One hundred years ago today, pitcher George Herman "Babe" Ruth of the Providence Grays stepped up to the plate against the Toronto Maple Leafs' Ellis Johnson down at Hanlan's Point Stadium on the Island (Center Island) and slammed a home run--the 1st of his professional baseball career. Although "the Babe" went on to hit 714 major league home runs after that, the shot in Toronto was his only minor league round-tripper.
Ruth, a 19-year-old, started the 1914 season with the International Leaguebut he was purchased by the for $25,000 (over $500,000 in today's money). After the Philadelphia A's Owner Connie Mack turned down the Orioles Owner Jack Dunn's offer of Babe Ruth for cash because he was "too poor" to take their offer. He made his MLB debut on July 11th that year, earning his 1st win in his 1st game. After 2 MLB starts, however, the southpaw was sent back to the International League in order to join the Providence Greys (actually, before he was sent down the Cincinnati Reds claimed Ruth on waivers, but later rescinded). The minor league system was very different back then--Ruth was sent to the Greys because it so happened that the Red Sox Owners had just bought the team and wanted to help that team get into the International League seaon playoffs. The Toronto Maple Leafs were also in the International League, so on September 5, 1914, Ruth arrived north of the border with the Grays to face the blues.
The super prospect not only hit a home run that won the game but on the mound he shutout Toronto en route to a 9-0 victory. He walked 3 batters but he allowed just 1 hit (in the 1st inning), and struck out 7 Maple Leafs batters. See the colourful game recap in the September 7, 1914 (September 6th was a Sunday and no one printed newspapers on Sunday) edition of the Toronto Daily Star:
(If you were wondering, the two teams played a doubleheader that day, thus the "won and lost" headline.)