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Babe Ruth's Called Shot: The Myth And Mystery Of Baseball's Greatest Home Run Hardcover – February 18, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (February 18, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076278539X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762785391
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #536,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

A Christian Science Monitor Must-Read Baseball Book

"Highly entertaining and fascinating ... If you know a baseball fan, it's a perfect gift. ... You'll have to read about it yourself."
Chicago Tribune

"A fun and accessible history of the Called Shot story."
Library Journal

"A masterpiece. Ed Sherman has knocked one out of the park. ... A treasure for believers and cynics alike. ... I devoured the pages the way the Babe woofed down hotdogs ... with a feeling that I had taken a wild 1930s-style train trip from New York to Chicago. ... Sherman has achieved a truly Ruthian feat just in collecting the scores of viewpoints from sports writers, witnesses, Cubs, Yankees. But he goes further to examine carefully all the little nuances that have made the Called Shot perhaps the most enduring legend in sports for more than 80 years. ... An incredibly comprehensive look at the fact, fiction, myth and legend surrounding Ruth’s most colossal at-bat. Babe Ruth's Called Shot brings it into sharp focus from every angle imaginable."
—Kirk Kandle, TheCalledShot.com

"Nothing makes for better reading than terrific reporting, and few singular moments in sports history have been debated, discussed, and researched with the fervor of Babe Ruth's Called Shot. It took place more than 80 years ago, but it is argued about as if it happened last week. Ed Sherman brings it into sharp focus in a uniquely entertaining and greatly detailed way."
—John Feinstein, author of the bestselling A Good Walk Spoiled and Open

“Sherman cuts through the hype and hyperbole to deliver the true history of the event, revealing not just what happened but how and why a single at bat became the stuff of legend.”
—Glenn Stout, bestselling author of Yankees Century and The Cubs and series editor of Best American Sports Writing

"Ed Sherman has written with affection and charm about one of baseball's most intriguing moments. This is a wonderful look at a Ruth, his team, and his time."
—Jonathan Eig, author of the bestselling Luckiest Man and Opening Day

"A fun and fascinating exploration of baseball’s most famous and infamous home run.  If there's such a thing as a sports archeologist, then Sherman is the tops in his field as he meticulously digs for the truth and uncovers little known and never-before-told factual gems. He examines this iconic moment from every imaginable point of view—players, spectators, sportswriters, and others who were there—and guides you, pitch by pitch, during the Babe’s unforgettable at-bat. In this thoroughly enjoyable and incredibly informative book, Sherman does a yeoman’s job of separating myth from reality and lays out compelling cases for those who believe in the Ruthian legend and those who don’t. For any fan who loves baseball history and is looking for ammunition to use during the next sports debate of did-he-or-didn’t-he, this is must reading."
—Allan Zullo, coauthor of The Baseball Hall of Shame

"Babe Ruth remains the singular colossus of American sport, and his home run in the fifth inning of Game Three of the 1932 World Series remains the most indelible moment of his career. Ed Sherman takes us back to that afternoon on the North Side, which for so long has remained shrouded in mystery, with this detail-rich biography of the most mythologized at-bat in the annals of the national pastime. Finally we have the definitive account of the so-called Called Shot.
—Jeremy Schaap, six-time Emmy Award winner and author of the New York Times bestselling Cinderella Man

“An exhaustive, delightful treatment of a fascinating moment in American sport ... This brilliantly rendered account of Ruth’s famous Called Shot and the decades-long debate brings to life the most celebrated athlete American sport has ever known at the very moment when he crosses that precipice separating man from legend. The moment is expertly captured and examined from all its many angles. Anyone who appreciates the lore, history, and, yes, mythology of America’s game will delight in getting lost within these pages.”
—Josh Pahigian, author of The Ultimate Baseball Road Trip and 101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out

"Babe Ruth's Called Shot sheds light on one of baseball mythology's great tales. Sherman does a terrific job of taking the reader back to the days when the iconic Bambino ruled baseball. Well written and quite entertaining—I couldn't put it down."
—Bill Chastain, author of Hack's 191 and 100 Things Giants Fans Should Know and Do before They Die

"Chicago sportswriter Ed Sherman, who has forgotten more about baseball than most people will ever know, dissects Ruth's Called Shot like a frog in a high school science lab—meticulously researched and reported and wonderfully written. Even the Bambino would buy this book."
—Gene Wojciechowski, author of the New York Times bestseller The Last Great Game and Cubs Nation

“Sherman gives us a flesh-and-blood Babe, a late-career legend who will forever be bigger than life no matter what he was specifically pointing at during the 1932 World Series. If you are going to pick one swing from one player, who better than someone who could turn a World Series sweep into a mystery still hotly debated four score and almost seven Octobers later because of a hand gesture? It’s a Ruthian blast.”
—Matt Silverman, author of Swinging '73 and 100 Things Mets Fans Should Know and Do before They Die

"Ed Sherman's wonderfully entertaining dissection of Babe Ruth's most memorable World Series home run reminds us of the mythic power packed into baseball and its ability to help us see life in its most vivid colors."
—Edward Achorn, Casey Award–nominated author of The Summer of Beer and Whiskey and Fifty-Nine in '84

"A wonderful journey through a Depression-ravaged era when everything that happened in baseball—and particularly what Ruth did—mattered to a nation anxious for a diversion. So did the Babe really call his shot in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series? Perhaps we'll never know for sure, but Sherman expertly relives that magic moment in time and reminds us why we love baseball in the first place."
—Jim Reisler, author of Babe Ruth: Launching the Legend

About the Author

Ed Sherman, a longtime Chicago Tribune writer, reports on sports media for his highly acclaimed website, ShermanReport.com. The winner of numerous awards, he has written two books, and his work has appeared in Crain's Chicago Business, ESPN.com, Golf  World, and The Sporting News. He lives in Highland Park, Illinois, with his wife and two sons.

