Primary Position: Starting pitcher
Birthplace: East Bend
First, Middle Names: Ernest Grady
Date of Birth: March 24, 1891 Date and Place of Death: Sept. 24, 1980, Winston-Salem, NC
Burial: Forsyth Memorial Park Cemetery, Winston-Salem, NC
High School: East Bend Graded School
College: Guilford College, Guilford College, NC
Bats: R Throws: R Height and Weight: 6-4, 220
Debut Year: 1912 Final Year: 1920 Years Played: 7
Teams and Years: New York Giants, 1912; Boston Red Sox, 1914-17; New York Yankees, 1919-20
Awards/Honors: N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, 1979; Boys of Summer Top 100
G W L Sv ERA IP SO WAR
160 65 43 5 2.47 979.1 309 +9.3
Ernie Shore settled down at the end of the Boston bench at Fenway Park for what he expected to be a long afternoon of idleness. His Red Sox were playing the Washington Senators in a doubleheader on that Saturday, June 23, 1917, and Shore wasn’t to start either game.
Babe Ruth got the ball for the opener. He was not yet the feared slugger who would change the face of baseball, but the 22-year-old was fast becoming the best lefthanded pitcher in the American League. He was on his way to winning 24 games, one more than the previous season. With that raw talent, though, came an uneven temperament, which gradually evened out as Ruth got older.
His first pitch to leadoff batter Ray Morgan was called a ball by home plate umpire Brick Owens, himself a man not known for his forbearance. He had started umpiring as a child on the sandlots of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and had become a professional at age 17. He bore the scars of his various altercations with fans and players, including the one on his head from the thrown brick that inspired his nickname. A man brained by a brick wasn’t intimidated by a kid pitcher, no matter how talented. Ruth complained about the call and stomped around the mound and only got angrier after Owens ruled that his second and third offerings were balls as well. He threatened to punch Owens in the nose; the ump told the kid to shut up and keep pitching. After the fourth ball, Ruth rushed towards home plate but was intercepted by his catcher Pinch Thomas. He flailed at Owens as Thomas held him back and later claimed in his autobiography that he struck the umpire on the side of the head. Shore didn’t remember years later that any punches were thrown. No matter. Owens tossed Ruth out of the game. The enraged Babe had to be escorted off the field by several teammates and a police officer.
Manager Jack Berry summoned Shore to the mound. “Try to get out of the inning,” he instructed.[I]