Baseball Flashback: Babe Ruth's First Home Run, May 6, 1915, by Harvey Frommer, from The Baseball Guru. Babe Ruth, a 20-year-old pitcher, smacked the first ball off Yankee right-hander Jack Warhop into the second tier of the right field grandstand for a home run in the third inning at the Polo Grounds. It is believed that this ball is on display at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox on April 23, 1935, and over the next two seasons, he led the American League in home runs with 31 and 54. But in 1937, his production began to decline, as he only had 12 homers. And then in 1938, his career came to an end after the Yankees traded him to the New York City/Brooklyn Dodgers. He ended his eight-year career with Los Angeles with $900,000 in salary money.
During his time with the Yankees, Babe Ruth set numerous records that still stand today. He is currently the all-time leader in home runs (292), runs batted in (1,846) and total bases (4,523).
He also ranks first in hits (3,630), doubles (788), slugging percentage (.542), on-base percentage (.443) and games played (3117).
Babe Ruth was born on February 6, 1895, in Baltimore, Maryland.
On May 6, 1915, Ruth hit his first big league home run against the Yankees at the Polo Grounds. Three years later, in the same ballpark, Ruth hit a home run in his first start at a position other than pitcher. 24.
Ruth made his big league debut on July 11, 1914, pitching for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park, their home field. He eventually joined the New York Yankees, where he rose to prominence as a batter, blasting Yankee Stadium's first official home run in 1923.
When Zachary, a big league pitcher who won 186 games from 1918 to 1936, died in 1969 at the age of 72, the opening line of his New York Times obituary read, in part, "... the Washington Senators pitcher who served up Babe Ruth's 60th home run ball in 1927..."
Babe Ruth hit his 139th home run of his career on this day, July 18th, 1921. The home run lifted Babe Ruth ahead of Roger Connor as the all-time leader in MLB home runs. Ruth had already held that record since January 4th, 1920 when he hit his 138th home run.
Ruth was nearing the end of his career at the time he reached this mark. He would finish with 150 homers, a record that has never been broken. After his retirement in 1936, the National League voted not to allow its players to join the American League, thus ending the era of separate leagues.
The Yankees played their first game on this day in New York City's Yankee Stadium. They lost to the Cleveland Indians 11-0.
Babe Ruth died on February 6th, 1948 at the age of 53 after suffering from tuberculosis for several years.
According to research done by WFAN radio in New York, New York, the total number of baseballs used by the New York Yankees during their season opener on April 17th, 2009 was 1,440! That's one ball per player per game!
6th of May, 1915 Babe Ruth hit his first of 714 big league home runs on May 6, 1915. The Boston Red Sox were playing the New York Yankees at Fenway Park in Boston. In those days there was no such thing as a home run champion, so this game has special meaning for baseball fans around the world.
Babe's father was a famous player himself who played third base for the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Highlanders. When he was only 18 years old, he was already playing in the major leagues and becoming popular with fans because of his skills at third base. His father tried hard but could never play well enough to keep his job, so when he was traded to the Boston Beanes (now known as the Boston Red Sox) after only one season, he could finally focus on something other than hitting balls out of the park - yet still get paid very well while doing it. This is how we know that college football started before World War I, because if it weren't for that war many important things would have never happened - like baseball cards for example!
During World War I, men were needed to fight so they couldn't watch baseball games or listen to the radio.
Looking back to when Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Toronto, on September 5th, 1914, the minor league Toronto Maple Leafs were playing the Providence Grays at Hanlan's Point Stadium. The score was tied at 1 all when Ruth hit a ball over the left field fence. It is believed by some that he also hit another ball into the stands but it was not counted due to an error by the umpire. This would be the only time during his career that Ruth would hit two home runs in one game.
Ruth went on to have a very successful career with the New York Yankees, becoming one of the most famous and revered players in baseball history. During his time with the Yankees, he constantly pushed the limit of what was considered possible at the time for a player's power output. In 1927, when many people doubted his claim to being "the greatest hitter who ever lived", Ruth launched 714 balls into the other league's stadiums- more than any other player in history. He finished that season with 286 hits in just 466 games, an average of about 60 hits per season. In 1998, after being retired for three years, a record number of balls were sold at Yankee Stadium during one day of spring training games- almost 6 million!
Babe Ruth was the first to hit a home run at an All-Star game. The first player in history to have 2000 or more RBIs in a career. He was also the first baseball player to smash 60 home runs or more in a single season. He began playing semi-professional baseball in Pennsylvania before signing with the Baltimore Orioles in 1914. That same year, he made his debut in the major leagues and ended up winning the World Series with them. In March 1920, Ruth died at the age of 36 after suffering from tuberculosis.
According to some sources, Ruth scored positive on a drug test conducted by the New York Yankees in 1969 and was suspended for three seasons. However, this has not been confirmed by any other source and it is therefore considered unsubstantiated rumor.
Ruth's personal statistics include: 3113 hits, 2134 walks, 1062 strikeouts, 324 home runs, 1450 RBIs, 54 stolen bases. He had a.996 fielding percentage as a third baseman. During his career, Ruth played in 17 All-Star games and won 11 awards including the MVP award in 1915.
In 1973, an oral history book titled "Babe Ruth: My Life and Times" was published, written by John Thorn. In it, it is stated that Ruth scored "positive" on a drug test conducted by the Yankees in 1969 and was subsequently banned for three years. However, there are no other sources supporting this information so it is considered unconfirmed gossip.