Tag: Babe Ruth

Will MLB Ever See Another 700-Home Run Career in PED-Testing Era?

This season brings the 40-year anniversary of the legendary Hank Aaron breaking fellow Hall of Famer Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record. In fact, April 8, 1974—40 years ago today—is the exact date on which Aaron hit No. 715 to pass The Babe.

Since that fateful day, only one other player has reached that lofty plateau: Barry Bonds, whose 762 career homers are the new mark, seven ahead of Aaron’s final tally. In other words, in the 100-plus years of Major League Baseball history, exactly three players have achieved a home run total that is three digits and begins with a “7.”

That got us wondering: Will there ever be another 700-home run career, especially now that performance-enhancing drug testing exists in baseball and the penalties continue to get harsher?

PED testing with penalties for positive results began in 2004. Incidentally, that’s the same year Bonds—who later was convicted in federal court on one count of obstruction of justice in a trial that focused on his alleged steroid use—hit the 700th long ball of his career, becoming that third (and perhaps final) player to get there.

Before we examine the role power has played in the sport over that period of time, let’s put this fantastical possibility into context with some actual names and their current home run totals (entering Tuesday games).

Here are the active home run leaders, along with the number of homers per season each would need to average in order to get to No. 700 by age 40.

First of all, it should be pointed out that Alex Rodriguez, the active leader and No. 5 all time with 654, stood a fighting chance of getting to 700 before the big 4-0. Within striking distance of the 500 club at age 30, Rodriguez already had Bonds’ vote of confidence, via Bob Nightengale of USA Today: “He’ll be there. And there’ll be others. It ain’t like I’ll be the last one.”

Of course, that was long before A-Rod was suspended for the entire 2014 season as a result of the Biogenesis investigation.

Secondly, it should be pretty obvious that the only two current players from this batch who might have any sort of teeny-tiny shot at pulling this off are Albert Pujols (492), who needs to average just under 30 homers per season, and Miguel Cabrera (366), who is the youngest in the top 10 but still needs to manage—get this—more than 33 a year for the next 10 years to reach 700.

Yes, even the dominant, uber-consistent Cabrera is only barely halfway there!

Now that we’ve laid out how all-but-impossible this feat is for the best sluggers of today, specifically, let’s widen the scope and take a look at how much power has been in decline in recent seasons in the entire sport, due in no small part to the policing of PEDs.

In trying to fathom what it might look like for an individual player to even approach the possibility of a 700-homer career, figure that it would require an average of 40 home runs a season for 17 seasons—and even that would leave the slugger short by 20, since 40 x 17 = 680.

Using that 40-homer campaign as a somewhat realistic standard, then, here’s how many of those have occurred per season since 2003, the year before testing began:

Notice the downward trend, right? And if you want to put the numbers into perspective, consider this: The past seven seasons’ worth of 40-homer campaigns (23 from 2007-13) are a little more than half of the total from the four seasons prior (39 from 2003-06).

That’s a clunky way of saying that fewer 40-home run seasons are happening every year.

But what about going even more macro? The graph below shows the number of home runs in all of MLB per season over the same time frame (since 2003):

Again, the decline is plain as day. Whereas a year with at least 5,200 total homers was once the norm (see: 2003, 2004, 2006), that total hasn’t been touched since 2006, and even 5,000 home runs has happened only once in the past seven years—and that was back in 2009.

Conclusion? Fewer and fewer home runs are being hit overall.

Beyond the home run figures, there’s the fact that players are showing much more typical aging and performance curves over the past decade, which to some immeasurable but certainly noticeable extent can be attributed to the ban on PEDs.

In other words, not only are players able to play less while getting older, they’re also simultaneously playing at a decreased rate of performance. None of this should be surprising, but seeing the numbers proves as much.

Here’s a table that breaks down the number of players ages 35 and older who reached the 300-plate appearance threshold—about half a full season—as well as a look at their isolated power (ISO) since 2003:

As you can see, back in 2007—only seven years ago—38 players managed to compile at least 300 plate appearances in their age-35 (or older) season. In the past two seasons, 36 players have done so—combined. What’s more, that total (36) is the lowest in back-to-back years since 1995-1996 (also 36), which is almost 20 years ago.

