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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Aw, Shucks: Babe finally solves Pruett with HR
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

Sept. 17, 1922

It's a matchup of the Babe against a babe in the woods -- Ruth versus Hub Pruett, a 135-pound, 22-year-old rookie left-hander with the St. Louis Browns. Until this day, the matchup had been completely one-sided -- Pruett, using his fadeaway, a tricky kind of screwball, to strike out the Babe in nine of 10 at-bats. But today, the Browns catcher calls for a curve, and Ruth lines a homer over the low right-field wall in old Sportman's Park in St. Louis. It accounts for the Yankees' only run in a 5-1 loss to Pruett.

The Babe will homer again off Pruett in 1923 but he will strike out four more times.

Pruett, who is nicknamed "Shucks" because that happens to be the strongest word in his vocabulary, finishes with a 7-7 record and a 2.33 ERA in the 1922 season, but he goes on to just a 29-48 record for his seven-year career. The University of Missouri graduate stays in baseball because it provides the money for him to attend medical school. He then becomes a doctor, like his father.

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