On "Babe Ruth Day", the Babe hits his record 45th and
ON THIS DATE (September 4, 1920) ... More than 33,000 fans paid to see the doubleheader on "Babe Ruth Day " at Fenway Park today. Fully 10,000 more were turned away. It was the largest crowd ever turned out to see an American League game in Boston. The crowd at the 6 to 6 tie game in the World Series between the Red Sox in the Giants in 1912 numbered 30,148. Today's crowd numbered 33,027. There have been larger crowds at Fenway Park. On Labor Day in 1914 the Braves and the Giants, who were fighting for the National League championship, at morning and afternoon games, played to a total of more than 74,000 people.
33,000 is quite a crowd, however, and everyone saw, who many of them went especially to see, Babe Ruth. The Babe bumped out his 45th and 46th home runs, one in each game. The fans also saw two great battles on the baseball diamond, in which the honors were even, the Yankees winning the first game 5 to 3, and the Red Sox taking the second one 6 to 5.
The big crowd was well handled by the Boston Police Department as the gates were opened at noon, but long before that time the fans had began to gather, and they kept coming in a constant stream. The entrances to the grandstand were closed to all except those who held reserved seat tickets, shortly after 1 PM, as the stands were already full. Then the pavilion and bleacher seats began to fill rapidly until they could hold no more. Finally the overflow was allowed to pass on to the field and the fans arranged themselves behind the ropes. There must have been a full 10,000 in the semicircle starting near the right-field foul pole and extending around the flagpole, and Duffy Lewis' Cliff to the back of third base.
During the intermission between the first and second games, a delegation from the Pere Marquette Council Knights of Columbus, of which Babe Ruth as a member, presented him with a pair of diamond cufflinks, and gave Mike McNally, Joe Bush and Mike Menosky of the Red Sox, along with Wally Pipp of the Yankees who are also knights, a box of cigars each.
The Babe got his first home run in the third inning of the first game against Sam Jones. The ball landed halfway up the bleacher seats in right field as the crowd went wild. The Babe and connected with one of Joe Bush's curves in the sixth inning of the second game, and the ball went practically to the same spot.
It was known that Carl Mays was going to pitch in one of the games, and it was feared that there might be some hostility demonstrated against him. There was plenty of booing, but it was generally drowned out by applause. All in all, the big crowd was good-natured and well-behaved, as Red Sox crowds invariably are.
Then the Babe connected for his first home run in the third inning of the first game, with the Yankees winning 2 to 0 and got the crowd going, as he accounted for the Yankees third run. The Sox finally scored a run in the bottom of the fourth when Mike Menosky singled to right and went to second when the Babe, in attempting to catch him off first base, threw the ball away. He kept going and landed at third, as Yankee catcher, Truck Hannah also threw the ball away. Tim Hendryx then hit a fly ball to deep center where Bodie lost it in the sun and it felt safe for a double, to score Menosky.
But the Yankees came back with two more runs in the fifth on singles by Pipp and Ruth, a sacrifice by Pratt, a single by Bob Meusel and a double by Bodie. The Red Sox countered with two more runs in the sixth, but that was it for the day of scoring and the Yankees found themselves, 5 to 3 victors.
In the second game the Sox got away to a flying start and held, what looked like, a commanding lead until the Babe started trouble in the sixth. The Yankees down 3 to 0 in the sixth inning, brought the crowd to their feet when the Babe connected for his second home run of the day and 46th of the season. It was then that the umpire announced that they would call the game at 6:20 to allow the Red Sox to get an early train for a series in Washington.
From the sixth inning until the ninth the score was tied at 3 to 3, and then New York put over two runs and apparently had its sewed up. It all happened after two were out and the crowd had just about reconciled itself to seeing the Yankees win twice, when the Red Sox came to bat in their half of the ninth, needing two runs to tie and three to win.
Many fans had begun to move out when Wally Schang, the first man up, cracked out a double into the crowd in right-center. Then the fans stopped, but began to move back into the park when McInnis hit one down to Peckinpaugh and was thrown out at first, as Schang moved over to third. Everett Scott put everyone back in their seats when he doubled into the crowd in right and scored Schang. Mike McNally was then sent in to run for Scotty and Benn Karr sent up to bat in place of Cliff Brady.
It looked like it was all over when Karr grounder down to Peckinpaugh and McNally was tagged for an out, but it wasn't. Gene Bailey was put in to run for Karr and Joe Bush hit a grounder, which took a bad hop to secondbaseman Del Pratt, hitting him in the shoulder, letting Bailey get to second with the tying run and Bush on first with the winning run. Now it was up to Hooper, who came to the plate next. He rose to the occasion and lined a single to center and Bailey rounded third and took off for home. Ping Bodie rifled his throw to Muddy Reul, as Bailey slid in safe, just ahead of the baseball. Ruel blocked the plate, but in the confusion, he allowed the ball to roll away from him, and it made its way all the way over to the grandstand wall. Bush never faltered at third, but kept coming around and was over the plate with the winning run, before Reul could retrieve the ball, giving the Red Sox a thrilling walk-off, 6 to 5 win.
When the Babe knocked out his 46th home run of the year, he broke the record for home runs in a single season. Last year he broke a major league record by knocking out 29. This however was not a world record, as Perry Werden, who played with Minneapolis, then in the Western League, had 45 round trippers in 1895. Most of those home runs were made in the Minneapolis ballpark, which had very close right and left field fences. Werden seldom hit a home run over the fence at other fields. Then in 1901, a man name Roth with the Evansville, Central League club knocked out 36 homers.