How Politics, the Mob and Babe Ruth Shaped the 1932 World Series

CBS Sports goes deep on the last time the Yankees and Cubs met in the series.

American baseball player George Herman Ruth (MPI/Getty Images)
American baseball player George Herman Ruth (MPI/Getty Images)
By Will Levith / October 20, 2017 9:00 am

The 1932 World Series wasn’t all that much of a nail-biter. In straight games, the New York Yankees bested the Chicago Cubs—and included one of the most famous home runs in baseball history: Babe Ruth’s “called shot” in Game 3.

Despite the Cubs’ trouncing, the series features one of baseball’s most interesting backstories. Dayn Perry of CBS Sports elaborates, while RealClearLife picks out the juiciest facts. Take a gander below.

-In a building near Wrigley Field, which used to be the Hotel Carlos, a popular spot where Cubs players could live during the season, Cubs’ shortstop Billy Jurges’ jilted ex-lover Violet Popovich shot him and then turned the gun on herself. (Both ended up surviving the ordeal.)

-Popovich was a burlesque dancer before the charade with Jurges, and after he didn’t press charges, she used the story to sell her “Violet-Valli” stage show to even greater effect (posters for the show called her “The Girl Who Shot for Love”).

-At the time, the Great Depression was in full swing, and since Chicago was hosting the ’33 World’s Fair, mayor Anton Cermak tried to clean up the city—especially, it’s mob presence. (Al Capone was headed off to jail that year, too, by the way.) Chi-town would also host both Republican and Democratic National Conventions that year, and the Dems would end up choosing Franklin D. Roosevelt as their candidate. (We all know how that turned out.)

-The ’32 baseball season marked the Bambino’s last great one, with the team winning the pennant by 13 games. Ruth also provided American historians with one of the greatest Depression-era quotes: In respect to President Herbert Hoover, Ruth said, upon signing a contract that would make him more money than the commander in chief, “I had a better year than he did.”