Thursday, May 25, 2017

Enforcing an Old Memory

I have had a haunting memory of hearing a baseball game on our battery powered radio when I was a kid, of Babe Ruth hitting 3 Home Runs in one game. I remember talking about it with family at the time but was reluctant to bring it up as I got older because of remembering that he wasn't playing with the Yankees and with all the HR's he had hit, why would these 3 be special. This morning in reading the Omaha World Herald, I got my answer from their History column:
       "1935: Babe Ruth hit his last three career home runs-nos. 712, 713 and 714-for the Boston Braves in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates won, 11-7."
Stories on the Internet say that the Yankees released the 40 year old  Ruth in late February of 1935, and he was picked up by the Braves in an opportunity to return to Boston. The Yankees had acquired him from the Red Sox 15 years earlier. He made the Braves management look good by hitting a HR on opening day at Braves Field against the New York Giants on April 16. But through May 24, he was hitting just 153 with three home runs. On May 25th, Ruth was batting in the 3rd slot and got his first HR off the Pirates Red Lucas in the first inning with a runner on base. In the 3rd inning he hit another HR to right field off Huck Betts.  Still in the groove, Ruth added another RBI with a single off Guy Bush to put the Braves up 5-4 in the top of the 5th. However, the Pirates scored 3 runs in the bottom of that inning to take a 7-5 lead. With the score intact and Bush still pitching, Ruth came up for the fourth time in the top of the 7th with one out and the bases empty. Career home run #714 came on a 3-1 count and bettered the earlier efforts, majestically clearing Forbes Field's right field roof-for the first time in the ballpark's 26-year history. After rounding the bases in a 1935 version of his classic trot, Babe saluted the fans with a tipped cap, and then excused himself from the game. The Pirates ended up winning 11-7. While this was Babe's "Last Hurrah", he played 5 more games without a hit in 13 plate appearances. In early June he made his retirement official after pinch hitting on May 30. The Babe died on August 16, 1948 and his HR record held up until April 8th, opening day in 1974 when Hank Aaron hit #715. Roger Maris hit HR # 61 on October 1, 1961 breaking Ruth's record of 60 during the 1927 season.

No comments:

Post a Comment