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1932_World_Series

1932 World Series

The 1932 World Series was played between the New York Yankees (American League) and the Chicago Cubs (National League), with the Yankees holding home field advantage. The Yankees swept the Cubs, four games to none. The series was otherwise noteworthy for Babe Ruth's "called shot", for his tenth and last World Series appearance overall, and for the arguments that developed between the two teams. The heated atmosphere started before the series even began.

In this Series played a record thirteen future Hall of Famers.

Summary

AL New York Yankees (4) vs. NL Chicago Cubs (0)
Game Score Date Location Attendance
1 Chicago Cubs - 6, New York Yankees - 12 September 28 Yankee Stadium 41,459
2 Chicago Cubs - 2, New York Yankees - 5 September 29 Yankee Stadium 50,709
3 New York Yankees - 7, Chicago Cubs - 5 October 1 Wrigley Field 49,986
4 New York Yankees - 13, Chicago Cubs - 6 October 2 Wrigley Field 49,844

Matchups

Game 1

Wednesday, September 28, 1932 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York

Game 2

Thursday, September 29, 1932 at Yankee Stadium in Bronx, New York

Game 3

Saturday, October 1, 1932 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois

Roughly 50,000 Cubs fans showed up for Game 3, the large crowd made possible by the construction of temporary bleachers in Waveland and Sheffield Avenues. In a prelude of things to come, Ruth and Lou Gehrig put on an impressive batting display during batting practice. Ruth launched nine balls to the outfield stands while Gehrig hit seven. As reported in the first edition of A Day at the Park, by William Hartel, p.82, Ruth said while batting: "I'd play for half my salary if I could bat in this dump all the time!"

Cubs starting pitcher Charlie Root struggled in the first inning of game 3. The first two Yankees reached base when Ruth came to bat and hit a home run into the right-center bleachers to put the Yankees up 3-0. As the existing newsreel footage shows, Gehrig gave Ruth a friendly swat across the fanny as Ruth crossed the plate. Gehrig then hit a home run of his own in the third inning, echoing a homer he had hit at Wrigley while in high school. This put the Yankees up 4-1. The Cubs battled back with two runs in the third and one in the fourth, tying the score at four runs a piece. Joe Judge, who scored the tying run in the fourth, had doubled to right after Ruth dove in a futile attempt to catch the ball.

What happened in the top of the fifth inning is the stuff of legend. The series is immortalized in many history books for just that reason. Though Ruth and Gehrig each hit a home run in the inning [in back-to-back at-bats], it is Ruth’s hit that is the better known. Ruth supposedly predicted his home run by pointing to the stands prior to a pitch. While it has been confirmed that he pointed somewhere during the at-bat, there has been much debate as to whether Ruth actually "called" the home run, as there is a lack of solid evidence proving exactly what he was pointing at.

Game 4

Sunday, October 2, 1932 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois

Composite Box

1932 World Series (4-0): New York Yankees (A.L.) over Chicago Cubs (N.L.)

The arguments

Bench jockeying, called "trash talk" nowadays, was standard procedure in baseball at that time, with no verbal punches pulled, but the jockeying was said to be taken to new heights (or depths) in this Series, on the grounds of a personal disrespect against a former teammate.

The initial cause of the bad tempers was over former Yankee shortstop Mark Koenig. The Cubs picked up Koenig from the Detroit Tigers via the Mission Reds of the PCL on April 25, 1932. Despite Koenig's regular-season contributions, the other Cubs players voted him only half a share of their World Series money because he only played in 33 games and was unable to play in the Series due to injury. Some of Koenig's Yankee friends heard of this; as a result, they began to criticize the Cubs players as "cheapskates" in the press. The Yankees felt the Cubs were being "tight" with their money.

Ruth's remarks seemed to set the Cubs players off the most when he called them cheapskates. Adding some spice to the verbal stew was the fact that the Yankees' manager, Joe McCarthy, had previously been fired by the Cubs. When the series started in New York, the Cubs players retaliated at Ruth by calling him fat and washed up along with every obscene name they could think of. Guy Bush, the Cubs starting pitcher in game 1, was particularly vocal against Ruth, calling him "nigger" (a common bench-jockey slam against Ruth due to his German-featured broad nose and thick lips), and this type of "banter" lasted for most of the Series.

The Called Shot

Babe Ruth's Called Shot refers to the home run hit by Babe Ruth in the fifth inning of game 3. During the at-bat, Ruth made a pointing gesture, which existing film confirms, but the exact nature of his gesture is ambiguous. Although neither fully confirmed nor refuted, the story goes that Ruth pointed to the center field bleachers during the at-bat. It was supposedly a declaration that he would hit a home run to this part of the park. On the next pitch, he hit a "Ruthian" home run to deep center field, past the flagpole and into the temporary seating in the streets, the flight of the ball estimated at nearly 500 feet. A few reporters later wrote that Ruth had "called his shot" (a reference to pocket billiards), and thus the legend was born. Ruth, ever-aware of his larger-than-life public image, was quick to "confirm" the story once he became aware of it. Conflicting testimony and inconclusive film footage have placed the moment in the realm of baseball legends.

Notes

Reference(s)

  • 1932 World Series by Baseball Almanac http://www.baseball-almanac.com/ws/yr1932ws.shtml
  • Baseball America by Donald Honig ISBN 0-88365-817-8
  • Creamer, Robert W. Babe: The Legend Comes to Life. Simon and Schuster, 1974, 440 pages.
  • Stout, Glenn. Yankees Century. Houghton Mifflin, 2003, 478 pages.
  • Neft, David S., and Richard M. Cohen. The World Series. 1st ed. New York: St Martins, 1990. (Neft and Cohen 142-146)
  • Reichler, Joseph, ed. (1982). The Baseball Encyclopedia (5th ed.), p. 2140. MacMillian Publishing. ISBN 0-02-579010-2.
  • Forman, Sean L. 1932 World Series. Baseball-Reference.com - Major League Statistics and Information.. Retrieved on 2007-12-09..

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