What may have been Babe Ruth’s last game as a regular at Fenway Park drew a record-breaking crowd of 50,000 yesterday that filled every inch of space at the American League’s elaborate plant.
Close to 50,000 managed to get inside the park for the eventful day while thousands to others were turned away. Thirty minutes before the game started, it was deemed necessary to stop the sale of tickets and close the gates in the faces of some 15,000 persons.
Split the bill
The vast crowd gathered not only to see the Yankees and Red Sox in a doubleheader – a twin bill which was divided – but to see the Babe in action for the final time on Fenway soil as a regular. The first game went to the Sox, 6 to 4, and the second game to the Yanks, 7 to 1.
Twenty years ago this same month, George Herman Ruth made his American League debut at Fenway Park. The Babe wore a Red Sox uniform on that occasion but yesterday he was clad in a uniform of a visiting club.
To that record crowd yesterday, hostile uniform and all, he was still “Our Babe.”
As the Babe walked off the diamond with the Sox coming to bat in the sixth inning of the second game, practically everyone in the stands stood up and applauded the stout, slow-strutting figure.
“It was a sight I’ll never forget,” remarked Ruth last night. “Boston has always been kind to me and I was a bit disappointed that I couldn’t have hit a homer for that big mob.”
Root for home runs
Don’t think for one moment the crowd wouldn’t have stood up and cheered if the Babe had blasted a game-winning home run during the afternoon. They shouted for a circuit smash every time Ruth came to bat. Twice during the afternoon the Babe was given free transportation to first and on both occasions the crowd booed.
For the first time this year he started both games of a doubleheader, retiring in the second engagement in favor of Sam Byrd.
Early in the morning the Ruthian admirers started filling the close to 39,000 seats at Fenway Park. Most of the 10,000 reserved seats had been sold before the box-office windows opened at 9 o’clock. When the ticket sellers began doing business there were about 10,000 persons around the park.
As early as 12 o’clock all non-reserved sections in the grandstand had been filled and the S.R.O. sign went up. At approximately 1 o’clock the ticket-selling, except for a few hundred bleacher tickets, had stopped. When the first game started the police started clearing the streets adjoining the park of several thousand persons unable to buy their way into the park.
New local record
The Ruth game created a new record attendance at an American League game in Boston. The previous mark was around 48,000 – 44,361 being paid admissions – to see the Yankees and Red Sox in a single game April 22 this year. Yesterday the paid admissions totaled 46,766.