As for the ISO column, which essentially measures a hitter’s raw power, the story is similar. For players at least 35 years old, the metric peaked during this period of time at .170 in 2004 and remained north of .150 through 2008, keeping it right in line with—if not above—the league-wide average. From 2009 on, though, the 35-and-up ISO has settled in the .135-.140 range, which is slightly below the MLB average in recent years.

The point here? To even fathom coming close to 700 career home runs, a player must be able to play and hit for power into his late 30s and early 40s—Bonds, Aaron and Ruth all got to 7-0-0 in their age-39 seasons—and that’s just not happening as much in the past handful of seasons as it was in the previous decade now that PED testing has become a part of the game.

Above all else, there remains one simple, undeniable fact: Hitting 700 home runs is freaking difficult, darn near impossible even. In case you forgot while looking through all the graphs and tables above, only three—T-H-R-E-E!—players in 100-plus years of MLB have done so. You know them as Barry, Hank and The Babe.

Will someone get to 700 homers ever again? Never say never, because it’s not out of the question that one of Rodriguez, Pujols or Cabrera could get there given what they’ve accomplished to this point in their careers.

There’s also no way of knowing how or when things will change in baseball in the years and decades ahead, including advancements in medicine, technology and training (legal or otherwise). Heck, in the early 1900s, few would have expected a player to hit even 40 home runs in any season, and then Ruth smashed that “barrier” with 54 in 1920 on his way to totaling 714 for his career.

But factor in the aging and production curves, which we’re already seeing take a toll on Pujols, and it’s looking like baseball’s best—and perhaps last—chance to see 700 home runs again in the immediate future might be Rodriguez. 

We already know that would be tainted in more ways than one if it were to happen at all once—or is that if?—he returns from his season-long suspension in 2015. If not, well, 700 still could be reached again by someone at some point—for only the fourth time ever—but it’ll be a good, long while. After all, Ruth hit No. 700 in 1934, Aaron did so in 1973 and Bonds got there in 2004.

By that math, this comes along about every 30 to 40 years or so. If that holds true, then the next 700-home run hitter has already been born.


Statistics come from Baseball Reference and FanGraphs, except where otherwise noted.

To talk baseball or fantasy baseball, check in with me on Twitter: @JayCat11

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Babe Ruth Upsets Honus Wagner in Classic Baseball Card Slugfest

The sports memorabilia world is still buzzing over an auction result that can rightly be considered an upset.  For the first time ever, a 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth rookie card sold for more money than the famed T206 Honus Wagner. 

It happened at Robert Edward Auctions (REA), where one of only about 10 known examples of the Ruth card sold for a record price of $450,300.   That was nearly $48,000 more than a 1909 T206 Wagner, which was offered in the same grade and was once the subject of an FBI “card hunt” after it was stolen from a restaurant display in the 1990s.

The red-bordered Ruth card shows a young Babe as a pitcher with the Baltimore Orioles not long after he was signed out of St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys.  It was apparently issued as part of a set created as a promotion for the newspaper.  A Ruth rookie graded PSA 2 (Good) sold privately last year for an amount that netted the seller a tidy profit over just five years.  The transactions illustrate the explosive growth of the 99-year-old card over the past several years. 

The T206 Wagner remains the most recognizable baseball card ever made, but with several dozen known to exist, it isn’t as rare as the Ruth.

The two cards were among several lots that brought record prices in the REA auction, which traditionally attracts some of the most avid and determined baseball memorabilia collectors in the world.

The selling prices all included an 18.5 percent buyer’s premium.  There were hundreds of rare individual cards, sets and pieces of memorabilia dating back to the 19th century offered by REA, which specializes in rare baseball memorabilia.

The Wagner card carries quite a story.  It was once owned by actor Charlie Sheen and subsequently stolen from a New York City restaurant in the 1990s; it also set a new record for its PSA 1 grade.  Most Wagner cards have been profitable investments over the years.

Also selling in the auction was one of only two 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle cards graded PSA 8.5 (NM/MT+) which totaled $272,550.  The last 8.5 Mantle had sold at auction for about $118,000 less just three years ago.  High grade Mantle cards from what was the first major set ever issued by Topps are in high demand by advanced collectors.  PSA graded cards (and those authenticated by competitors SGC and Beckett) utilize a numeric grading scale to rate the condition of cards, which are then encapsulated and labeled.

Joe Jackson baseball cards also continue to attract strong interest.  Shoeless Joe’s 1910 Old Mill tobacco card, which pictured the slender outfielder as a New Orleans minor leaguer, is his most sought after.  The REA auction included one graded SGC 30 (Good), which sold for $118,500. 

