Four Inch Home Run. p. 159.
  22. ^ Front Page TV Show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E99eUE9b4GY [unavailable on request of the Kandle family]
  23. ^ "eMuseum of Great Uniforms & Memorabilia". Grey Flannel Auctions Blog. 6 February 2013. Retrieved 29 November 2016.

Bibliography

  • Creamer, Robert W. (1974). Babe: The Legend Comes to Life. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-671-21770-4.
  • Honig, Donald (1985). Baseball America: The Heroes of the Game and the Times of Their Glory. New York: Scribner. ISBN 0-025-53580-3.
  • Sherman, Ed (2014). Babe Ruth's Called Shot: The Myth and Mystery of Baseball's Greatest Home Run. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press. ISBN 0-762-78539-X.
  • Snell, Roger (2009). Root for the Cubs: Charlie Root & the 1929 Chicago Cubs. Nicholasville, KY: Wind Publications. ISBN 978-1-893-23995-1.
  • Stout, Glenn (2002). Yankees Century: 100 Years of New York Yankees Baseball. New York: Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 0-618-08527-0.

External links

1932 Chicago Cubs season

The 1932 Chicago Cubs season was the 61st season of the Chicago Cubs franchise, the 57th in the National League and the 17th at Wrigley Field. The Cubs finished first in the National League with a record of 90–64, four games ahead of the second place Pittsburgh Pirates. The team was swept four games to none by the New York Yankees in the 1932 World Series.

1932 New York Yankees season

The 1932 New York Yankees season was the team's 30th season in New York, and its 32nd season overall. The team finished with a record of 107–47, winning their seventh pennant, finishing 13 games ahead of the Philadelphia Athletics. New York was managed by future Hall of Famer Joe McCarthy. A record nine future Hall of Famers played on the team (Earle Combs, Bill Dickey, Lou Gehrig, Lefty Gomez, Tony Lazzeri, Herb Pennock, Red Ruffing, Babe Ruth, Joe Sewell).

The Yankees played their home games at Yankee Stadium. In the World Series, they swept the Chicago Cubs. They are the only major-league team ever to go an entire season without being shut out.

1932 World Series

The 1932 World Series was a four-game sweep by the American League champions New York Yankees over the National League champions Chicago Cubs. By far its most noteworthy moment was Babe Ruth's "called shot" home run, in his 10th and last World Series. It was punctuated by fiery arguments between the two teams, heating up the atmosphere before the World Series even began. A record 13 future Hall of Famers played in this Series, with three other future Hall of Famers also participating: umpire Bill Klem; Yankee's manager Joe McCarthy; and Cubs manager Rogers Hornsby. It was also the first in which both teams wore uniforms with numbers on the backs of the shirts.

Babe Ruth (disambiguation)

Babe Ruth (1895–1948) was an American baseball outfielder and pitcher who played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 1914 to 1935.

Babe Ruth may also refer to:

Babe Ruth (band), an English band

Babe Ruth Award, a baseball award

Babe Ruth (film), a 1991 American drama film

Baby Ruth

Baby Ruth is an American candy bar made of peanuts, caramel, and milk chocolate-flavored nougat, covered in compound chocolate. It is distributed by the Ferrara Candy Company, a subsidiary of Ferrero.

Baseball Card Adventures

The Baseball Card Adventures is a novel series written by Dan Gutman. There are 12 books in the series. The books feature a boy, Joe Stoshack, who can travel through time when he touches old baseball cards. When he holds a baseball card, he feels a tingling sensation, and when it gets strong, is transported to the year that card was made and somewhere near the ballplayer on the card. Later he discovers that this power also works on very old photographs. He tries to use this power wisely, and he attempts to change history several times, but it is always something different from his original goal.

The novels are typically illustrated with black and white photos from the time period in which the story takes place. For an example, when Jackie Robinson steals second base in Jackie & Me, a real photo of Jackie Robinson stealing a base is pictured. Occasionally they will also be illustrated with pictures taken exclusively for the book.The Cambridge Companion to Baseball in its review of baseball fiction calls the books "an eclectic enterprise" which "uninhibitedly embraces the genre's cliches." Library Journal called them "good examples" of traditional sports novels.

