“Everything smelled of … fresh paint, fresh plaster and fresh grass”.
The New York Evening Telegram’s description of Yankee Stadium, the cavernous new ballpark, surely drew fans in the days following April 18,1923.
There was much pomp and circumstance as the Yankees and Red Sox opened the season in the $2.4 million facility (about $32 million in today’s dollars). Before the ceremonial first pitch by New York Governor Al Smith, John Philip Sousa led a band in the playing of the national anthem.
At home plate, Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert, who had footed the bill for the stadium, stood with manager Miller Huggins and Red Sox skipper Frank Chance in front of a huge wreath. A photographer from Underwood and Underwood snapped a photo that was transmitted to newspapers around the country.
Our Photo of the Day from RMY Auctions is one of only a few surviving original copies of that photo, this one including the caption on the back which stated Yankee Stadium was the “greatest of all temples dedicated to America’s pastime.”
The 6 ½ x 8 1/2’’ photo is one of over 1,300 historic images up for bid in RMY’s Fall Premier Auction, which runs through Saturday.
Babe Ruth hit the first homer in the new ballpark, as the Yanks beat his former team that afternoon, 4-1. Ruth was a huge reason why it existed, having drawn thousands more fans to Ruppert’s games thanks to his prodigious home run hitting prowess and bigger-than-life personality. It was during this time that sportswriter Fred Lieb called it “the house that Ruth built”.
To register for the company’s last major auction of 2015, visit RMYAuctions.com.