Some memorabilia also required six figure winning bids.  A PSA/DNA 8.5-graded ball signed by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig realized $343,650, a new record price for a signed baseball.   Most collectors prefer their autographed baseballs to carry a single signature but Ruth-Gehrig would be an example of the exception to that rule.

A 1963 Sandy Koufax game-worn Dodgers jersey in outstanding condition rocketed to $201,450 in the auction, the most ever paid for a Koufax jersey.

In all, more than 1,800 lots were sold in the auction for a total of $10,177,000.  

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Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb Compared Using Traditional and Modern Measurements

Ty Cobb won the triple crown in 1909. He batted .377, hit nine home runs and drove in 107 runs.

Yes, it certainly was the dead-ball era when nine home runs leads the league.

In 1909, American League teams averaged 3.44 runs a game. In 2011, American League teams averaged 4.46 runs a game. Yes, it still is the lively ball era.

One result of the lively ball era is that Cobb is slightly underrated as an offensive force.

Cobb ranks at the top of many offensive categories when one uses traditional statistics.

His .366 batting average is the best ever; he ranks ninth, with a .433 on-base percentage; he slugged .512 and is fifth with 5,854 total bases. Until Pete Rose broke his record, Cobb was first with 4,189 hits.

Cobb is second in runs scored, with 2,246, which is remarkable considering that runs were at a premium for most of his career.

Cobb is fourth in doubles, second in triples, seventh in runs batted in and fourth in stolen bases.

Until the late 1960s, Cobb was considered the greatest player in history. With the passage of time, that honor now belongs to Babe Ruth.

Now to the fun part.

I do not know how Cobb fares when one evaluates his career using modern statistics. We are going to find out.

Cobb ranks third in lifetime WAR (wins above replacement), with 159.4. Ruth leads with 172.0, followed by Barry Bonds’ 171.8.

Cobb is second in offensive WAR, with a 156.0, compared to Ruth’s 164.6. Cobb’s defensive WAR (dWAR) has not been determined since the relevant data are complete only since 1974.

The leader in dWAR is Brooks Robinson, with a 27.3, followed by Andruw Jones’ 23.9.

RAR purports to measure the number of runs better a player is when compared to a replacement player.

Cobb has a career RAR of 1,463, with a high of 112 in 1909. Ruth has a career RAR of 1,739, with a high of 147 in 1923. In eight different seasons, Ruth had a RAR better than Cobb’s best of 112.

Ruth is clearly the better offensive player, but let’s examine how their eras affected some of the numbers.

Cobb scored 2,246 runs, averaging about 94 runs a season. He batted in 1,938 runs, averaging 81 RBI a season. He led the league in RBI four different seasons.

During Cobb’s career, American League teams scored 124,854 runs, an average of about 5,202 runs a season.

Dividing Cobb’s 2,246 runs by the league’s 124,854 runs scored reveals that Cobb scored 1.8 percent of the league’s runs during his career.

Dividing Cobb’s 1,938 RBI by the league’s 124,854 runs scored reveals that Cobb batted in 2.6 percent of the league’s runs.

Since Ruth was a pitcher who could have been voted into the Hall of Fame had he remained a pitcher, we will use 1919-34 for him.

During those 16 seasons, Ruth scored 2,062 runs, averaging 129 runs a year. He batted in 2,085 runs, averaging 130 RBI a season. Ruth led the league in RBI in six of those years.

From 1919-34, American League teams scored 96,830 runs, an average of 6,052 runs a season.

Ruth scored 2.1 percent of the league’s runs from 1919-34. He batted in 2.2 percent of the league’s runs.


Player   Runs  RBI

Cobb       1.8    2.6

Ruth        2.1    2.2

No matter how one views the numbers, Ruth was the better offensive player. The only surprising result is that Cobb was slightly better at driving in runs, which brings up major differences between them.

Ruth drove in many of his runs with the long ball; Cobb did it with singles, doubles and triples.

Ruth scored many of his runs when hit home runs; Cobb put himself into scoring position with stolen bases and extra-base hits.

They are the top two players ever.

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The Top 5 Hitting Seasons of All Time

Since the beginning of baseball, there have been players who have had mind boggling, amazing, record-breaking seasons. Babe Ruth, Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez, and Ted Williams are some of the best to ever play the game of baseball, and they have all had historic seasons. So have many others.

