The Called Shot: Babe Ruth, the Chicago Cubs, and the Unforgettable Major League Baseball Season of 1932

Thomas Wolf. Univ. of Nebraska, $36.95 (408p) ISBN 978-0-8032-5524-1
Wolf (coauthor, Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America’s Heartland), delivers a solid and exciting look at the 1932 baseball season, “one of the most remarkable seasons in the history of the sport.” Wolf chronicles the on-field heroics in that season’s tight race that led to the New York Yankees meeting the Chicago Cubs in the World Series, which the Yankees won in a four-game sweep, and whose game three is now legendary for Babe Ruth’s “called shot,” when Ruth “somewhat ambiguously” pointed toward the Cubs players in outfield before hitting a home run over their heads. But the beauty of Wolf’s work is how he seamlessly connects the day-to-day grind of a sport whose teams still “principally traveled from one city to another by train” with the changing, post-Depression world beyond the ballpark (“As the homeless suffered in crudely made shelters... most of America watched to see what would happen in the [presidential] conventions being held in Chicago” in 1932), with cameo appearances by Al Capone, John Dillinger, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Wolf also provides an excellent look at how Ruth transformed from the excellent Yankee pitcher who lost to the Cubs in the 1918 World Series into the legendary slugger of 1932. Baseball fans will delight in this thrillingly told history. (May)
Reviewed on : 04/13/2020
Release date: 05/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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