Babe Ruth

Two years before he left Boston to play for the Yankees, Babe Ruth thought about signing with the Chester Shipyard League

With his win over Philadelphia on the last day of August, Babe Ruth helped the 1918 Red Sox clinch the AL pennant. (Boston will not win another pennant until 1946).  That year as a pitcher, he went 13-7; his ERA was 2.22 & he pitched one shutout. He also started 59 games in left & 13 at first. As a batter that season, Ruth compiled 317 at-bats (his previous high was 136); hit 11 home runs in a year when home runs in the American League had totaled 98, & drove in 66 runs & hit for a .300 average.

In the World Series against the Chicago Cubs, Ruth was used as a pitcher (he had only 5 at-bats). He won the first game 1-0, pitching a complete game.  During the 7th inning stretch of  that game, which was played at Comiskey Park, a military band played “The Star Spangled Banner” although it had not yet been adopted as the national anthem. The custom of playing it before every game won’t begin until WW II. Ruth then pitched in the fourth game (the Red Sox held a 2-1 Series lead) & shutout the Cubs for 7 innings before being relieved in the 9th. The Red Sox won the game 3-2. The seven shutout innings, combined with the 9 he had pitched in the Series opener & the 13 he had pitched in the 1916 Series, gave him 29 consecutive scoreless World Series innings, which broke Christy Mathewson’s previous record of 28 in 1905. It was a record that would stand for 42 years. The Red Sox won the World Series in game six at Fenway Park.  It would be the team’s third title in 4 years & fifth overall (five of the first 15 World Series).

Ruth, who never really got along with manager Ed Barrow, even threatened to leave the Red Sox to play for the Chester Shipyard League, a semiprofessional team in Chester, Pennsylvania.  But Harry Frazee, the Red Sox owner, threatened a lawsuit & put an end to Ruth’s proposed mutiny. (photos credits: AP/Library of Congress; inset – Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum)

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  • personalpedia  On September 17, 2009 at 6:41 am

    Ruth is wearing the plain flannel uniform of the ’18 Red Sox. It might be an inappropriate uniform photo for the World Series that year when, according to my limited understanding, the Red Sox wore a navy pinstriped uniform during the games played against the Cubs at Comiskey Park. The photo of Ruth taking a warm-up swing is from the Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago History Museum

  • Watch Mighty Boosh Online  On January 13, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    I’m unsure if I agree with everything written but this was definitely informative and well-written.

  • personalpedia  On October 5, 2010 at 1:51 am

    point well-taken; reason for lack of attribution to convoluted; now included

  • Uggs  On January 18, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    very nice post, i actually love this website, keep on it

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