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A Record-breaking Month
Leo Monahan
September 24, 1962
At the start of the season Rudy York was an unknown. By the end of August his name was coupled with Ruth's
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September 24, 1962

A Record-breaking Month

At the start of the season Rudy York was an unknown. By the end of August his name was coupled with Ruth's

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The Tigers headed to Chicago for a second-place showdown. On Tuesday, August 17, York celebrated his 24th birthday in Comiskey Park with two singles, a triple and his sixth homer of the month off Johnny Rigney. The Tigers won 11-7, but were stopped on Vern Kennedy's four-hitter the next day.

A heavy rainstorm halted Detroit's 12-4 runaway in Chicago on August 19, but not before York had six runs batted in and homers No. 7 and No. 8 of the month off Johnny Whitehead and Sugar Cain.

In a doubleheader on a hot Sunday, August 22, York hit Elon Hogsett's first-inning pitch for his ninth homer of the month. Acting Manager Del Baker decided the heat was too intense for York to work two games. He put in Cliff Bolton. But he called in York as a ninth inning pinch hitter for shortstop Billy Rogell with Detroit trailing, 3-1. Bill Trotter again was the St. Louis pitcher. York whacked Trotter's fast ball over the fence for his second homer of the day. Detroit won in the 10th, 4-3.

Monday was an open date. The Tigers returned home in second place, 11 games behind the Yankees, mostly on the impetus of York's 10 homers in the month. Babe Ruth held the major league record for homers in a month—17 in September 1927, while en route to his record 60. Could York break it? He certainly was trying.

York slammed three homers out of Navin Field as the Tigers split a double-header with the Athletics. He hit two in the opener off Harry Kelley, then another—his 13th of the month—off Lynn (Line Drive) Nelson in the third inning of the second game. The following day he moved to within three of Ruth's record with his 26th homer, his sixth in five games and his 14th of the month. It came in the second inning off George Caster, with Gehringer and Greenberg on base.

Gehringer and Greenberg were aboard again on Friday, August 27, against the Red Sox, when York caught Jack Wilson's first-inning fast ball and drove it over the left field fence. York now had 15 homers.

Time was running out on Monday, August 30. York had only two days to overtake Ruth's record. Tiger fans—32,000 strong—were back for more. Lefty Gomez was New York's pitcher. With two out in the first inning, Gehringer walked. Greenberg homered over the left field wall. Not to be upstaged, York, the next batter, rammed a line drive into the right center field pavilion seats for his 16th homer of the month.

One day left. One homer to tie the record.

Pete Appleton started for the Senators. York had a field day. In the first inning he hit homer No. 17 over the scoreboard. In the sixth he whacked record-breaking homer No. 18 over the scoreboard. Rudy wound up with a perfect day at the plate: 4 for 4, with two singles and seven runs batted in.

York had batted .360 in 30 games in August with 30 doubles, two triples, 51 runs batted in. He knocked in seven runs one day, six another, five once and four twice. He had 41 hits in 114 times at bat, opened the month with a .252 average and ended it at .295.

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