The Called Shot: Babe Ruth, the Chicago Cubs, and the Unforgettable Major League Baseball Season of 1932

THE CALLED SHOT                               THOMAS WOLF

In the summer of 1932, at the beginning of the turbulent decade that would remake America, baseball fans were treated to one of the most thrilling seasons in the history of the sport. As the nation drifted deeper into the Great Depression and reeled from social unrest, baseball was a diversion for a troubled country—and yet the world of baseball was marked by the same edginess that pervaded the national scene. 

On-the-field fights were as common as double plays. Amid the National League pennant race, Cubs’ shortstop Billy Jurges was shot by showgirl Violet Popovich in a Chicago hotel room. When the regular season ended, the Cubs and Yankees clashed in what would be Babe Ruth’s last appearance in the fall classic. After the Cubs lost the first two games in New York, the series resumed in Chicago at Wrigley Field, with Democratic presidential candidate Franklin Roosevelt cheering for the visiting Yankees from the box seats behind the Yankees’ dugout. 
In the top of the fifth inning the game took a historic turn. As Ruth was jeered mercilessly by Cubs players and fans, he gestured toward the outfield and then blasted a long home run. After Ruth circled the bases, Roosevelt exclaimed, “Unbelievable!” Ruth’s homer set off one of baseball’s longest-running and most intense debates: did Ruth, in fact, call his famous home run? 


Reading the ARC provided by Netgalley I was grateful for the approval of the book. What I was disappointed in was that there were many typos and just incomplete stats when revering to a player or even a historical figure.
The story takes you back to 1932 in the height of the depression and you get a look at the baseball world first through the Yankees than to the Cubs. You do get a little history of both clubs and of players. Herewith the Yankees, he goes into Ruth mainly and also other top stars from the day. You are taken through parts of the Hoover administration and how he was trying to fix things but nothing was working. You also had what was called the bonus march on Washington, veterans from World War were promised money and other things only to be denied so they not only marched on D.C. but were now camping out.
You move along the season with Cubs shortstop Billy Jurges being shot in his hotel room by his girlfriend Violet Popovich. Which would later become the basis for the book the Natural written by a young man who was in the stands at the Cubs game. You also get a look at the Presidential primary which was being held in Chicago and the back-door deals for a man named F.D.R. to run for president. He was not even their and flew they’re from New York to accept the nomination.
His descriptions of the games and the different players will keep you entertained, as will the fights different players have among themselves, umpires, and sometimes fans. Sounds from the stands must have been great along with all of the chatter from the dugout and the field, for this is one of the author's descriptions of what Ruth was pointing to or at. You still get to make up your own mind as to what happened. People at least baseball ones will continue to talk about this for years to come. This book though was so much more and if it was not for all of the typos, I would give it 5 stars, instead, it is 4 because of those. I hope if you like the sport you will take the time to read this good book. I received this book from I gave it 4 stars. Follow us at

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