The Day a Michigander Struck Out Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth achieved his title of “Sultan of Swat” in 1922 while a member of the New York Yankees. It was on September 30, 1927, when he hit his 60th home run and made it to the history books.
Yeah, there were pitchers that did not want to face him at the plate...they didn't want to be known as one who gave Ruth another homer. Of course, Ruth struck out quite a few times as well, but that “homer-fear” was still present in many major league pitchers of the time.
One year before Ruth hit his 60th homer, an exhibition ball game was held in Iron Mountain, Michigan on October 28, 1926. Baseball players from around the area showed up at Athletic Park to play for a crowd of 3,000.
Ruth and his managers arrived in Iron Mountain minutes before the game was to start. After stepping up to his second time at bat, he faced pitcher Nello Tedeschi. Tedeschi proceeded to strike him out.
At Ruth's third at-bat, he faced a man called “Pitcher Jones” from the Michigan town of Channing, who also struck Ruth out. That is not what the crowd wanted...they wanted to see the Babe swat some hits. So, in order to please the crowd, during Babe's future times at the plate, the authorities bent the rules and let him stay at bat longer than usual so he could belt some fly balls.
Fortunately for Nello, he had a picture taken with Babe (see below) and his name was noted. Unfortunately for “Pitcher Jones”, his real name is still floating around out there and no picture was taken as far as we know.
After the game, the local Lions Club held a dinner in Babe's honor and soon he was off again for more appearances elsewhere.