Charlie Devens

Charles Devens (January 1, 1910 in Milton, Massachusetts – August 13, 2003 in Scarborough, Maine), was a Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1932-1934. After pitching for Harvard he was signed in 1932 to the New York Yankees. At 92 years of age, Devens was the oldest surviving member of the famed 1932 world championship Yankees team and recalled with great detail [1] the now famous Babe Ruth's Called Shot.

Charlie Root

Charlie Henry "Chinski" Root (March 17, 1899 – November 5, 1970) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher with the St. Louis Browns and the Chicago Cubs between 1923 and 1941. Root batted and threw right-handed. He holds the club record for games, innings pitched, and career wins with 201.

Curse of the Billy Goat

The Curse of the Billy Goat was a sports-related curse that was supposedly placed on the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise in 1945, by Billy Goat Tavern owner William Sianis. The curse lasted 71 years, from 1945 to 2016. Because the odor of his pet goat, named Murphy, was bothering other fans, Sianis was asked to leave Wrigley Field, the Cubs' home ballpark, during game 4 of the 1945 World Series. Outraged, Sianis allegedly declared, "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more," which had been interpreted to mean that the Cubs would never win another National League (NL) pennant, at least for the remainder of Sianis's life.

The Cubs lost the 1945 World Series to the Detroit Tigers, and did not win a World Series championship again until 2016. The Cubs had last won the World Series in 1908. After the incident with Sianis and Murphy, the Cubs did not play in the World Series for the next 71 years until, on the 46th anniversary of Billy Sianis's death, the "curse" was broken when they defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5–0 in game 6 of the 2016 National League Championship Series to win the NL pennant. The Cubs then defeated the American League (AL) champion Cleveland Indians 8–7 in 10 innings in game 7 to win the 2016 World Series, 108 years after their last win.

Erle V. Painter

Erle Vansant Painter (December 20, 1881 – September 1968), or Doc, was an American chiropractor and athletic trainer for the 1929 Boston Braves and 1930–1942 New York Yankees. He also helped direct the Brooklyn YMCA, and was a professor at Florida Southern College. Due to his role as trainer for the Yankee organization he was credited with "modernizing training methods for professional athletes".

Evo 2004

The 2004 Evolution Championship Series (commonly referred to as Evo 2004 or EVO 2004) was a fighting game event held at the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, Southern California on July 29 to August 1. The event featured nine fighting games on the main lineup, including Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and Marvel vs. Capcom 2. While in previous Evolution events all competitions were held on arcade machines, most tournaments at Evo 2004 were played on video game consoles.

Evo 2004 featured the first Street Fighter match between Daigo Umehara and Justin Wong, in which Umehara executed the "Daigo Parry". The controversial final match of the Soulcalibur II tournaments held at Evo 2004 motivated the implementation of a collusion rule still in use today.

Evo Moment 37

"Evo Moment #37", or the "Daigo Parry", refers to a portion of a Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike semifinal match held at Evolution Championship Series 2004 (Evo 2004) between Daigo Umehara and Justin Wong. During this match, Umehara made an unexpected comeback by parrying 15 consecutive hits of Wong's "Super Art" move while having only one pixel of vitality. Umehara subsequently won the match, though he went on to lose the Grand Final against Kenji "KO" Obata. Evo Moment #37 is frequently described as the most iconic moment in competitive video gaming, having influenced the fighting game community strongly.

Francis J. Powers

Francis J. Powers (1895–1977) was a sportswriter best known for his work with the Chicago Daily News.

Powers worked as a journalist in Dayton and Cleveland, Ohio from 1916 to 1929 before moving to Chicago. He is credited with coining the memorable nickname of Elroy "Crazylegs" Hirsch, writing of Hirsch in 1942 in the Daily News, "His crazy legs were gyrating in six different directions, all at the same time." His 1950 interview with pitcher Charlie Root included Root's angry refutation of the legend of Babe Ruth's called shot, with Root saying of Ruth's alleged call, "If he [Ruth] had made a move like that—well, anyone who knows me knows the Babe would have wound up on his posterior. He would have got my hard, hard pitch. I mean hard and I mean inside."Powers was the public relations director for the East–West Shrine Game from 1955 to 1975.

