MLB General

Oct 2 in Sports History: The Babe calls his shot

In 1932: Depending on what you believe, this was the day that Babe Ruth supposedly hit his famous “called shot” in Wrigley Field in the World Series. In the fifth inning, Ruth was being heckled by the Chicago Cubs’ bench and the crowd. After falling behind two strikes, Ruth made what some called a motion toward the centerfield bleachers and what others believed to be a gesture at Cubs pitcher Charlie Root. Either way, Ruth smashed a towering homerun into those bleachers while a stunned crowd looked on in complete silence. They were so shocked that they didn’t even seem to notice Lou Gehrig’s homerun on the very next pitch. The Yank’s easily won the series in four games. (baseball

In 1970: 14 members of the Wichita State football team were killed when their plane crashed into the Rocky Mountains outside of Denver on its way to Utah. It was one of two planes that were traveling to the game, and the team resumed its schedule three weeks later. The Shockers football program would never be the same, as it had only one more winning season and was discontinued in 1986. It was not the only air tragedy in college football that fall, as the Marshall football program was decimated by a crash a little more than a month later. (

All Other Sports

Sep 20 in Sports History: Billie Jean King defeats Bobby Riggs

In 1973: In a tennis exhibition match at Houston’s Astrodome, Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets. Many viewed it as a milestone in women’s sports, despite King being the top-ranked women’s player and Riggs being 55 years old. Riggs defeated Margaret Court, another highly ranked player, earlier in the year.

In 1927: Babe Ruth of the Yankees hit his 60th homerun of the season. The Babe broke his own record of 59, set in 1921. His record would stand until 1961, when Roger Maris hit 61. Maris’s benchmark stood until the late 1990s, when several players eclipsed 61 numerous times.

In 1987: In a game against the Giants, Walter Payton of the Chicago Bears broke Jim Brown’s record with his 107th career rushing touchdown. “Sweetness” broke the record in 12 years and retired following the 1987 season. Emmitt Smith of the Cowboys now holds the record with 164. Payton was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993 and sadly died in 1999.

New York Yankees

August 23 in Sports History: Ruth jacks em one last time

In 1942: While it is known that Babe Ruth hit his final three home runs in Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, it wasn’t the last time he thrilled fans with a few long balls. Batting against fellow Hall of Famer and legendary pitcher Walter Johnson, Ruth hit two into the stands to thrill the Yankee Stadium crowd one more time. The at-bats were part of pre-game festivities for charity; and Ruth, Johnson and 69,000 fans helped contribute $80,000 for Army-Navy relief during the war. The Yankees and Senators then split a doubleheader.

In 2005 (on August 20): San Francisco 49er’s offensive lineman Thomas Herrion collapsed and died in the locker room following a preseason game in Denver against the Broncos. The 330-pound rookie from Utah was on the field for the 49ers final drive of the game (14 plays), and was administered oxygen immediately afterward. During a team prayer in the locker room, Herrion slumped over and was immediately given first-aid. He was pronounced dead three hours later. An autopsy later determined that the cause of death was heart disease. He was 23.