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#31 Greatest HR in Yankee History

October 17, 2012
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Ruth (front left) during Opening Day ceremonies at Yankee Stadium (Library of Congress)

Babe Ruth | 1st at Yankee Stadium | vs. Boston Red Sox | 4/18/1923

I’d give a year of my life if I can hit a home run in this first game in this new park.

| Babe Ruth |

By the end of the 1920 season the tenuous relationship between the New York Yankees and the New York Giants began to sour.  The rivals were never particularly cordial, but were somehow able to share the Polo Grounds beginning in 1913.   That all changed when the Yanks outdrew their landlords by over 100,000 fans following their purchase of Babe Ruth.  The Yankees were asked to leave as soon as possible.  Owners Jacob Ruppert and Colonel Tillinghast Huston set about purchasing property in the west Bronx, across the Harlem River from the Polo Grounds, and building a stadium that could be comparable to the Roman Colosseum–in Ruppert’s mind at least.  The new home of the Yankees cost $2.5 million and was the first ballpark to be dubbed a “stadium.”

In the 1st game ever played at Yankee Stadium, Babe Ruth christened the new park with a 3-run home run that powered the Bombers to a 4-1 win over the Red Sox.  74,200 witnessed the opening of a baseball landmark.

Governors, general colonels, politicians, and baseball officials gathered solemnly yesterday to dedicate the biggest stadium, in baseball.  In the third inning with two teammates on the base lines, Babe Ruth smashed a savage home run into the right field bleachers, and that was the real baptism of Yankee Stadium.

| The New York Times, April 19, 1923 |

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