Dickson: The day Babe Ruth broke into organized baseball

From SABR member Paul Dickson at The National Pastime Museum on March 6, 2014:

One hundred years ago today, on March 7, 1914, the Baltimore Orioles of the International League played their first intrasquad contest of spring training in Fayetteville, North Carolina. The Orioles were divided into two teams: the Sparrows and the Buzzards. An unknown 19-year-old named George Herman Ruth made his professional baseball debut in that seven-inning exhibition game as a Buzzard playing shortstop. He had been signed a few days earlier by owner Jack Dunn in Baltimore.

Ruth’s obscurity vanished in the moment when he connected with a fastball for a home run which the next day’s Baltimore Sun termed “the longest home run ever seen by Fayetteville fans.” The ball was driven so deeply into right field that Ruth crossed home plate before the right fielder could get to the ball. According to the report in the Sun, the previous holder of the longest ball honor for the Fayetteville grounds was the great American Indian athlete Jim Thorpe, who was then playing for the New York Giants.

That Ruth made it to this moment was a minor miracle given his early childhood.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/day-babe-broke-organized-baseball-ruthian-centennial

Originally published: March 6, 2014. Last Updated: March 6, 2014.