These are the top 5 hitting seasons of all time.

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New York Yankees: The 1927 Club and the Top 15 Teams in Franchise History

With 27 World Championships, the New York Yankees have dominated the MLB for nearly 100 years.

By employing some of the best hitters in the history of baseball, New York’s continuing professionalism mixed with the shear ability to consistently win has become the epitome of their championship swagger.

They’ve made their mark through historic achievements such as home run records, perfect games and no-hitters, HOF legends, and by becoming one of the most prominent sports teams in the history of U.S. sports.

The Yankees have posted 20 seasons with at least 100 wins, carrying that regular season success deep into the playoffs and capturing the prized possession of baseball almost three times more than the second most successful team (Cardinals with 10).

It’s hard to breakdown the Yankees’ championship teams of the past.  Decade by decade, players and teams are subject to different times in baseball’s evolution, making it difficult to compare a team from 1923 to a 2009 world series winner.

Every generation of fans has their own reasons in defending the championship seasons of their eras.  Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Derek Jeter, and Mariano Rivera, make up the legends of New York championship teams and possess their own achievements that can be called “the best”.

With that said, here are the top 15 teams in New York Yankees franchise history.

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Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and the Best Hitting Tandems in Each Team’s History

This is NOT a list of the two greatest hitters for each team. This is a list of the greatest individual seasons for two hitters on each team. 

Steroids are ignored. Barry Bonds is on this list. So is Alex Rodriguez (twice, actually, and not with the Yankees). Rafael Palmeiro, Manny Ramirez, and other known or assumed users are here. 

Listed by division, not ranked by greatness. 

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The Top 20 Player-Manager Feuds in MLB History

The players and managers are getting ready for the 2011 MLB season, and I can guarantee you that none of them want to end up on this notorious list one day. Although with the New York Yankees always in the headlines and considering they could have a “down season,” their frustration could boil over at some point this season.

As you will find out, it would not be the first time.

What if the St. Louis Cardinals suffer a losing streak? Could it cause Tony LaRussa to get into an altercation with Albert Pujols, figuring he will be playing elsewhere next season anyway?

Hey, Ozzie Guillen is still managing the Chicago White Sox, and we all know he loves seeing his name on these types of lists. He always gives us hope.

Chance are, this will be a mild season with no physicality. It is not as if baseball is a long season or anything.

Regardless of what happens in 2011, there have been many memorable feuds between MLB players and their managers. That is, when they are not battling it out with the umpires. After all, most umps feel as if they are the main attraction.

Don’t you take out a mortgage to go and see one game per season just to watch some out of shape umpire throw out your favorite player in the second inning because he sneezed funny? Can I truly be alone?

Either way, baseball has given us plenty to work with, so without further ado, here is a look at The Top 20 Player-Manager Feuds in MLB History.

Enjoy, and make sure to keep your hands to yourselves! 

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Does Albert Pujols Project To Be Major League Baseball’s Best Hitter Ever?

St. Louis muscleman Albert Pujols has done a pretty good job of imprinting himself on Major League Baseball’s collective consciousness these past several months as followers of the grand old game have been compelled to consider a radical change of venue for the stand-out Cardinal first baseman.  

The numbers being bandied about are pretty heady, as Pujols, at least for now, seems intent on becoming the games highest paid player — something in the area of $25-30 million per year with the only possible harbinger being there are but a handful of clubs who could possibly consider crunching that number.   

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MLB Power Rankings: The 10 Smartest Hitters in Baseball History

More than anything else, what makes baseball America’s pastime is its rich history and tradition of legendary names, all bound together across decades by a beautiful game.

That same history also lends itself to all manner of debate, from whether there will ever be another 300-game winner to what the standing of alleged steroid users like Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Manny Ramirez should be included in the annals of Cooperstown, given how many great players in past eras got by, more or less, on their given talents alone.

When it comes to determining the “best” or the “greatest” in a particular category, the debate tends to get more heated, even if the terms of the discussion are more vague. One such debate, which doesn’t get as much love as that of “best hitter” or “most dominant pitcher”, is that of smartest hitter.

What makes a hitter smart, you ask?

It’s tough to define it too clearly, otherwise the debate would be too closed and skew too far in one direction or another. However, in general terms, a smart hitter is one who hits for a high average, gets on base often and doesn’t strike out all that much.

