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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Babe Ruth: bunt single in 1921 World Series.

The New York Giants played the New York Yankees in the World Series (WS) for the first time in 1921.  Those two teams would also meet in the next two WS.  The 1921 home run leaders of their respective leagues, National League (NL) and American League (AL) were from the New York teams.

Here are the Yankee every day players in 1921:
1CWally Schang#3113451642477134305653747835.316.428.453.88112319256
21BWally Pipp*2815366958896174359810317104528.296.347.427.77495251133
32BAaron Ward24153634556771703010576684268.306.363.423.78698235829
4SSRoger Peckinpaugh30149694577128166257872228444.288.380.397.77797229233
53BHome Run Baker*35943693304697162974852612.294.353.436.7899914449
6OFBob Meusel241496475981041904016241381763488.318.356.559.915128334212
7OFBabe Ruth*26152693540177204441659168171314581.378.512.8461.35923845744
8OFElmer Miller3056270242417298439221916.298.356.450.80610310936
In addition to Babe Ruth, the Yankees had two previous home run leaders:
- 35 year old Frank Home Run Baker, who had led four consecutive years while playing for the Philadelphia As; Baker had only 9 PA in 4 1921 WS games: Baker had played in four WS with Philadelphia and would have one PA in the 1922 WS.
- Wally Pipp, the first and only Yankee to lead prior to Ruth; Lou Gehrig did not succeed Pipp at first base until 1925.

Bob Muesel, whose brother Irish played for the Giants, would lead in 1925 with 33 home runs; Ruth played his first game June 1, 1925 and finished second with 25 homers in only 359 at bats (AB).

Ruth had set the season home run record in 1919 (his final season with the Boston Red Sox), 1920 and 1921.  In 1921 he was 26 years old and at the peak of his powers.

1921 was the third and final year the two leagues would play best of nine WS.  in 1922 they returned to best of seven.


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Click to go back

1921 World Series (5-3): New York Giants (94-59) over New York Yankees (98-55)

Both teams shared the Polo Grounds (seating capacity 1920–1922
38,000) as their home park so they alternated which was the home team, starting with the Giants who owned the ball park.  The friction of the Yankees outdrawing the Giants after Ruth joined the Yanks in 1920 caused the Giants to encourage the Yankees to move, which led to the construction of Yankee Stadium within one year and opening in 1923.

Yankee pitcher Bob Shawkey had two singles in four AB for an OPS of 1.000.  Second only to Shawkey was Ruth with OPS .976 but in only 16 AB, plus 5 BB.  Ruth started only 5 of the 8 games and pinch hit in one.  Ruth had four singles and a home run but a whopping 8 SO.

Wednesday, October 5, 1921, Polo Grounds V
Attendance: 30,203, Time of Game: 1:38
Yankees 3, Giants 0
Ruth 1 for 3, BB

Thursday, October 6, 1921, Polo Grounds V
Attendance: 34,939, Time of Game: 1:55
Yankees 3, Giants 0
Ruth 0 for 1, 3 BB, 2 SB against Art Nehf

Friday, October 7, 1921, Polo Grounds V
Attendance: 36,509, Time of Game: 2:40
Giants 13, Yankees 5
Ruth 1 for 3, BB, CS; Chick Fewster PR-LF

Sunday, October 9, 1921, Polo Grounds V
Attendance: 36,372, Time of Game: 1:38
Giants 4, Yankees 2
Ruth 2 for 4, HR

Monday, October 10, 1921, Polo Grounds V
Attendance: 35,758, Time of Game: 1:52
Yankees 3, Giants 1
Ruth 1 for 4 against Art Nehf
Top of the 4th, Yankees Batting, Tied 1-1, Giants' Art Nehf facing 3-4-5
Ruth leading off against A. Nehf Single (Bunt to Short 3B Line)
B. Meusel against A. Nehf Double to LF; Ruth Scores

Two other bunts, both in second inning:
Pipp sac
George Burns two out bunt single

Tuesday, October 11, 1921, Polo Grounds V
Attendance: 34,283, Time of Game: 2:31
Giants 8, Yankees 5
Ruth did not play.

Wednesday, October 12, 1921, Polo Grounds V
Attendance: 36,503, Time of Game: 1:40
Giants 2, Yankees 1
Ruth did not play.

Thursday, October 13, 1921, Polo Grounds V
Attendance: 25,410, Time of Game: 1:57
Giants 1, Yankees 0

Bottom of the 9th, Yankees Batting, Behind 0-1, Giants' Art Nehf facing 5-6-7
Babe Ruth pinch hits for Wally Pipp (1B) batting 5th leading off
Ruth Groundout: 1B unassisted
against Art Nehf
In game five Ruth led off the fourth inning of a tie game with a bunt single towards third base.  Maybe the Giants fielders were playing a shift.  Ruth was a lefty batter facing 28 year old Art Nehf, a lefty pitcher.  Nehf had won 20 games for the second consecutive year but allowed the most NL home runs in 1921: 18.  1921 was the first of five WS in which Nehf would pitch.

Ruth did not start any of the final three games, all won by the Giants.  Ruth's only appearance in those games was unsuccessfully pinch hitting in the final inning.

Ruth had hit more than twice as many homers as the NL leader, Giant High Pockets Kelly: 59 to 23.  Teammate Bob Meusel and Ken Williams of the St. Louis Browns were second to Ruth in the AL with 24 home runs each.  Babe Ruth was the home run king of baseball but Babe Ruth bunted for a base hit in game 5 of the WS and scored the winning run putting the Yankees up 3-2 in games, needing 5 wins.  Ruth batted only once after that game.

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