The House That Ruth Built –The Original Yankee Stadium 1923-1973 February 10 2012, 0 Comments

Contributed by Jack Kopstein Yankee Stadium officially opened on Wednesday, April 18, 1923, with the Yankees' first home game. According to the New York Evening Telegram, "everything smelled of ... fresh paint, fresh plaster and fresh grass." At 3 p.m., the composer/conductor John Philip Sousa led the Seventh ("Silk-Stocking") Regiment Band in playing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” After a parade of the players and dignitaries, Babe Ruth was presented with a case containing a symbolically big bat. New York Governor, Al Smith (who would become the Democratic Party's candidate for president in 1928), then threw out the first pitch directly into the glove of catcher Wally Schang. The Yankees went on to defeat Ruth's former team, the Boston Red Sox, by a score of 4–1, with Ruth hitting a three-run home run into the right-field stands. He was later asked for his opinion of the stadium, he replied, "Some ball yard." Upon opening, Fred Lieb of the New York Evening Telegram dubbed it "The House That Ruth Built." The Yankees also won their first World Series during the Stadium's inaugural season. Future Yankee manager, Casey Stengel, hit the first post-season homerun in stadium history while playing with the opposing New York Giants. The only other teams to win the World Series in the inaugural year of their field were the Pittsburgh Pirates, who won the 1909 World Series in Forbes Field's inaugural season; and Boston Red Sox, who won the 1912 World Series in Fenway Park's first year; and in 2006 the St. Louis Cardinals in (the new) Busch Stadium. The Yankees accomplished this feat yet again in the New Yankee Stadium during the 2009 World Series. Sousa was an inveterate baseball fan and wrote the march “The National Game” dedicated to baseball. You can find "The National Game" on three Altissimo albums.  Including: Sousa 3 Songs of America