History

Babe Ruth wallops homer in Sacramento

Babe Ruth swatting one of his 60 home runs he hit in 1927.
Babe Ruth swatting one of his 60 home runs he hit in 1927. The Associated Press

1919: Sacramento was a sports-crazy town, and The Bee dutifully covered a wide range of sporting events. But baseball was the favorite, even in the off-season.

In this piece on Nov. 10, 1919, the paper announces the imminent arrival of one of the biggest sports stars of the era:

“Babe” Ruth, who broke the home run record of major league baseball last season that stood since 1899 and who is doped to outhit Ty Cobb next season and even smash the ball over the .400 mark, will appear tomorrow afternoon in this city at Buffalo Park. Ruth, with a collection of sparkling ball players from the major and Pacific Coast League circuits, has started out from Los Angeles to play exhibition games and make a few dollars under California’s Winter sunshine. ... With Ruth are many other good men of the diamond. “Buck” Weaver, who is managing the ball club and was about the only Chicago White Sox player to live up to hopes in the past world series, is with the team.

Ruth, who five weeks later would be sold by the Boston Red Sox to the New York Yankees, did not disappoint an overflow crowd. On his second trip to the plate, The Bee reported on Nov. 12:

He slapped one of Ruether’s offerings about midway between center and right field over the wall for a homer. The pill went over the fence a “mile” high and carried many yards outside the lot.

For Weaver, The Bee’s praise of his World Series performance was to prove both bittersweet and ironic. In September 1920, Weaver was one of eight members of the White Sox banned for life for conspiring to throw the 1919 Series.

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