One could add more dimensions, like a hitter’s ability to recognize a particular pitch or a hitter’s “sense” of time and situation, but such factors are nearly impossible to measure, especially for the ones, like Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb, who few today would ever remember seeing in person.

With all of that said, let the debate begin!

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All Time Yanks vs. All Time Red Sox: The Penultimate Game 7!

Thought we were going to leave you hanging, huh? No such luck—let’s tune in.


Mutt Munson: “Hello everyone, I’m Mutt Munson and I’m here with my great friend and longtime broadcast partner Jock Johnson, and today from Fenway Park we bring you the final game of what has been a thrilling match up so far between loaded contingents from New York and Boston.

And, Jock, this series has been stoked with controversy almost since it’s opening with fans questioning line up calls and in particular the move of Ted Williams to right field, but that seems to have gone on without a hitch. Williams has played error-less ball in right and his bat has been on fire since the outset of the series.” 

Jock Johnson: “Well why not, Mutt, I mean for chrissake Ted had the guts to go and take on the Jerry’s and the Goo … well North Koreans, risking his life in a flying tin can with bullets blazing everywhere so I would think a switch to right for the good of the club wouldn’t be something so far out of his reach.

In fact, I was talking to him a little earlier and he was saying he’d never seen an outfielder cover ground like Tris Speaker in his life and his standard policy so far this series is if he has to move more than fifty feet to his right he just holds up from there and lets the Grey Eagle take it on over.”

Mutt: “And on the offensive side it’s also been the combination of Williams & Speaker along with ol’ Double XX Jimmy Foxx and young shortstop Nomar Garciaparra carrying the day. Garciaparra has really impressed us on both sides of the ball, has shown great range in the field and a huge arm out of the hole … in particular that bang, bang beauty catching Mickey who was really hustling down the line a couple of nights ago in the game that tied this whole thing up for Boston.”

Jock: “Well that’s one of the few times anyone on the Boston staff has been able to handle Mantle. He’s been on base via the wood or walk 14 times in 25 at bats and along with DiMaggio and Ruth has been the catalyst for this devastating Yankee attack … but that’s enough about what’s gone on thus far, Mutt, let’s talk about today’s game and the pitching matchup.

People are saying Casey’s gone crazy and is trying to pull a rabbit out of his hat with clutch lefty Eddie Lopat and Francona has decided to go with his stud righty Curt Schilling bypassing a pretty well rested Lefty Grove.”

Mutt: “Both are tried and true though in numerous post season outings, folks, so hold onto your hats, we’re about to tip off after a quick message to you from our friends at Anheuser Busch.”


Off the air.


Jock: “God damn, I need a cigarette.” 

Mutt: “Yeah, well there’s no smoking up here … try chewing some gum.”

Jock: “I’d rather have a wad.”

Mutt: “Do you see a spitoon anywhere? And no booze either, Jock, we don’t need a repeat of what happened in Detroit. You start with some of that loose talk here and we’ll get pulled right off the air.”

Jock: “What are you my mother? Detroit was three years ago. All I said was I’d kill for a cigarette.”

Producer: “We’re back on in 30 seconds guys, cut the crap. You sound like my grand parents squawking over a game of parchese.”

Both Jock and Mutt turn around and offer a host of explicitives deleted. The first two innings go scoreless and we pick up the call with Red Sox runners on first and third with two away and Manny Ramirez at the plate.


Jock: “You know I tell you, Mutt, I never thought I’d see the day with a ballplayer wearing his hair down to the middle of his back like this kid Ramirez. I don’t know if he’s going for the Hercules effect but it hasn’t worked so far, he hasn’t hit a lick all series.

But Lopat hangs a curve Ramirez rips it down the left field line.

Mutt: There’s the first big hit by Ramirez, Pesky is home in a walk, Doerr rounds into third, the throw by Mantle is into second…he’s out! What a throw by Mickey Mantle from deep in the left field corner. I don’t think Ramirez thought he had a chance and he was kind of loafing off the turn at first and this inning comes to an end in dramatic fashion but it’s the Red Sox who take the early lead on the Yankee’s 1-0. 

And Schilling is dealing, throwing 95 and up, mixing in a sharp slider, the occasional change, and seems to have the Bronx Bombers just where he wants them.

