The 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth's first home run

Here’s a new "CSI: Box score" puzzler. Can you figure out what game this box score fragment is from?

Boston 001 000 110 000 0-3

New York 000 010 011 000 1-4

E-Ruth, Carrigan, McNally, Wagner, Maisel, Pieh. DP-New York. LOB-Boston 10, NY 9. 2B-Lewis, Scott, Carrigan, Boone. HR-Ruth (1). S-Speaker, Hoblitzell, Hartzell. SB-Hooper (4), Maisel (12), Hartzell (1), High (6), Cook 2 (6).

It’s not too difficult. The biggest clue is “HR-Ruth (1)’’ with the minor clues of Boston and New York indicating that this was no other Ruth than the Great Bambino, the Sultan of Swat, the Babe. That Ruth is listed first in the other categories is another clue that this game took place when he played for Boston, not New York. And so you should have surmised that this is from the game in which the Babe hit his first career home run.

More significantly, that historic game took place May 6, 1915, exactly 100 years ago today. Ruth hit his first home run as a big leaguer against New York’s Jack Warhop, slamming a third-inning pitch into the right field grandstand at the Polo Grounds (which the Yankees shared with the Giants before eventually moving into the House That Ruth Built). Oddly, Ruth hit his second career home run against Warhop at the Polo Grounds a month later.

Ruth also had three hits that May 6 game to lift his average to .417 but what makes this even more meaningful is that the Babe also pitched a complete game. Not only that, but a complete game that went 13 innings, though Ruth took the loss when he allowed the winning run with one out in the bottom of the 13th. Which meant that he finished that game with two very impressive box score lines:

5 AB, 1 R, 3 H, 1 RBI


12 1/3 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K

Not even Madison Bumgarner could match those combined lines.

Ruth, of course, eventually switched from the mound to the outfield and went on to hit 714 career home runs, a record that stood until Hank Aaron broke it nearly four decades later. But today marks the centennial of No. 1. Celebrate by rooting for a pitcher to go deep today.