10/01/2004: On to far more important matters than politics....
namely, baseball history. Today represents a couple interesting anniversaries in MLB history. Apropos of an earlier trivia question (see question #6), today marks the 71st anniversary of the last appearance that Babe Ruth made as a pitcher, a nine inning complete game victory in which Ruth also went yard in the 5th inning.
And today also marks the 43rd anniversary of the day Roger Maris hit his 61st home run of the 1961 season, thus being the man to break the Babe's single season home run record (which has stood for 34 years). That record, of course, was to stand 37 years until broken by Mark McGwire's 70 home runs in 1998.
Speaking of Mark McGwire, today is his 41st birthday. Happy birthday, Mark!
And speaking of Babe Ruth, today is also the day that, according to legend, Babe Ruth hit the famous "called shot" off Charley Root of the Cubs in Game #3 of the 1932 World Series, played at Wrigley Field. While a nice legend, it's probably not the truth; Ruth himself never claimed to have called his shot until years afterwards (long after it had become legend), and Charley Root always denied it, claiming that if Ruth had hit a called shot he'd have put Ruth on his ass on his next plate appearance. But, as the old saying goes, "When the legend becomes truth, print the legend."
UPDATE: I couldn't resist checking out Baseball Library's "this day in Baseball history" squib on the called shot. Interestingly enough, they sort of play it sorta uncommital; they won't call the called shot an out and out legend, but say that "In the fifth inning, Babe Ruth waits until he has 2 strikes and then gestures to P Charlie Root. He belts the next pitch into the CF bleachers."
Kinda like the Bible; we don't want to screw around with people's cherished legends.
Len on 10.01.04 @ 07:55 AM CST