Babe Ruth Once Played Baseball Games in Buffalo
There are certain sports figures that are so legendary, even people who have never watched a minute of sports know. One of those names is Babe Ruth.
Ruth held the record for the most home runs in a major league baseball career (714) until the record was broken in 1974 by Hank Aaron.
Ruth's professional career lasted from 1914 to 1935. He's best remembered as a New York Yankee, but also spent time with the Boston Red Sox.
But did you know Babe Ruth played games right here in Buffalo? No, really!
Babe Ruth used to "barnstorm," which in sports is when teams and players travel to towns or cities and stage exhibition games, usually for extra money and to allow more fans to see them play. It's obviously not done anymore, but was rather common in those days when Ruth played.
Ruth technically first played in Buffalo as a minor league player, when he pitched against the Buffalo Bisons in 1914. Ruth beat Buffalo.
In 1920, after his first season with the Yankees (where he hit a then-record 54 home runs), Ruth came back to Buffalo on October 13th, 1920 to play with the Polish Nationals, who were a local baseball team run by local promoter Ray Fischer.
Ruth even stopped by Canisius High School, and then a luncheon at the Lafayette Hotel.
Ruth hit two home runs with the Nationals in Buffalo and the home run balls were said to land somewhere on Utica Street. Helped by Ruth, the Nationals won 11-0.
Major League Baseball didn't allow barnstorming after 1920 but that didn't stop Ruth from continuing to do it. In fact, he was suspended by the majors for a barnstorming trip to Buffalo in October of 1921.
Ruth also played with the Yankees against the Buffalo Bisons in Buffalo in 1923. The Yankees won 13-7. Ruth went 4 for 4.
The Bisons played at the old Buffalo Bison Baseball Park, which was a wood stadium that opened in 1889. It was located on the block of East Ferry Street, Masten Avenue, Woodlawn Avenue and Michigan Avenue. It became Offerman Stadium in 1924 and is now the site of the Buffalo Academy For Visual Performing Arts.
I never knew Babe Ruth played in Buffalo and not only that, but played FOR a team called the Polish Nationals here in Buffalo. How cool is that!?