Babe Ruth Visits Halifax


It  was war time Halifax and the baseball being played on the city’s fields was some of the best in the country. It was the summer of 1942, and the Wanderers ball park was being spruced up to be recommissioned as the recreation centre for the Royal Canadian Navy.  On August 1 1942, the official opening of the centre was to take place with George Herman “Babe” Ruth in Halifax making an appearance. Although it was 7 years since he retired from the New York Yankees, the city was buzzing with rumours of what Babe Ruth, The Sultan of Swat was going to do. One popular speculation making the rounds was that Ruth would suit up in a Halifax uniform to play against the Navy team from Toronto. After a weekend of activities, the game between Halifax and Toronto was interrupted for the Bambino to give a hitting exhibition for the 5000 fans who attended the game. Dressed in a cream coloured suit, open collared shirt and street shoes, Ruth took to the plate to hit a few pitches from Awkie Titus. The legend of the appearance has Ruth hitting the baseball over the fence with each powerful swing. The record shows that Ruth hit a fly ball to short right field and then a few line drives down the first base line. The fans waited expectantly for the old magic to return but it was not to be. Afterwards, The Babe delighted everyone by tossing autographed baseballs to the crowd.  Ruth has deep connections to Nova Scotia. With his love of golf and fishing he vacationed here frequently. His mentor in Baltimore, Brother Matthias, who developed the young Ruth’s baseball skills, was born in Lingan, Cape Breton.