The Babe Calls a Shot?; Foxx Feasts on A.L. Pitching

Look back at the 1932 MLB season.

By Glen Sparks

  • Cardinals’ rookie Dizzy Dean leads the National League with 191 strikeouts. Dean goes on to lead the league in strikeouts three more times and wins 30 games in 1934.

    Dizzy Dean was just rookie in 1932, but already one of  baseball's top pitchers.

    Dizzy Dean was just a rookie in 1932, but he  already was one of baseball’s top pitchers.

  • The legendary John McGraw retires as manager of the Giants 40 games into the season after 31 years at the helm. He goes home with 2,583 wins, 10 pennants and three World Series titles. Bill Terry takes over as player-manager in New York.
  • Yankee slugger Lou Gehrig hits four home runs in one game on June 3. He is the first player in the 20th century to accomplish this feat. Gehrig ends his career with 493 home runs.
  • Brooklyn’s Lefty O’Doul leads the N.L. with a .368 batting average. This is his second batting crown in four years. The San Francisco native bats .349 in a career that lasts from 1919 through 1934. Later, he manages the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League and a young outfielder named Joe DiMaggio. In 1958, he opens Lefty O’Doul’s Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge.
  • Jimmy Foxx smashes 58 home runs for the A’s, knocks in 169 runs, slugs .749, scores 151 times and records 438 total bases. Not surprisingly, he wins the American League MVP. Foxx hits 534 home runs in his Hall of Fame career.

    A's slugger Jimmy Fox belted 58 home runs in 1932.

    A’s slugger Jimmy Fox belted 58 home runs in 1932.

  • The Giants’ Mel Ott leads the NL in home runs for the first time (38, tied with the Phillies’ Chuck Klein, the N.L. MVP). Ott tops the league in round-trippers five more times and finishes his career with 511.
  • The Cubs get solid pitching from Lon Warneke (22-6, 2.37 ERA) and Guy Bush (19-11, 3.21) and beat out the Pirates by four games to win the N.L. pennant. Chicago finishes 90-64.
  • The Yankees blast their way to the A.L. pennant. Babe Ruth hits 41 home runs and Lou Gehrig hits 34 as the Yanks go 107-47. They finish 13 games ahead of the A’s.
  • Ruth points his right arm toward Chicago pitcher Charlie Root (or to centerfield) in Game 3 of the World Series. Down in the count 0-2, Ruth belts the next pitch into the centerfield bleachers. He called his shot. Or, did he? The debate remains a part of baseball lore. We do know it was Ruth’s 15th and final World Series home run.
  • Gehrig leads the way in the World Series as the Yankees sweep the Cubs. He bats .529 with three home runs and eight RBI. The Iron Horse finishes his career with a .361 batting average in seven Series.
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