July 6th, 1938: Babe Ruth Day in Syracuse

Babe Ruth Day July, 1938

On July 6th, 1938 Babe Ruth (George Herman Ruth) returned to Syracuse with the Brooklyn Dodgers, to play an exhibition game against the Syracuse Chiefs at Municipal (later MacArthur) Stadium.  The Chiefs declared Wednesday, July 6th as Babe Ruth Day in Syracuse.  Realizing Ruth continued to draw large crowds to exhibition games, the Dodgers coaxed him out of a two-year retirement to coach for $15,000 (almost $250,000 today).  Arriving at the New York Central Railroad station on the 6th, he signed autographs and baseballs for delighted fans.  A record crowd of over 11,500 came to see the Dodgers thrash the Chiefs 9-0.  However, at 43, and about 50 lbs overweight, the Bambino struggled.  He launched about six balls over the right field fence during practice but accomplished little during the game.  Hitting to the right fielder, who graciously dropped the ball, Ruth hobbled to first base and immediately called for a pinch runner.  After two more attempts, Ruth quit playing but continued to sign autographs for his adoring supporters.  The following day, the Dodgers traveled to Elmira for another exhibition game.