The House That Ruth Built Christened This Day In History
April 18,1923. World War One was in the rearview. The roaring twenties were roaring the New York Yankees were about to play their first game in brand new Yankee stadium.
The New York Daily News reported that the place was packed, the largest crowd ever to watch a baseball game at some 65-thousand plus fans. The Governor of New York was there to throw out the first pitch and then all eyes were on Babe Ruth.
The Babe had a rough spring training and wasn't hitting well. He hit 35 home runs the year before but that wasn't enough to lead the league. Fans were, well, wondering.
The opponent was the Boston Red Sox, the team with which Ruth first came into the league in 1914.
"If the game had been rehearsed it couldn't have been staged better. It was, first of all, the grand opening of the stadium. The biggest crowd of all time was there. The "Babe" came up in the third inning with two men on, and regardless of apparent batting slump in the spring series, he lammed one into the distant right field bleachers"
As the ball soared, all concerns faded in a roar of collective Yankee joy. The three run shot settled the questions and any doubts. The Yanks won the game 4 to 1 and the home run was the first of Ruth's 41 that season that would lead the league again that year, one of the dozen times he would do that.
A ball said to be Babe Ruth's first home run in a game at Yankee Stadium -- launched on Opening Day of 1923 -- was sold in 1998 for $126,500. The bat that Ruth used to hit the ball sold for $1.265 million in 2004.
A baseball legend grew larger on this day in history, April 18, 1923.