Nutshell: Babe F@#%ing Ruth, Ladies and Gentlemen
Why yes, Babe Ruth did call his shot in the 1932 World Series.
October 1st, 1932
The greatest baseball moment in the greatest baseball career of all time occurred in the 1932 World Series between the New York Yankees and Chicago Cubs. It was the fifth inning of Game 3 in front of a hostile Chicago crowd in Wrigley Field, score tied at 4-4. The one and only Babe Ruth stepped to the dish against Charlie Root with one runner on.
The Babe had been getting heckled mercilessly throughout that game by Cubs fans and players, though it clearly wasn't affecting his performance; he had already gone deep earlier. It seemed to have been bothering him internally, though. Because George Herman Ruth was set on crushing the souls of the entire Cubs organization that at bat.
First pitch he took. Fastball. Strike one. The heckling got louder. Ruth now pointed to the centerfield bleachers for the first time. Next pitch, another fastball. Strike two. Perhaps the Babe wanted it to be 0-2 so as to add some salt to the wound he was about to open. He pointed to the centerfield stands again and settled into his stance, scooting forward in the box. Curveball from Root. The Babe unloaded on it, sending it high into the stands just to the right of dead center, which was 440 feet away. An absolute bomb.
The man called his shot. In the World Series. With an 0-2 count. In a hostile environment. Off a pitcher who won 201 games in his career. That's why he's the Great Bambino.
Did He Call It, Though?
One of the greatest moments in baseball history has also ignited one of its greatest debates. Did Babe Ruth really call his shot? Or was he simply pointing at the pitcher? Or the dugout? Or the fans? There have been conflicting reports from eye-witnesses and those who were close to Ruth. Some say he did, some say he didn't. Before I stumbled upon this story about a week ago, I would have said no, he didn't call it. He was just talking shit back to the people talking shit to him.
It turns out, Lou Gehrig, a reserved, intelligent man not known for hyperbole or dishonesty, who was standing in the on-deck circle when this happened, confirmed this legendary event in a radio clip uncovered in 2020.
I guess we'll never really know if the Babe called his shot. But Lou Gehrig stating that he did is a damn solid endorsement.
So in my mind, this was just the GOAT doing GOAT shit. Lou Gehrig said so, damnit!