Customer Reviews

Well written and thoroughly researched!
John V. Yanik
And coming as it did near the end of his career it was like an exclamation point on the Great Bambino!
Matthew Silverman
Some 50,000 baseball fans gathered at Wrigley Field for Game Three in the 1932 World Series.
Marvin P. Ferguson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C L on March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Maybe I expected too much from this book, but there is nothing new here. The matter in question (did Babe
Ruth predict he was going to hit a homerun by pointing to an area past the outfield fences, then hit a home run?) is not answered here. The first part of the book describes the greatness of Ruth as a baseball man (and he was great, if not the greatest) as well as the Yankees ball club in general. If you are already familiar with Ruth and the Yankees of his era, this section will not light your fire. The second part of the book describes the homerun incident in detail without resolving the main question. The third part prints the opinions of lots of people who were there. If you have never heard of the "called shot" before, this might be interesting to read, but do not expect any questions to be answered.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Big D VINE VOICE on May 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
A "Can't Miss Read" for Baseball Fans...

Did he or didn't he "call the shot?" Was Babe Ruth pointing toward the centerfield fence as William Bendix did or was he pointing (and jawing) at the Cubs' bench? And what about Cubs pitcher, Charlie Root" Could he have been pointing at him rather than at centerfield? Did he, Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat," intentionally let two perfect strikes go by in order to make the "called shot" even more amazing and magnificent?

How much is myth and how much is truth? Certainly something very special happened that day at Wrigley Field in the 5th inning of Game Three of the World Series, but what?

All this and more is expertly researched and entertainly presented by Ed Sherman in this, his very best work so far .After this book, there are no more angles to be considered in this truth/legend/myth.

In the end nobody knows for sure. Two people can witness the same thing and see it in two different ways. Such is life and such is baseball.

As Bob Costas says in the book, whether it actually happened or not is not as nearly important as what it--the fact or the legend--has meant to baseball. The fact that people of that day believed Ruth could have done it is more important than what actually happened. Good stuff, the stuff of which legends are made.

Ed Sherman begins his book withs the line from the John Wayne movie, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance: " When the legend becomes fact, print the legend..." And appropriately so.

Is the "Called Shot" legend or fact?"

Read the book and decide for yourself?

It is quite good, quite readable and well worth the effort.

Did he or didn't he?

That is the question...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marvin P. Ferguson on June 22, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Some 50,000 baseball fans gathered at Wrigley Field for Game Three in the 1932 World Series. Then, besides some negative gestures from some fans in the stands about a fastball strike pitched by Cub pitcher, Charlie Root, the Babe gestured by holding up two fingers and mumbling some obscenities under his breath. Lou Gehrig interpreted the Bambino's words to mean: "I'm going to knock the next one right down your...throat." Then a home run ball traveled the long journey past the center field score board. And thus, "The Called Shot" became history that will live on forever.
In "Babe Ruth's Called Shot," Chicago sports writer Ed Sherman gives baseball fanatics an in depth look at one of the most celebrated moments in baseball history. Even today baseball fans ponder the question: Did Ruth really call his shot? I like it when athletes make a move after calling their shot and bingo, hitting the bull''s eye. This is an excellent baseball story, I give it five stars, and I'm Marvin P. Ferguson, author of THE UNKNOWN BASEBALL PLAYER.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mom of 3 book lovers VINE VOICE on August 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover
There is no definitive evidence available that the Babe did or did not call his shot in the fifth inning of the third game of the 1932 World Series. Lou Gehrig was watching from the on-deck circle and said he did (after he said he didn't). Charlie Root and Gabby Hartnett (Chicago's pitcher and catcher) swear that he didn't, that Root would have put the next pitch in his ear if he had. (Chicago starter Guy Bush did hit Ruth in his first at bat in Game Four.) Baseball historians disagree. This book doesn't answer the question. It does give the reader an idea of what led up to the perfect storm of Ruth's at bat on that October afternoon and gives evidence and the stories of eye witnesses and historians on both sides. Whether or not he actually called that home run, the fact that it is still discussed over eighty years later speaks to the enduring influence Babe Ruth has on America's pastime.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Greg Lucas on October 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very hard to write books like this without a few factual errors a result of bad information reported from years before. Ed does a great job of keeping those to a minimum. (Babe Ruth's girth had nothing to do with Yankees wearing pinstripes. They had been wearing them full time from 1915 before he joined the team. Some have reported the comments by the Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert had come during Ruth's career when some uniform changes were being made such as adding the logo to the front and a question had been asked about also dropping the pinstripes. That was when Ruppert made the comment.) This is a very small thing in a very very good good. Mr. Sherman was able to make a very compelling book surrounding Babe's single most remembered home run--whether he really called it or not! I recommend this book for all baseball fans and those folks who would like to become one.
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