This Day in Yankees History: Babe Ruth has his first three home run game

John Zarnowski
New York Yankees, Babe Ruth
(Original Caption) After making a runaway race of it all season, the Yankees won the American League pennant. They took the opening series of the year from the Athletics, of Philadelphia, and held the lead until the end; their victory was due mainly to the heavy hitting of “Babe” Ruth, Lou Gehrig; Tony Lazzeri and other members of the team; Miller Huggins is the manager. Photo shows Combs, centerfielder; Ruth, left fielder and Meusel, right fielder. (Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images)

May 21, 1930, would be another example as to why Babe Ruth was one of the greatest ballplayers to ever take the field. It was a Wednesday and the Yankees were up against the Philadelphia Athletics for the first game of a doubleheader. George Earnshaw was on the mound for the Athletics and he would not have a good outing facing the great Babe Ruth.

Batting third and holding a .365 batting average, Babe Ruth stepped to the plate and smacked a two-run home run that would give the Yankees an early lead. Even though Earnshaw would fan the next two batters following Ruth’s homer, his rough outing against Ruth was not done yet.

Ruth stepped to the plate for his second at-bat in the top of the third inning and would crush another home run that would knock in another three runs. A two-run home run for Babe Ruth wasn’t an uncommon thing as at that time, Ruth had 51 other two home run games.

Ruth’s next at-bat would be something no one has seen before in the game of baseball. As Ruth stepped to the plate for his third at-bat of the game in the top of the eighth inning, he smacked his third homer of the day.

This feat of utter dominance is something that only furthers Ruth’s legacy even more.

Lou Gehrig Copies Ruth

Despite the Yankees losing that game to the Philadelphia Athletics 15-7, Lou Gehrig would have himself a game the very next day when the team took on Athletics again. Gerhig pulled off the same feat that Ruth did the day prior, smacking himself a total of three home runs in one game. He hit a grand slam in the top of the first inning, a two-run home run in the top of the fourth, and another two-run shot in the top of the ninth.

For that day in baseball, these feats to occur in back-to-back days was unheard of. The Yankees would go on to win that game 20-13, and Gerhig was responsible for scoring eight of those runs. Babe Ruth would also have himself another home run that game.

It was just another day at the ballpark for two MLB legends.