Friday, June 23, 2017

Ernie Shore's Relief No Hitter. June 23, 1917.

In a pitching event against the odds Ernie Shore came in to relieve Babe Ruth, then the Boston Red Sox's starting pitcher, and turns in a no hitter.

Ernie Shore on the left, Grover Cleveland Alexander on the right, 1915 World Series.  Shore was a remarkably tall pitcher, particularly for his era, as he was 6'4" tall.

What's amazing about it is that Shore had virtually no time to warm up and nearly pitched the entire game.  Indeed, at one time, this was regarded as a perfect game.

The reason for that is Babe Ruth.

Ruth pitched to just a single batter, the Washington Senator's Ray Morgan.  Morgan was walked, but not before Ruth hotly disputed three out of the four pitches that were called as balls, letting home plate umpire Clarence "Brick" Owens know it in no uncertain terms.  After the fourth ball he yelled out at Owens again.  Owens calmly replied and warned Ruth to calm down or he would be ejected, to which Ruth may have replied “Throw me out and I’ll punch ya right in the jaw!”, or might not have. At any rate Owens ejected Ruth at that point and Ruth took a swing at him, hitting him in the ear but knocking him down. The Boston police then escorted Ruth off the field.

Babe Ruth as a Red Sox pitcher, 1917.  {{PD-US}} – published in the U.S. before 1923 and public domain in the U.S.

Shore, a very good pitcher in his own right, then came in and pitched a nearly perfect game.  Indeed, at one time this was regarded as a perfect game, although now its only regarded as a no hitter.

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