Bucket list moment: Speaking about my Babe Ruth Called Shot book at Cooperstown

Me at Hall of FameSo I am walking through the various galleries at the Baseball Hall of Fame on a Wednesday morning, looking at Stan Musial’s locker and Sandy Koufax’s jersey, when all of the sudden I hear my name on the loud speaker.

“Come hear author Ed Sherman talk about his book on Babe Ruth’s Called Shot in the Bullpen Theater at 1,” the voice said.

Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine hearing my name ring out through the hallowed Halls of Cooperstown. And it didn’t just happen once. It happened several times prior to my chat.

Now that is a true bucket list moment.

All in all, it was one of the more memorable days of my career. Many thanks to Bruce Markusen for inviting me to speak during the Hall’s author series during the summer.

Also thanks to Greg Klein of the Cooperstown Crier for his story about my talk.

Did Babe Ruth really call his home run in Game 3 of the World Series on Oct. 1, 1932? Even the author investigating it this decade can’t be certain, but he does have an opinion. 

“The intellectual part of me says, ‘no, it didn’t happen the way it was depicted in the movies,’” said Ed Sherman, author of the book, “Babe Ruth’s Called Shot, The Myth and Mystery of Baseball’s Greatest Home Run.”

Sherman, a longtime reporter for the Chicago Tribune, who now runs the website Shermanreport.com, said that it is more likely Ruth was engaging the Chicago Cubs players, who had been taunting him during the game. 

“Is he pointing? Is he telling (Cubs pitcher Charlie) Root, I am going to knock this down your throat? If so, he missed by about 490 feet,” Sherman said. “He is definitely challenging the Cubs.

“The Cubs were taunting him by saying things I would not say here in a family situation,” he continued. “It is amazing to think about today, but they actually had players standing on-field taunting him.”

Sherman interviewed dozens of people for the book, including witnesses who were at Wrigley Field, and Ruth’s daughter. He even spoke with former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who was 12 when he attended the game. Stevens told Sherman he wasn’t sure if Ruth called his shot. However, in a later interview with Scott Pelley for “60 Minutes,” Stevens said Ruth did call it. 

Other witnesses’ accounts proved to be equally unreliable, Sherman said.

“If you were at the game, you want to say he called his shot, because you want to be part of history,” he said. 

I hope the Babe was listening somewhere.

 

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