Having shared the Polo Grounds with the Giants since 1913, the Yankees began construction on their ballpark in the Bronx on May 22, 1922. The stadium would become known as the ‘House that Ruth Built,’ due to Babe Ruth’s popularity and influence.
During a spring training game on April 7, 1925, A’s first baseman Joe Hauser shattered his kneecap, an injury that would cause him to miss the entire season. After batting .323 and blasting 27 homers, second only to Babe Ruth’s total (46) during the 1924 season, Hauser would only remain in the majors a few more years, until 1929, eventually returning to the minor leagues. Back in the minors, Hauser became a prodigious home run hitter before a batted ball broke a kneecap again in 1934.
On January 29, 1936, the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and a special Veterans Committee selected Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson in the first-ever Baseball Hall of Fame elections. The enshrinement of these five greats, however, would have to wait until 1939, since the museum’s construction in Cooperstown had not yet begun.
In December 1919, Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth for $125,000 to the Yankees, and also secured a $300,000 loan from the New York team. Throughout history, Frazee has been criticized for this deal, taking the blame for igniting the Curse of the Bambino, in which Boston did not win a World Series from 1918 to 2004. In the video below, originally aired in 2005, ESPN Classic takes a closer look at the circumstances surrounding the deal and comes to Frazee’s defense. True, Babe Ruth was one of the great pitchers of the era, but Ruth ultimately did not want to be a pitcher, but rather expressed more interest in hitting home runs. Additionally, Ruth’s antics off the field were well-known headache-inducers for any team. These are just a couple of the reasons that motivated Frazee to make the deal.
The 1927 New York Yankees featured the renowned Murderer’s Row, which included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Earle Combs, Bob Meusel, and Tony Lazzeri. The team won 110 games that year, and 1927 also happened to be the season when Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs.
This piece by Robert L. Harrison was first published in 1999.
Gather ’round you fans of baseball you lovers of season past, let me take you back to the greatest team that ever played on grass.
Guided by Miller Huggins known as “murderer’s row,” never was such a string of pearls so feared this side of Hell.
Greedy was this awesome bunch with Ruth and Gehrig leading the punch, and Hoyt and Moore on the mound shooting all the batters down.
Gasping crowds assemble like sinners in a tent, watching all the other teams trying to repent.
God blessed those boys of summer those pin-striped renegades, with a winning passion while others saw only the haze.
Gathering in the rosebuds by playing excellent ball, called the “five o’clock lightning” taking the pennant in the fall.
Gone were any pretenders to the throne no on stood wherever these Yankees roamed, twenty-five men made up this team and all had a year better than their dreams.
You step up to the platter And you gaze with flaming hate At the poor benighted pitcher As you dig in at the plate. You watch him cut his fast ball loose, Then swing your trusty bat And you park one in the bleachers- Nothing’s simpler than that!