BABE RUTH'S HISTORIC HOT SPRINGS HOME RUNS OF 1918
Adapted from Bill Jenkinson's "Babe Ruth and Baseball's First 500 Foot Home Run"
On st. patrick's day, 1918, at whittington park, hot springs, arkansas, babe ruth slugged two home runs. his second homer changed baseball history, sailing far over the centerfield fence toward the arkansas alligator farm. the hot springs sentinel-record reported that this drive was the longest ever struck at whittington park. the boston evening transcript and the boston herald reached the same conclusion. the boston globe reported that the home run reached the alligator farm, "causing no end of commotion among the gators." The boston post described that the ball was struck with such astonishing force that the rival brooklynites "had to rise and cheer." This "Alligator Farm Home Run" may well have been baseball's first five-hundred foot home run... amazingly, however, the one babe slammed at whittington park exactly one week later flew even farther, significantly beyond 500 feet. below are contemporaneous news accounts of these two monumental, game-changing home runs.*
* Key passages in these news reports are highlighed in color, green for the st. patrick's day homer, blue for the swan lake home run a week later.
Paul Shannon, Boston Post, March 18, 1918
"He Drove the Ball So Far Over the Fence
... Even the Players of the Brooklyn Team ... Had to Arise to the Occasion and Cheer."
The Boston Herald and Journal, March 18, 1918
"Ruth was the Big Hero of the Game"
"The Big Pitcher Hooked Two Beautiful Home Runs"
"The First One was Probably the Longest Hit Ever Made On the Local Grounds"
Edward Martin, Boston Daily Globe, March 25, 1918
"Babe's Circuit Drive a Wonder"
"The Longest Drive ... Ever Seen"
Paul Shannon, Boston Post, March 25, 1918
"The Sphere Cleared the Fence by About 200-feet"
"The Spectators Yelled with Amazement"