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Monday, July 20, 2009

Baseball - Some Stuff About Babe Ruth You Didn't Know

By Charles Jay

Babe Ruth, for all the incredible home run records he set during his illustrious major league career, never hit four home runs in a big league game. However, Ruth is believed to be the first major league player ever to hit four homers in an exhibition game. That's right. On April 18, 1919, when Ruth was in spring training for what would be his final season with the Boston Red Sox (1919), he blasted four round-trippers in a pre-season game between his club and the Baltimore Orioles of the International League.

Ruth reached base six times in six trips that day, getting two walks in addition to his four home runs. Henry Rodriguez, now with the Florida Marlins, came along and hit four homers in a spring training game for the Dodgers in April of 1995 - he joins Ruth as the only big leaguers we know of to do it.

Ruth dreamed of managing his beloved New York Yankees when his playing days were over, but by and large, Yankee management felt that Ruth had enough problems controlling himself to be able to control his players. He later was strung along by the Boston Braves and their owner, Judge Emil Fuchs, becoming a playing vice-president who was promised an eventual opportunity to manage in the majors which never came.

But the Bambino did indeed eventually manage a game in Yankee Stadium, albeit one that didn't count in the standings. On July 27, 1943, Ruth managed a combination Yankee-Indian team called the "Yank-Lands" in a war benefit game against a contingent called the "Chapel Hill Cloudbusters", based at a Navy pre-flight school and managed by Ted Williams. During the game, the 48-year-old Ruth actually stepped up to the plate once, drawing a walk, and advanced to second base before signaling for a pinch runner. His managerial debut was unsuccessful, as the Cloudbusters won 11-5, before 27,281 enthusiastic fans at the Stadium.

Charles Jay, a long-time sports columnist and handicapper, enjoys helping people pick sports winners at If you are in need of top-quality sports information, from an insider's perspective, come and check out what's available at

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Hello Baseball Friend,
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Have a great day, Nick