A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 16, 2005
“The House That Ruth Built” (Yankee Stadium)
George Herman ("Babe") Ruth (1895-1948) played for the New York Yankees from 1920-1934. Some consider him the greatest baseball player ever.

Yankee Stadium opened in 1923. "The House That Jack Built" is a traditional rhyme. It is not known what sportswriter changed the words to "The House That Ruth Built," but it is said that this occurred even before the official 1923 stadium opening. The stadium's nickname was used until 2008, when the old Yankee Stadium was destroyed to make way for a new one.

The right field bleachers -- where many of Ruth's home runs landed -- was nicknamed "Ruthville."


Wikipedia: Yankee Stadium
Yankee Stadium is a stadium located in New York City. It served as the home baseball park of Major League Baseball's New York Yankees from 1923 through 2008. Located at East 161st Street and River Avenue in The Bronx, the stadium has a capacity of 57,545 and hosted 6,581 Yankees regular season home games during its 85-year history. It was also the former home of the New York Giants football team, as well as the host of twenty of boxing's most famous fights and three Papal masses. The stadium's nickname, "The House That Ruth Built" comes from the iconic Babe Ruth, the baseball superstar whose prime years coincided with the beginning of the Yankees' winning history.

Yankee Stadium is one of the most famous sports venues in United States, having hosted a variety of events and many historic moments during its existence. Its primary occupants, the Yankees, have won far more World Series championships (26) than any other major league club and Yankee Stadium has hosted 37 World Series, far more than any other baseball stadium. The Stadium also hosted the major-league All-Star Game four times: 1939, 1960, 1977, and, as part of its curtain call, 2008.

In 2006, the Yankees began construction on a new $1.6 billion stadium in public parkland adjacent to the original Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are expecting to open their new home in 2009. Once the new stadium opens, most of the old stadium, including the above-ground structure, is to be demolished to become parkland.

The first game at the stadium was held on April 18, 1923, with the Yankees beating the Boston Red Sox 4-1. The final game at the stadium was held on September 21, 2008, with the Yankees beating the Baltimore Orioles 7-3.

Ballparks of Baseball -- Yankee Stadium
Immediately the Yankees' owners began looking for land to build a new ballpark on. A 10 acre site, less than a mile from Polo Grounds in the Bronx was bought to build the stadium on. Designed by Osborn Engineering, originally the plan was for a triple-decked stadium, with grandstands circling the entire field. But because the stadium seemed to foreboding, the original plans were scaled back. Instead, the ballpark became the first to have three tiers of seating consisting of 58,000 seats. It was also the first ballpark to be called a stadium because of its enormous size. Construction of the stadium began on May 5, 1922. The stadium was built of mainly steel and concrete. The triple decked grandstand extended behind homeplate and up the base lines. The lower deck continued until it met the wooden bleachers behind the outfield fence. A 15-foot copper facade was erected to adorn the stadium's third deck, which became one of the stadium's most recognized and grandest features. The scoreboard was located beyond the bleachers in right field. Completed in only 284 days, opening day came on April 18, 1923. The ballpark was given the name Yankee Stadium. Original dimensions at Yankee Stadium were 295 ft. (right), 490 ft. (center), and 281 ft. (left). Centerfield became known as "Death Valley" because of its distance from homeplate.

Mother Goose Rhymes
"This is the house that Jack built..."
by Mother Goose

This is the house that Jack built.

This is the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the cow with the crumpled horn,
That tossed the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the maiden all forlorn,
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
That tossed the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the man all tattered and torn,
That kissed the maiden all forlorn,
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
That tossed the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the priest all shaven and shorn,
That married the man all tattered and torn,
That kissed the maiden all forlorn,
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
That tossed the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the cock that crowed in the morn,
That waked the priest all shaven and shorn,
That married the man all tattered and torn,
That kissed the maiden all forlorn,
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
That tossed the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

This is the farmer sowing his corn,
That kept the cock that crowed in the morn,
That waked the priest all shaven and shorn,
That married the man all tattered and torn,
That kissed the maiden all forlorn,
That milked the cow with the crumpled horn,
That tossed the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

12 May 1923, Canandaigua (NY) Daily Messenger, pg. 1, col. 4:
Ringside, Yankee Stadium, New York, May 12.
(...)
At 2:30 o'clock, it was estimated that upwards of 50,000 persons were sweltering in the huge concrete cistern, otherwise known as the house that Ruth built.

9 November 1926, Sheboygan (WI) Press, pg. 12, col. 4:
"The House That Ruth Built" is an oft used expression in New York when referring to the Yankee stadium.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • (0) Comments • Wednesday, February 16, 2005 • Permalink