- March 17, 1899
- 5' 10"
- 190 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 4-18-1923 with SLA
A fine pitcher who registered 201 victories and helped the Chicago Cubs to four pennants, Charley Root is destined to be remembered for something that never really happened. In the fifth game of the 1932 World Series, Root was on the mound when Babe Ruth blasted a home run to deep center field at Wrigley Field. Later, the homer became known as "The Called Shot," with various witnesses and Ruth himself for a time, insisting the slugger had pointed to center field and predicted he would hit a homer. Ruth admitted several times that the story was a myth, but it was repeated enough that it became legend. Root denied that the Babe had called his shot, and only years later, when a home movie of the game was found, was Charley vindicated. Though Ruth had been pointing during the at-bat, it was to indicate how many strikes he had on him, and to gesture at the Cubs bench, which had been jockeying the Bambino all series.
Despite an ERA of 3.76, Root led the National League with 26 victories. He probably pitched his best ball in 1933, when he posted a career-low 2.60 ERA, but he didn't receive the run support to win more than 15 games.
In his authorized biography, Babe Ruth admitted that he never called his shot off Charley Root in Game Five of the 1932 World Series, but many people chose to ignore his admission and continued to perpetuate the myth anyway.
"Root was one of the fiercest competitors the game ever knew... his cigar-chomping, no-nonsense visage was one of the most intimidating tools in his baseball arsenal." — Baseball Legends: The Charlie Root Story, by Joseph E. Bennett, Jan. 1995 Knight Templar magazine
Multiple Pitchers Homering in the Same Game for the Same Team
CHN NL 06/13/1887: Mark Baldwin and Jimmy Ryan STL AA 06/14/1888: Nat Hudson and Tommy McCarthy PIT NL 07/07/1929: Erv Brame and Fred Fussell CHN NL 08/28/1937: Clay Bryant and Charlie Root NY NL 05/01/1942: Hugh East and Harry Feldman MIN AL 08/20/1961: Jack Kralick and Al Schroll