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Ruth builds a house
NEW YORK CITY,
APRIL 18, 1923
‘The house that Ruth built’ opened on this date in 1923. That’s what Yankee Stadium quickly became known as.
Babe Ruth had come to the Yankees in 1920, a result of an infamous purchase from the
Boston Red Sox. He went on to become the biggest drawing card in all of sports.
The Yankees had been tenants of the New York Giants in the Polo Grounds before Yankee Stadium was built. According to www.mlb.com, the tenant and landlord had a falling out in 1920. The Yankees were told to leave as soon as possible. The discord was partly due to the Bronx Bombers doubling their attendance that season to almost 1.3 million fans, 100,000 more than the Giants. Babe Ruth, with his prodigious home runs, was the main attraction.
Yankee Stadium was baseball’s the first triple deck structure. It was also the first baseball venue to be called a “stadium.” Others had usually been called “Parks” or “Fields.” The original stadium also had some interesting dimensions. Various sources have different distances, but it’s generally agreed that the fences down the foul lines were quite inviting; 281 down the left and 295 down the right. Left quickly ballooned out to almost 400 feet straight away and more than 450 feet in left center. Right didn’t shoot out as quickly, but was reportedly 460 feet in right center. The Stadium underwent several renovations over the years and a complete overhaul in the 1970s to what it is today.
Capacity was listed as 58,000 went it first opened, but the announced attendance for that first game
April 18, 1923 was generously listed as 74,000. 1923 was also the first of many times the Yankees won the World Series. The team they beat was their former landlord, the New York Giants.
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