Still the Greatest One-Two Punch

This article was written by Ray Gonzalez

This article was published in the 1977 Baseball Research Journal


When we think of a home run one-two punch, we must recognize that Eddie Mathews and Henry Aaron hit the most fourbaggers while they were teammates on the Braves from 1954 to 1966. Ed hit 415 in that period and Hank 442, for a total of 857.

And yet, these two outstanding long ball hitters did not establish a special reputation as a great one-two punch, such as Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig from 1925 to 1934. The latter two did not play together so long-10 seasons, to 13 for Mathews and Aaron-yet still provided on a game-by-game basis more damage to a pitcher’s ego and ERA than any other duo.

This is true partly because of the fact that both batted the same way-from the port side. On the other hand, Mathews batted left and Aaron right. This explanation can also be extended to the other great home run duos, such as Willie Mays, who hit 430 homers (right) and Willie McCovey, 370 (left) for the San Francisco Giants 1959-71, and Duke Snider, who hit 384 (left) and Gil Hodges 361 (right) for the Dodgers 1947-61. Theoretically, an opposing pitcher had some advantage over one of these hitters on the basis of right vs left, etc., and was not so susceptible to being clobbered by both batters, particularly with back-to-back homers.

We have researched the full ten years of the Ruth-Gehrig association and can fully document their reputation as the games premier one-two punch. This is true even though they were 8 years apart in age, and Gehrig had a breaking in process and Ruth a fading out process that had to be factored into their decade together. Therefore, they didn’t always bat third and fourth. Bob Meusel was between them sometime and so was Tony Lazzeri. Nevertheless they hit homers in the same inning 19 times, and in the same game 72 times.

Actually, if we extend this review to World Series games, the totals would be increased to 21 and 74. In the final game of the 1928 Series with the Cardinals, Ruth hit three homers and Gehrig one, including back-to-back in the 7th off Willie Sherdel. In the third game of the 1932 Series with the Cubs, they each hit two. They were back to back in the 5th, when Ruth supposedly pointed out where he was going to belt one off Charlie Root and Lou apparently liked the spot himself. All four of those homers came off Root.

Obviously, in the 74 games, Ruth and Gehrig did not limit themselves to one homer each. There total output was 88 for Lou and 86 for the Babe. Not all their victims were name pitchers, of course, but they did connect off such worthies as Lefty Grove, Ted Lyons, Red Faber, Wes Ferrell, Earl Whitehill, Mel Harder, Jack Quinn, and Red Ruffing.

It would be too lengthy a list to run all the 74 entries where Ruth and Gehrig connected in the same game. However, the reader could get some flavor of their twin assaults by reviewing a list of the contests where they connected in the same inning as well as those games where they had multiple homers.

 

Date of GameOpponentHomersInningPitching Victim
Sep.101925Phil. at Phil.Ruth4Sam Gray
    Gehrig4Sam Gray
May101926Det. at N.Y.Gehrig5Sam Gibson
    Ruth5Sam Gibson
Sep.191926Clev. at Clev.Ruth7Emil Levsen
    Gehrig7Emil Levsen
Sep.251926 (2)StL. at StL.Gehrig3Milt Gaston
    Ruth6Win Ballou
    Ruth9Joe Giard
Apr.231927Phil. at Phil.Ruth1Rube Walberg
    Gehrig1Rube Walberg
May11927Phil. at N.Y.Ruth1Jack Quinn
    Gehrig6Jack Quinn
    Ruth8Rube Walberg
May231927Wash, at Wash.Ruth1Hollis Thurston
    Gehrig1Hollis Thurston
June71927Chi. at N.Y.Ruth4Tommy Thomas
    Gehrig4Tommy Thomas
June161927StL. at N.Y.Ruth1Tom Zachary
    Gehrig1Tom Zachary
Sep.21927Phil. at Phil.Ruth1Rube Walberg
    Gehrig1Rube Walberg
    Gehrig2Rube Walberg
Sep.61927 (1)Bos. at Bos.Gehrig5Tony Welzer
    Ruth6Tony Welzer
    Ruth7Tony Welzer
May291928Wash. at N.Y.Gehrig3Milt Gaston
    Ruth4Lloyd Brown
    Gehrig4Lloyd Brown
    Ruth7Lloyd Brown
June71928Clev. at Clev.Ruth9Joe Shaute
    Gehrig9Joe Shaute
June121928Chi. at Chi.Gehrig1Grady Adkins
    Ruth5Grady Adkins
    Gehrig6George Cox
May41929Chi. at Chi.Gehrig2Red Faber
    Ruth7Harold McKain
    Gehrig7Harold McKain
    Gehrig9Dan Dugan
May191929Bos. at N.Y.Ruth3Jack Russell
    Gehrig3Jack Russell
May21930 (2)Phil. at Phil.Gehrig1Bill Shores
    Ruth2Jack Quinn
    Gehrig4Eddie Rommel
    Gehrig7Glenn Liebhardt
June151930Clev. at Clev.Gehrig3Milt Shoffner
    Gehrig5Belvedere Bean
    Ruth6Belvedere Bean
June251930 (2)StL. at N.Y.Ruth3Geo. Blaeholder
    Ruth5Herm Holshauser
    Gehrig6Herm Holshauser
July201930Clev. at Clev.Ruth4Milt Shoffner
    Gehrig4Milt Shoffner
    GehrigSMilt Shoffner
July221931 (2)Det. at N.Y.Ruth1Tommy Bridges
    Ruth6Charles Sullivan
    Gehrig6Charles Sullivan
Aug.211931StL. at StL.Ruth3Geo. Blaeholder
    Gehrig3Geo. Blaeholder
Sep.71931 (2)Phil. at Phil.Ruth6Waite Hoyt
    Gehrig6Waite Hoyt
    Ruth9Waite Hoyt
Apr.121932Phil. at Phil.RuthIGeorge Earnshaw
    Gehrig3George Earnshaw
    Ruth4George Earnshaw
May211932 (1)Wash, at N.Y.Ruth5Lloyd Brown
    Ruth6Frank Ragland
    Gehrig6Frank Ragland
June31932Phil. at Phil.Gehrig1George Earnshaw
    Gehrig4George Earnshaw
    Ruth5George Earnshaw
    Gehrig5George Earnshaw
    Gehrig7Roy Mahaffey
May281934StL. at StL.Oehrig6Paul Andrews
    Ruth7Jack Knott
    Gehrig7Jack Knott
       
WorldSeries    
Oct.91928StL. at StL.Ruth4Willie Sherdel
    Ruth7Willie Sherdel
    Gehrig7Willie Sherdel
    Ruth8Grover Alexander
Oct.11932Chi. at Chi.Ruth1Charlie Root
    Gehrig3Charlie Root
    RuthSCharlie Root
    GehrigSCharlie Root

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