Barry follows Dempsey, standing between him and the fallen fighter, and he again points to the neutral corner, yelling at Dempsey to leave....
Only now does Dempsey move, sliding his hand along the top rope as he lumbers away from his corner....
Here Barry finally turns toward Beeler and hears the count....
But instead of picking up that count in unison with his timekeeper, Barry calls out, "One!"
The Long Count, the name by which this fight forever will be known, has begun.
Of all the major sports figures of the 1920s—from Red Grange in football to Bill Tilden in tennis, Bobby Jones in golf and Man o' War in racing—none cut a swath as wide as the two largest figures of all: Jack Dempsey and Babe Ruth. Born less than five months apart in 1895, they arrived at the dawning of the Golden Age of Sports as rising folk heroes: Dempsey as the new heavyweight champion of the world, Ruth as the emerging home run king.
Just hours before the Long Count, with a man on base in the bottom of the ninth inning and the New York Yankees losing to the Detroit Tigers 7-6, Ruth struck a towering two-run, game-winning homer that landed five rows from the top of Yankee Stadium's rightfield stands. He carried the bat in his hand around the bases. The home run was his 56th of the season. Eight days later, on Sept. 30, he would hit number 60. The Yankees would never again be quite the team they were that year—perhaps the greatest baseball team that ever played—and Ruth would never have a season like that again. Indeed, between Soldier Field and Yankee Stadium, those closing days of September 1927 would be the zenith of that era in sports.