Author Spearheads Drive to Make Site of Babe Ruth

December 5, 2010

TORONTO (PRWEB) December 17, 2004

The site where Babe Ruth hit his first pro home run may soon be historic. On September 5, 1914, when Ruth was a 19-year-old pitcher with the AAA Providence Grays, he tossed a 9-0 shutout and smashed his only minor-league homer in a game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at an old Toronto ballpark. Author Jerry Amernic, whose novel Gift of the Bambino (St. MartinÂ’s) begins with that 1914 home run, is leading the campaign to make this an official heritage site.

“Babe Ruth was a sports legend,” Amernic said. “The Ontario Heritage Act says any property or site of historical interest can be recognized and marked as an interpretive facility. Ontario has granted historical status to farmers’ fields and even trees so I think this qualifies.”

Amernic wants photos of the old Hanlan’s Point Stadium and the young Ruth – who was six-two and 190 pounds – on the site along with an information board. He has support from the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and the Toronto Blue Jays, and has approached the U. S. Consulate in Toronto and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Said Paul Godfrey, President and CEO of the Toronto Blue Jays: “Babe Ruth is ‘Mr. Baseball’ and Canada’s only Major League club wants to historically recognize the Bambino’s first pro home run at Toronto’s Hanlan’s Point. This achievement is not only part of baseball history, but part of Toronto’s history.”

HanlanÂ’s Point Stadium was on the Toronto Islands, off the cityÂ’s mainland, and it is believed that any home run wound up in Lake Ontario, which is the premise of AmernicÂ’s novel. But there have been claims that RuthÂ’s first home-run ball was stolen and that it was even bronzed and displayed in a restaurant. According to Tom Valcke, President and CEO of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, the ball may still be in the lake.

“Ruth also hit another home run in Toronto when the New York Yankees played an exhibition game against the minor-league Maple Leafs in the early 1930’s,” said Valcke. “That ball wound up in the lake too. It almost makes draining Lake Ontario worthwhile if two of the Babe’s taters are on the bottom.”

Ruth was a member of the Boston Red Sox when they won the World Series in 1918 and was traded to the Yankees in 1920. That spawned the Curse of the Bambino, the so-called hex on the Red Sox that kept them from winning another World Series until this season when they swept St. Louis.

“Babe Ruth was a monumental figure whose impact exceeded that of any athlete,” said Amernic, who spent years researching Ruth for his novel. “The place where he hit his first pro home run is special.”

Contact: Dorothy Stoikos

Wordcraft Communications

(416) 284-0838


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