Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig are perhaps the most famous dynamic duo in baseball history. On Thursday night, the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. and Wil Myers joined the Yankees legends in an exclusive club — on the 88th anniversary of one of the most hotly debated events the sport has
Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig are perhaps the most famous dynamic duo in baseball history. On Thursday night, the Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. and Wil Myers joined the Yankees legends in an exclusive club — on the 88th anniversary of one of the most hotly debated events the sport has ever produced.
Tatis and Myers both crushed a pair of home runs in San Diego’s 11-9 victory over St. Louis at Petco Park, staving off elimination in Game 2 of the National League Wild Card Series and forcing a decisive Game 3 on Friday. The 21-year-old phenom and 29-year-old veteran joined Ruth and Gehrig as the only teammates in postseason history to hit multiple homers in the same game.
“That’s pretty cool,” Myers said. “Pretty cool to be in a category with those names, even Tatis. Those players are great players.”
Said Tatis: “If you’re in the record books with those guys, you’re doing something right.”
The Great Bambino and the Iron Horse accomplished the feat on the same date (Oct. 1), back in 1932. It happened in Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field, with two big flies from each Hall of Famer leading the Bronx Bombers to a 7-5 victory in what became a four-game sweep.
Prior to Thursday, that game wasn’t known nearly as much for Ruth and Gehrig hitting two homers apiece as it was for one of Ruth’s blasts in particular — the Called Shot. It came in the fifth inning, with the game tied 4-4 and Charlie Root on the mound for the Cubs. Supposedly, as the story goes, Ruth predicted his homer before it happened, pointing out to the center-field stands before walloping the ball in that direction.
Over the years, debate has raged on about whether Ruth really did call his shot. Because the stars apparently were aligned Thursday, it just so happened that some new evidence in the case emerged earlier in the day, courtesy of an audio tape of Gehrig uncovered by author Dan Joseph.
There was no called shot for Tatis or Myers, but there was a bat flip heard ’round the world, as Tatis emphatically celebrated his opposite-field, two-run drive in the seventh inning. Tatis’ second homer of the day extended the Padres’ lead to 9-6, after Myers had broken a 6-6 tie earlier in the inning with the first postseason homer of his career. Myers went on to add his second, a two-run shot in the eighth that made it 11-8 — a key development considering the Cardinals rallied in the ninth against Trevor Rosenthal.
The Padres’ five big flies — including a huge one from Manny Machado — kept them alive in their bid to notch the franchise’s first postseason series victory since advancing to the 1998 World Series. And they made a little baseball history along the way.