From the New York Times’ Archives: Babe Ruth’s 1st Home Run (1915)

Attending college affords many opportunities for which I am beyond grateful. One of these opportunities presented by Towson University is an excellent library with online research databases for all subjects.

Possibly the best research database is ProQuest Historical Newspapers which, among other current newspapers, holds an archive of the New York Times dating as early as 1851.

As a result of my fascination with baseball and, more specifically, home runs, I decided to search the database for write-ups of historic New York blasts. Simply put, I hit the jackpot. I wish I could post the full articles and pictures, but I am fairly certain ProQuest does not allow reproductions.

The articles are interesting and definitely worth a share. Beginning with the earliest historic home run, I would like to share my findings.

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Babe RuthOn May 6th, 1915, Boston Red Sox pitcher Babe Ruth hit is first career home run, a solo shot in the third inning off of New York Yankees pitcher Jack Warhop.

In an article entitled “High and Cook Spoil Red Sox in 13th,” and subtitled, “Yankees Win Close and Hard-Fought Battle at the Polo Grounds, 4 to 3,” Ruth’s home run is detailed:

For Boston, the big left-handed pitcher, Babe Ruth, was all that a pitcher is supposed to be, and some more. He put his team into the running in the third inning by smashing a mighty rap into the upper tier of the right-field grand stand. Ruth also had two other hits to his credit. His pitching throughout was of high order, and it was only after the hardest kind of effort that the Yanks were able to break through his service.

Ruth was the first batsman to face Warhop in the third inning and with no apparent effort he slammed a home run into the grand stand.

A few things stick out in the 1915 writing. I like the use of the onomatopoeia “rap” to describe Ruth’s home run. Also, the phrase “with no apparent effort,” aptly details not only Ruth’s first home run, but also the other 713.

Next Historic Home Run: Mel Ott’s 1st

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