Cubs History: Wrigley Field and its place in Babe Ruth’s legacy

(Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images) /

When one thinks of Babe Ruth and Wrigley Field, automatically the mind goes to the iconic “Called Shot” in the 1932 World Series. The Chicago Cubs squared off against Ruth in the 1918 and 1932 World Series, both of which the Cubs obviously lost. When it comes to playing at the Friendly Confines, Ruth only played four meaningful games at the corner of Clark and Addison – two in the ’32 Fall Classic and two regular season games with the Boston Braves in 1935.

It is important to note that when he faced the Cubs in 1918 as a member of the Red Sox, the games in Chicago were played at Comiskey Park because Wrigley (then called “Cubs Park”) was too small at the time.

Babe Ruth’s last game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field

May 21, 1935. This marked Ruth’s last game at Wrigley Field. The struggling Braves defeated the eventual NL pennant-winning Cubs 4-1 in front of a sparse crowd of 6,400. Ruth played in left and went 1-for-4 with a solo home run to the old right field stands (pre-ivy). In his final Wrigley at-bat he flew out to deep center, just missing another home run.

Why does this have any significance? Well, it is worth noting that Wrigley Field is the only remaining National League ballpark in which Ruth played a regular season or World Series game. Of the 16 MLB ballparks Ruth played in during his 2,504 game career, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park are the only two remaining. Even if he only played very few games at Wrigley, it was home to one of the most controversial and famous home runs in World Series history and one of the few places left where one could say that “The Babe” played at.

While it was his final game played at Wrigley, this would not be his final time inside the Friendly Confines. In 1938 he became a coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers. There is even a rare photo of him at Wrigley in the visitor’s dugout in 1938, this was posted by Baseball In Pics on Twitter. You can see the left field corner has the new ivy-covered wall, which was not there in 1935.

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Babe Ruth finished his regular season career with 714 home runs, with just one of those coming at Wrigley Field. After hitting the home run in his final Wrigley game, he would hit only three more in his career. All three of those came on May 25, 1935 at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh.