Baseball before the year 1980 was just terrible.
In 1918 while still apart of the Boston Redsox, Ruth hit a ball over the rightfield wall at Fenway Park to walk-off against the Cleveland Indians in the tenth inning of a scoreless game.
Ruth’s teammate, Amos Strunk was on first and scored the game-winning run and the Red Sox won 1-0. Yes, the Red Sox were only credited with one-run on a two-run home run by Ruth.
So how is that possible? Well, Ruth was officially credited with a triple. Before 1920, a run couldn’t be scored after a game is over, so Ruth never scored off his homerun. For reference, if Amos was on second, Ruth would have been credited with a double. If Amos was on third, Ruth would have been credited with a single.
Yeah, It is very stupid.
After this rule change in 1920, Major League Baseball had researchers look back at the history of the game and correct these “errors.” A total of 37 of these statistical errors were found, including the one hit by Ruth in July of 1918. With this, Ruth was officially credited with one extra homerun.
This angered many sports journalists, who were the moral authority of all things at that time. As we know, traditional baseball people are not too fond of the idea that computers exist. They wanted no part of this? How can you count something that technically never happened?
A man named Joe Reichler, who had a job alongside the commissioner (Could not find his official title) threw a fit with the decision to credit Ruth with a home run.
“The mission of the computer people (Lol “Computer People”) authorized by baseball’s special records committee, was to research all data, correct obvious errors, uncover missing material and clear up gray areas,” Reichler said. “It should not be the function of the committee to tamper with rules which cover baseball records at the time.”
Do you know how much of an old person you have to be to care about this? Ruth hit a ball over the outfield fence. That’s a home run, end of story.
But, Reichler wouldn’t stand for it. He demanded that Major League Baseball reconsider their ruling. Another vote was held, and the decision was overturned by a vote of 3-2. Ruth’s triple turned home run was now turned back to a triple.
So, Ruth technically hit 715 home runs. Or did he?
Old Rules Skew History
Another awful rule as a result of the times is that any ball that bounced over the fence before 1930 was ruled a home run.
However, Ruth was also a victim of these dumb rules. In his prime, a ball had to LAND in fair territory for it to be considered a home run. Also, a ball hit off the pole was ruled a double.
If you took the current rules of today and applied them to the year 1921, Ruth would have hit 104 home runs. So we do not know how many official home runs Ruth hit, but we do know that he was robbed of and credited with home runs.
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Main Credit Image: Embed from Getty Images