On the other side, Lopat is pitching equally well. Aside from the run in the third he’s successfully worked the corners, changed speeds, and frustrating the left hand likes of William and Speaker entirely and thru seven full innings the Red Sox continue to lead 1-0.

But in the top of the eighth DiMaggio leads off with a double. Ruth skies to deep center, Speaker has a track on it but Joe moves to third on the sac with one away.

That brings Mantle to the plate. All the Yankees need is a fly ball to just about any part of the ballpark and the game will be tied. Schilling quickly runs the count to 0-2. Mantle then drives one down the right field line … just foul.

Schilling then drops an 0-2 change on the outside part of the late for a called strike three, Mantle is left shaking his head, the Red Sox fans explode, but it’s Gehrig coming to the plate and that prompts Francona to head to the mound.

Francona to Schilling: What do you think here? We take a pass on Gehirg?”

Schilling looks over to the on deck circle: “Yogi’s up next. That little fuc*&^er, I could throw it at his head and he’ll still find away to get a base hit. I say we go at he big guy.”

Francona decides it’s poison either way, let’s Schilling pitch to Gehrig but it turns out to be a mistake as Lou takes a 2-1 fastball on the outside part of the plate and promptly lines one off the Green Monster in left. Manny plays it cleanly, but the speedy Gehrig motors into second with a clean two bagger.

The Red Sox fans let out a collective groan, but the dissettlement over the tie score quickly becomes disbelief as Berra proves Schilling a profit by turning a chest high fastball over into right and with Gehrig off with the crack of the bat, he scores easily and the Yankee 1-0 deficit is suddenly a 2-1 lead. 

All of the city of Boston seems to deflate. Francona comes out and is booed heavily; Wood comes on for Schilling and punches out A-Rod but he damage is done. 

It appears as though it may be permanent, too. Lopat gets Williams and Foxx to start the bottom of eighth which brings on Johnny Pesky.

Mutt: Jock this is a tough matchup for the ‘Sox. Lopat is absolutely sailing and he hasn’t been touched by a left hand batter all day.

But Pesky battles Lopat to a 3-2 count, fouls off a couple of pitches while Red Sox fans hold their collective breath.

Mutt: Lopat winds, here’s the pitch. Pesky swings and he drives one to right does this ball have the legs…. 

Jock: I think it does, will it stay fair?

Mutt: Unbelievable, Johnny Pesky…my god I can’t even hear myself, Fenway park has just exploded! Johnny Peskey, Mr. Red Sox has just deposited one inside the aptly names Pesky pole and this game is now all tied up at two apiece. How about that?

And so it remains. Casey pulls Lopat, turns to Gossage who puts away Carlton Fisk and then Wood and Gossage both throwing, distinct, virtually unhittable heat trade zeroes in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh frames.

In the top of the 12th Lyle comes on. He quickly gets pinch hitter Jim Rice on a fly ball to left, strikes out Speaker on a slider that breaks a mile outside which brings Williams to the plate.

Ted promptly slams one into the deep gap in right center. DiMaggio hustles after it but this is the deepest part of Fenway and he amply beats Joe’s throw into third for a stand up triple.  

With Foxx coming up Stengal heads to he mound and calls for Rivera. This time the conversation revolves around walking Foxx, but with the left handed Pesky on deck, just the kind of punch hitter that will occasionally have some success against Rivera.

The Yanks decide to pitch walk Double XX and take another go at Pesky. It’s something of an unconventional move trading a right hand hitter for the left hander Pesky but Rivera and his slider are notoriously tough on south side swingers. 

Still Pesky and the great Rivera battle to a 2-2 count. 

Mutt: So here we are again, anything from Pesky will give the ‘Sox a 3-2 lead. Rivera deals, Pesky swings and oh my god it’s another drive to right. Ruth is moving over …

Jock: This could be outta here…

Mutt: Ruth goes up and into the stands. Does he have it?

A moment’s pause as Mutt waits on the umpires call.

Mutt: Yes, he does. Yes, he does! Oh what a catch by Babe Ruth to save the Yankees from a crushing defeat here in the bottom of the twelfth. Mr. Red Sox Johnny Pesky has been robbed ladies and gentleman, he has been robbed by Yankee right fielder Babe Ruth!  

Papelbon comes on in the top of the 13th. He gets DiMaggio and Ruth both fly to Speaker in center. With Mantle coming to the plate let’s pick up the call.

