Babe Ruth Justifies His Collision with Giants Third Sacker

Babe Ruth

Washington Times/October 7, 1922

 By getting three times as many hits and playing baseball nearly three times as well as the Yanks, McGraw’s champions won a clean victory without any alibi possible.

The only consolation is the fact that while our three best pitchers, in as many days, have been unable to beat the Giants, they have at least succeeded in holding the National Leaguers to a maximum of three runs per game.

There is nothing particularly cheerful for me to write about, and I confess that I did not give the Yankees the slightest help at bat. I came in for a lot of criticism from the fans after my collision with Groh at third base, and regret that to some tactics were objectionable, but in self-defense I want to say that given a similar circumstance, in any other game, I would do the same, and I believe every player on the Giants would do likewise.

Two weeks ago at Detroit a similar incident took place when Ty Cobb went into Wally Schang with every ounce of energy. It looked rough and tumble on Cobb’s part, but his job was to score the run, and Wally’s job was to play the home plate. The result was the runner crashed into the catcher.

If I had run around Heinie or in any way left the running path, I would have been ruled out of bounds. There was only one thing to do, and with the Yankees desperately trying to score, I did what I would expect of any base runner. There isn’t a nicer, cleaner player in either major league than the Giants’ third baseman, and while in the heat of the mix-up he grew furious at me, I hope by this time, he appreciates my position and will forget the incident.

There is no use talking, the Yankees’ offense has gone to pot. Our miserable batting slump touched its lowest mark in the face of the wonderful pitching of Scott.

We never expected a setdown like we got from Scott. Four scattered hits and one a fluke. He had everything a pitcher needs in addition to the element of surprise. Nehf and Barnes were looked to for fair pitching but this boy Scott, rescued by McGraw from the big league scrap heap, simply tied us up in knots.

So far, the biggest disappointment to me has been my own failure at the bat. But the whole club seems to be in a rut.

Even “Home Run” Baker and Elmer Smith, sluggers who ordinarily give our pitchers great assistance, have also fallen into the nasty jinx that has shadowed us ever since our second game at Cleveland.

I don’t think the Yankee pitching has been bad and I certainly do not believe the Giant pitchers have done anything to put them in the Hall of Fame. Weak batting makes any pitcher look like an ace.

For nine long innings, we kept swinging and only on one occasion did two Yankee hits come in succession. That’s the big secret. The Giants put their hits together, and although they have only crossed the plate four times in twenty-eight innings, they work together and bunch hits into runs.

I wish I didn’t have to write this kind of a story. I wish I didn’t have to admit the Yankees and particularly myself have failed to deliver the goods. Yet those are the facts and while it hurts I must admit it.

But as there is every reason in the wide world to believe the Yankees will improve and little improvement can be expected in the already excellent showing of the Giants. I want to stop any idea that our club concedes the final result.

We don’t even concede the next game, say nothing of the series, we only hope our friends and supporters will stick by in this pinch.

(Source: Chronicling America, http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84026749/1922-10-07/ed-1/seq-17/) 

The works of Babe Ruth, Damon Runyon and other American journalists are now freely available at The Archive of American Journalism. Visit our bookstore for single-volume collections–-ideal for research, reference use or casual reading.