The murky history of Babe Ruth's first home run
Andrew North writes in the Toronto Star about the mythology and mystery surrounding Babe Ruth's first professional home. The story goes that George Herman Ruth, aged nineteen, soon to become the Sultan of Swat, hit his first homer out of Hanlan's Point Stadium while playing for the Providence Grays in 1914.
There's no doubt Ruth hit the ball, the mystery is where it landed. Local legend says the ball went into the water behind the right field bleachers, never to be recovered. A prime piece of baseball history (or what's left of it) could be lurking at the Toronto Bay near the Island Airport, it's thought.
Norton interviews baseball historian and author Bill Humber, who thinks Ruth's hit likely never made it that far. The only record of the game, printed in the Toronto Star the next day, suggests the ball went into the crowd. Humber thinks it was most likely thrown back into play. As a relative unknown, a ball hit by Ruth wouldn't have held any particular significance for the fan who may have caught and kept it.
"It would have been taken home, used, played with and eventually lost or worn out like many balls that get used over and over again," Bill Humber in the Toronto Star.
A hundred years later, the ball that Ruth hit, whatever happened to it, is certainly long gone.