Dean was Ruthless with Aging Babe

This article was written by L. Robert Davids

This article was published in the 1976 Baseball Research Journal


Babe Ruth and Dizzy Dean, two of baseball’s most colorful performers, faced each other in only two games, May 5 and 19, 1935. Dean was then in his prime with the Cardinals, whereas Ruth was 40 and closing out his career with the Boston Braves. Diz clearly had the upper hand, holding the Babe hitless in six trips in the two games, both of which he won.

The May 5 game, before 30,000 anxious fans in Boston, was the more exciting. Dean walked Ruth in the first, and in the fourth, worked the count on the Bambino to two strikes and one ball. Diz, with a wide grin on his face, then waved his outfielders back to the fences. He reared back and steamed a fast one down the middle. The huge crowd was stunned into silence as Ruth swung mightily and missed. This was frosting on the cake for Dean, because, in his first time at bat, he had hit a screaming line drive over Ruth’s head and into the left field stands for a home run. It was a big day for Dean as he blanked the Braves 7-0.

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