In 1934, it was called “a record that promises to endure for all time.”
From the New York Times article written on July 13, 1934:
A record that promises to endure for all time was attained on Navin Field today when Babe Ruth smashed his seven-hundredth home run in a lifetime career. It promises to live, first, because few players of history have enjoyed the longevity on the diamond of the immortal Bambino, and, second, because only two other players in the history of baseball have hit more than 300 home runs.
Of course, today, we stand with Ruth as third on the all time home run list and 54th on the games played list. The scientific developments that forever changed the game were unforeseen in the mid-30’s where 700 home runs seemed unattainable unless you were the Bambino. Imagine Ruth slugging in this era where something close to one-thousand bombs would be said to “endure for all time.”
Continue reading From The New York Times’ Archives: Babe Ruth’s 700th Home Run (1934)
When Babe Ruth was walloping home runs, escalating his total to previously unexplored heights, some of them that should have been celebrated were merely passed off as just another achievement of the Sultan of Swat. Nobody quite knew the importance of a home run such as number 600.
Ruth’s 600th home run, a drive hit in St. Louis, was only worthy of a few mentions in the New York Times the following day (Aug. 22, 1931). In the article entitled, “Yanks Win, Ruth Driving 600th Homer,” the home run is acknowledged as his 600th, but nothing more:
Continue reading From the New York Times’ Archives: Babe Ruth’s 600th Home Run (1931)
A slugger’s 500th home run is a much celebrated feat, often times more so than the 600th. Maybe it is the 500th home run level of difficulty: 600 has only been accomplished by eight batters; 500 by twenty-five with Albert Pujols only 25 away entering 2013.
In 1929, no hitter had reached the 500 plateau. In fact, only Babe Ruth had more than 250. When Ruth went deep on August 11, 1929 in Cleveland, many were unsure of how to react. Every one was used to Ruth, his power and the achievements that accompany. This home run was seen coming from a mile away. They did know, however, that a home run total as high as 500 needed to be celebrated.
Continue reading From The New York Times’ Archive: Babe Ruth’s 500th Home Run (1929)
Mel Ott is often forgotten in baseball lure. Overshadowed by rivaled, cross-town Yankee slugger Babe Ruth, Ott also brought a heavy stick to the game that was still adjusting to the long ball. From 1929 to 1938, Ott swatted 323 home runs, an average of 32 per season. He finished his career with 511, 3rd all time behind only Ruth and Jimmie Foxx.
In a game against the Chicago Cubs on July 18th, 1927, Ott connected for his first career home run, a drive off of Hal Carlson in New York in the first game of a doubleheader.
Continue reading From the New York Times’ Archives: Mel Ott’s 1st Career Home Run (1927)
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.
On 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.
Continue reading From the New York Times’ Archives: Babe Ruth’s 1st Home Run (1915)