Wednesday, September 12, 2012

He Struck Out Babe Ruth

"Olney Ray ‘Lefty’ Freeman, 98, struck out Babe Ruth during Fayetteville exhibition in 1935."

Ruth, in his final game in North Carolina, walked twice, hit into a double play and was struck out by Freeman, who recently had begun experimenting with what he called his “underhand delivery.”

His first pitch in the sixth inning almost struck Ruth in the head, and the aging star dove to avoid being hit.

The next two pitches were wide, and the fans booed Freeman for not throwing a strike. Ruth missed a 3-0 sidearm curveball, fouled off another sidearm curve and swung so hard at the third strike, an overhand curveball, that he fell down.

I hope that goes on his tombstone: He Struck Out Babe Ruth. That's one select group of men, my friends.

And maybe, up in baseball heaven, the Bambino has bat in hand, saying, "Let's just try it again, Lefty." After which he and Lefty would have a beer and a hot dog, and swap yarns of their Earthly lives.

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