Babe Ruth Plays Baseball at Riverhead Fairgrounds, November 1923. (From the Newspaper Collection of the Suffolk County Historical Society Library Archives.)
As reported in the Riverhead News and County Review in November 1923, George Herman "Babe" Ruth, along with Jack Scott of World Series fame and a selection of All-Star players, defeated the Suffolk All-Stars 5 to 3 at a baseball game held at the Riverhead Fairgrounds on the afternoon of Friday, November 9, 1923. Babe Ruth lived up to his reputation as the "King of Swat," slamming a home run in the first inning. The ball traveled over the grandstand and bounced back onto the racetrack. As Babe trotted around the bases with a long-distance stride, the crowd went wild with joy. Many of the fans in attendance had never before seen Babe Ruth play a baseball game.
Jack Scott of the Giants pitched a "clever" game through the nine innings. He was opposed on the mound by Suffolk All-Star Harold Goldsmith, who pitched seven innings before being replaced by Jack Conroy of Huntington. Other Suffolk All-Star players included Leo Mitchell, the only Riverhead player on the team; Johnny Brush of Huntington; Al Salmon of Southold; Joe Cassidy and Ray Heany of Greenport; and Walgo of Mattituck, the "Home Run King" of the Eastern Long Island League. Walgo made two extraordinary catches of Babe Ruth's drives into the outer field.
Upon his arrival at the Fairgrounds, Babe Ruth received a great ovation from the crowd, who surrounded his big Packard. His visit was considered such an important event that all school classes in Riverhead were dismissed to allow students and teachers to attend the game.
The Suffolk County Historical Society is in search of photographs and other memorabilia of Babe Ruth's historic baseball game at the Riverhead Fairgrounds. Please call 631-727-2881 x100 if you can help!