Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 5, 1935: Dizzy Homers Then Strikes Out The Babe In Boston

     On May 5, 1935, Dizzy Dean and the Cardinals faced Babe Ruth's Braves in Boston, and beat them 7-0. It was the first time during a regular season the two legends of the game would face off, which led to a crowd of more than 30,000 packing into the stands of Braves Field.  Dean walked Ruth in the first, then in the second he launched a home run into the left field stands that flew right over Ruth's head. By the time the top of the second was over the Cardinals had Braves hurler Ed Brandt to the showers and were up 6-0. The next time The Babe came to the plate was in the fourth inning, and ole Dizzy struck him out. The day after this ballgame, Bill King, a writer for the Associated Press  wrote "with a wide grin on his face, Dizzy Dean waved his outfielders back to the fence and grooved a fast third strike on Babe Ruth today." Ruth followed the strikeout with a ground out in the sixth, before being pulled in the seventh. Dizzy had won the battle.

     The meeting between Dean and Ruth had a great buildup, as Dizzy had made a few comments the day that Ruth jumped over to the Boston Braves after spending the last 15 seasons in the Bronx. Dean said he resented the move, and that Ruth should have stayed in New York, rather than jump at a possible managerial job with the Braves. Dizzy also said that Ruth would be "just another out" for him and his brother, which stirred the proverbial pot. When sportswriters told Ruth what Dizzy said he refused to believe it. One day later, Dean retracted the statement saying he wished Ruth the best unless he was facing the Cardinals. Dean was more upset over the possibility that Bill Mckechnie would be replaced as manager of the Braves in favor of Ruth. After hearing his former skipper would be working as the club's General Manager he became more favorable of the move, and noted it would help draw more fans to National League ballparks.
     Ruth inked a deal with the Braves  the same day the Yankees released him. Part of the deal with the Braves was a front office position and what the famed slugger believed was going to be a shot at managing the club. However, that never came to fruition.It became apparent that Ruth would not end up manager which led to an early retirement. Ruth never did get to revenge the loss to Dean, however, he did go out in a blaze of glory with a three home run day against the Pittsburgh Pirates on the 25th of May. Eight days later the era of The Great Bambino came to a close.

     When this game took place Babe Ruth was 40 years old. His days had come and gone. Still yet, they were some of the greatest days the game of baseball has ever seen. Dizzy Dean was 25 years old, and was being deemed by sports writers the new face of baseball. He was coming off a 30 win campaign that ended with a World Series title. Dizzy locked down 28 more wins in '35, and another 24 in '36 before his career took a turn with injuries. He broke his toe in the All Star game in 1937, which would prove to be the beginning of the end for Dizzy's career on a major league diamond.

    While they never met on the diamond again, The Babe did get a little bit of revenge in January of  '36 by beating Dizzy on the golf course. I would imagine the conversations that they had were priceless. In the years that followed Father Time knocked on Dizzy's door just like he had Ruth's. When Ruth called it quits he dreamed of managing. That never came to be. Dean on the other hand found a broadcast booth where he entertained fans for many years. Dizzy called games for the Cardinals, Browns, Yankees, Braves, as well as a variety of National Telecasts. Dean called his last game in 1968. He spent 27 years in the booth. There is a good chance that during those 27 years he told the story on air about the day he struck out The Great Bambino.

Check out the box score here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/BSN/BSN193505050.shtml

I really enjoyed the piece about Babe Ruth's bittersweet bow out in 1935: http://www.thisgreatgame.com/1935-baseball-history.html

It does not paint the prettiest picture, however, we must look at a much larger picture when it comes to Babe Ruth. 1935 was simply a chapter in one of the greatest baseball tales that has ever been told.
Check out Ruth's SABR bio here:http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/9dcdd01c

A special thanks goes out to Bruce over at Baseball by BSmile for the photo that was featured with the article above. He is just one of many friends I have made that share a love for the game and its rich history. Check out his Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/BaseballByBSmile?fref=ts or  find him on twitter at: https://twitter.com/BSmile Thanks again Bruce, and as you always say to me, Cheers!

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