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Babe Ruth was with the Red Sox from 1914-19.
Babe Ruth was with the Red Sox from 1914-19.Library of Congress/Library of Congress

The day Babe Ruth hit his first major league home run, he also pitched 12⅓ innings.

It was May 6, 1915 — 100 years ago Wednesday — in a 4-3, 13-inning loss to the Yankees at the Polo Grounds in New York.

Ruth, described in The Boston Globe story about the game as impressing “the onlookers as being a hitter of the first rank,” broke a scoreless tie in the top of the third.

He “swatted a low ball into the upper tier of the right-field grandstand and trotted about the bases to slow the music.”

Box score from the May 7, 1915, Boston Globe.
Box score from the May 7, 1915, Boston Globe.

The writer said the run “looked as tall as the Woolworth Building,” the tallest building in the world from 1913-30 at 57 floors and 792 feet and located in the Financial District.

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The two teams exchanged runs, and the Red Sox held a 3-2 edge through the top of the ninth, until Hugh High “raced over the rubber in the 13th inning with the winning run.”

The solo shot was one of Ruth’s three hits; he was 3-of-5 with an RBI and struck out twice. On the mound, he faced 50 batters, gave up 10 hits and two earned runs, walked three, and struck out three.

Ruth’s first three career home runs came against the Yankees. His second came again at the Polo Grounds in a 7-1 Red Sox win on June 2. His first home run at Fenway Park came 23 days later, on June 25 against the Yankees, in a 9-5 Boston victory.

May 7, 1915, Boston Globe sports page.
May 7, 1915, Boston Globe sports page.

Related coverage:

■  100 years of news at Fenway Park


Follow Rachel G. Bowers on Twitter @RachelGBowers.