Today marks the first many Babe Ruth centennial anniversaries yet to come. On March 7, 1914, Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in a spring training game in Fayetteville, North Carolina, for the International League’s Baltimore Orioles. The city will be commemorating the historic moment with a rededication of its history marker as well as a vintage baseball game complete with Babe Ruth impersonator.
Today may also be the 100th anniversary of the day the Babe earned his nickname. As one legend states, the 19 year-old ballplayer had been adopted by the Baltimore Orioles’ owner, Jack Dunn, so that he could stay with the team. In addition, apparently young George enjoyed playing with the elevators in Fayetteville’s Lafayette Hotel. Thus, the older players teased him and called him “Dunn’s Baby” and “the Babe.” After that, the name stuck with him.
Ruth appeared in 5 games for the Boston Red Sox during the 1914 season, going 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA and batting .200 (2 for 10) with two RBI.
Other Babe Ruth centennials surely to be celebrated this year are:
- April 22, 1914 – Official debut with the Baltimore Orioles of the International League
- July 9, 1914 – Baltimore Orioles sell Ruth’s contract to the Boston Red Sox
- July 11, 1914 – Babe Ruth’s major league debut (with the Boston Red Sox)
- September 5, 1914 – first regular season professional home run (with the Providence Grays of the International League)
- October 2, 1914 – first major league hit (a double off of Yankees’ pitcher Leonard Cole)
- October 17, 1914 – marriage to Helen Woodford
Happy anniversary(ies), Babe!