Centennial of Babe Ruth in MLB Recognized at Yankee Stadium

Howard Goldin

The second game of the 2014 Subway Series at Yankee Stadium was won by the Mets, 12-7, in two minutes less than four hours. The victory on Tuesday night gave the Mets a sweep of the two games played at Yankee Stadium. The next two games of the four to be played between the two New York City clubs will take place at Citi Field on Wednesday and Thursday.

A brief ceremony was held on the field prior to the game that recognized Babe Ruth, arguably the greatest player in baseball history. Jane Forbes Clark, a member of the Board of Directors of the Baseball Hall of Fame, and Jeff Idelson, the President of the Hall brought Ruth’s HOF plaque to Yankee Stadium.

The plaque was displayed on the field during batting practice, an appropriate time, and in the Yankee Museum within the ballpark from 7:30 though the eighth inning, an appropriate location. Many of the large crowd of 45,958 attending the game took advantage of the length of the contest and the many less than interesting moments in the game to view and take pictures of the historic representation of a player without equal.

Tuesday’s appearance in the Bronx was the plaque’s first time leaving the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York since being put on display there after Ruth’s election in the inaugural class of honorees in 1936.

On Wednesday, the plaque will be located in Vanderbilt Hall in Grand Central Terminal on 42nd Street between 11:30 am -6:30 pm in order to promote tourism and travel within New York State.

Interestingly, four round trippers were hit on a day and in a venue the man whose reputation that became synonymous with the home run was recognized. Two of the day’s home runs were hit by Yankees, Brian McCann and rookie YangervisSolarte, and one by Met, Daniel Murphy, and one by former Yankee and now Met, Curtis Granderson.

Hopefully, those younger people who only know Ruth as a caricature rather than a human being will be encouraged to study his life and his career as a baseball player and the times in which he lived and worked.

A brief summary of his career exhibits he was one of the best lefthanded pitchers before the 1920’s. Beginning in 1914, at the age of 19, with the Boston Red Sox, his major league career lists his pitching record as 94-46 (including five wins in five games with the Yankees) and an ERA of 2.28.

It’s hard to believe that a pitcher of his stature could become in the same career the batter that epitomized power hitting. Ruth is #1 in OPS with 1.164. His home run marks stood for decades. He was also the first of an era as in his first years with the Yankees he blasted more home runs in a season alone than most teams did as a unit.

The entertaining and interesting figure of another time is worthy of study and remembereance.