Gabby Hartnett

Charles Leo "Gabby" Hartnett (December 20, 1900 – December 20, 1972), nicknamed "Old Tomato Face", was an American professional baseball player and manager. He played almost his entire career in Major League Baseball as a catcher for the Chicago Cubs, from 1922 to 1940. He spent the final season of his career as a player-coach for the New York Giants in 1941. After his playing career, he continued his involvement in baseball as a coach and as a minor league manager.

Hartnett was an all-around player, performing well both offensively and defensively. Known for his strong and accurate throwing arm, he routinely led the National League's catchers in caught stealing percentage and was the first major league catcher to hit more than 20 home runs in a season. During the course of his career, he took part of some of the most memorable events in Major League Baseball history including; Babe Ruth's Called Shot during the 1932 World Series, Carl Hubbell's strike-out performance in the 1934 All-Star Game and Dizzy Dean's career-altering injury during the 1937 All-Star Game. But the greatest moment of Hartnett's career came with one week left in the 1938 season, when he hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to put the Cubs in first place. The event, which occurred as darkness descended onto Wrigley Field, became immortalized as the Homer in the Gloamin'.Prior to Johnny Bench, Hartnett was considered the greatest catcher in the history of the National League. A six-time All-Star, he appeared in four World Series during his playing career. At the time of his retirement, Hartnett held the career records for catchers in home runs, runs batted in, hits, doubles and in most games played as a catcher. Hartnett was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1955.

History of the Chicago Cubs

The following is a franchise history of the Chicago Cubs of Major League Baseball, a charter member of the National League who started play in the National Association in 1870 as the Chicago White Stockings. The Chicago National League Ball Club is the only franchise to play continuously in the same city since the formation of the National League in 1876. They are the earliest formed active professional sports club in North America. In their history, they have also been known as the White Stockings, Orphans, Colts, Panamas, Rainmakers, Spuds, Trojans, Microbes, and Zephyrs.

Roy Van Graflan

Roy R. Van Graflan (born Roy R. Van Graafeiland, February 14, 1894 – September 4, 1953) was a professional baseball umpire who worked in the American League from 1927 to 1933. Van Graflan umpired 1,034 major league games in his seven-year career. He also umpired in two World Series (1929 and 1932).

The Twenty-Four-Inch Home Run

The Twenty-Four-Inch Home Run: And Other Outlandish, Incredible But True Events in Baseball History is a book about baseball lore written by sportswriter Michael G. Bryson. The title refers to the book's central story, about a game where Andy Oyler hit a baseball that became stuck in the mud 24 inches in front of home plate, allowing him to score an inside-the-park home run before the opposing team located it. All told, the book contains 250 such stories, including an anecdote about a team registering a triple play without touching the ball. Bryson also debunks several well-known baseball legends, including Babe Ruth's called shot and the story that Abner Doubleday invented baseball.The News Journal described the book as being filled with "wisecrack anecdotes" and "amazing facts, ludicrous turns of events, and hilarious quotes." Baseball historian Stew Thornley described the book as "compilation of strange but supposedly true baseball tales", but questioned the veracity of the Oyler story, saying that Bryson "provides more details and great embellishment but did not give the date of the game."The book has been cited as a source by Society for American Baseball Research, several reference books, and a book about baseball's influence on American foreign policy. One review wryly quipped "The title explains this book about as well as any brief review could."It was used as a source for Matt Tavares's children's book Mudball. The book was featured by the LA84 Foundation in its 1991 convention.

The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs

The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs is a 432-page non-fiction book by Bill Jenkinson published by Carroll & Graf Publishers in March 2007. As of December 2007, its first printing had sold over 10,000 copies.

According to the introduction, the book is not a new Babe Ruth biography. Rather, it is a factual treatise of Ruth's power and his dominance of the game of baseball.

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