Mutt: Wow, wow, wow, Jock…two away in the bottom of the twelfth, we’re still tied at two apiece of what’s been an absolutely thrilling affair. The fans seem to be over the disappointment of a few moments ago when Johnny Pesky was absolutely robbed in right, are up on their feet again calling for Papelbon to put Mantle away as well.

The Red Sox closer winds and deals…Mantle takes a mammoth rip, and he dribbles one down the first base side. He’s off and flying, Papelbon rushes the ball…he can’t get to it, he can’t get to it, Mantle is safe at first! He’ s safe at first and the Yankee’s are still alive here in the 13th with Berra coming to the plate!    

Jock: We’ve seen it endlessly over the years, Mutt, this Yankee team will come and get you when you least expect it.

Mutt: Five O’Clock lightning, Jock.  

Jock: And Berra’s as clutch a hitter as you could want coming to the plate now. Papelbon has been throwing smoke and the ‘Sox just got the bad side of it on that Mantle infield dribbler.

Mutt: Mickey really showed off that incredible speed and Berra settles in.

Papelbon puts a blazer on the inside corner of he plate. Strike one. He does the same on the outside part of the plate. Yogi swings and misses strike two. 

Then he puts one well inside, a waste pitch. Berra decides to swing anyway, barely gets a piece and Fisk is unable to hold on. This turns out to be the pivotal pitch at bat. Papelbon then puts a pair of sliders in the dirt the second gets away from Fisk and Mantle hustles into second. 

The Red Sox consider walking Berra, but with two strikes and their ace closer throwing what appear to be unhittable heat they decide to try and finish Yogi off. A decision they will come to regret. 

Mutt: I’m absolutely breathless myself, Jock. This crowd has been up and roaring, imploring the Red Sox nine to finish off heir hated rivals the seventh inning on and the Yanks simply refuse to deal.

It’s still 2-2 here, Mantle takes a short lead off second, Papelbon winds and deals…Berra swings and hits one deep to left, that’s going to make it to the wall. No! It’s going to make it over the wall in left!

Yogi Berra has just planted one over the Green Monster in left and the Yankee’s have taken a 4-2 lead here in the 13th and folks you can here a pin drop here in Fenway as the Bronx Bombers mob team-mate Yogi Berra in the N.Y. dugout. Unbelievable.

A-Rod follows with a double off the wall but Rivera goes down swinging and the deficit holds at two heading into the bottom of the 13th. 

Rivera gets Manny looking on a knee high fastball that just nicks the outside part of the plate to open the bottom of the 13th. Fisk lines a single up the middle, Doerr walks, but Yaz, pinch hitting for Papelbon, flies to shallow left and neither runner is able to advance.

That brings Speaker to the plate and he surprises everyone dragging a bunt down the first base line. There is no play to be made, he is safe at first with the bags juiced.

Nomar comes to the plate and promptly smashes one down the third base line. Nettles in for A-Rod makes an incredible diving stop on the ball but it rolls out of his grasp, Fisk scores, the bases are still juiced with the great Ted Williams coming to the plate.

Mutt: Oh my goodness, gracious, so it comes to this. Two away in the bottom of the 13th, the Yanks holding on to a one run lead with two away Williams at the plate and a seemingly unruffled Mariano Rivera on the mound.

Jock: Mutt, however this goes down we have to say that this match up between these two great ball clubs has not disappointed on any level. This has turned out to be the series of the century and this game has just been something out of this world.

Mutt: Rivera is set, so is Williams…

Ted takes one a little inside for ball one. Hits a liner down the right field line … just foul. Rivera comes inside again, Williams lays off and it’s 2-1.

Mutt: There’s no way Rivera will walk Williams in this situation, he will have to put the ball somewhere inside the strike zone. The crowd is hushed at this point in rapt anticipation, Rivera winds, he deals, Williams swings, and he hits a liner up the middle, here comes DiMaggio …. 

In all fairness we should end it here. Neither side will ever believe their boys would drop this baseball showdown to end all showdowns, but that’s the things about the diamond game…unless Bud Selig is in attendance there ain’t no ties.

Mutt: DiMaggio’s coming, he dives…he’s got it! He’s got it! The great Yankee Clipper makes the catch and the New York Yankee’s have defeated the Boston Red Sox in one of the greatest games these baseball loving eyes have ever seen!

And that’s all she wrote, won’t get into a whole big aftermath here. Just hope you enjoyed it, 




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