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On This Day in History | 1923

Gov. Al Smith throws out the first pitch (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress)

On this day 90 years ago the Yankees played the inaugural game at Yankee Stadium on a chilly 49-degree afternoon. In front of 74,200 fans, many of whom having driven down a dirt road leading to the Stadium, the Bronx Bombers dealt the Boston Red Sox a 4-1 loss. Pitcher Bob Shawkey went the distance while allowing just 3 hits and Babe Ruth provided all of the offense the Yankees would need, christening the Cathedral with a 3-run home run into the right field bleachers off of Howard Ehmke. The home run helped Ruth realize a wish he had prior to the game: “I’d give a year of my life if I can hit a home run in the first game in this new park.”

The festivities surrounding the historic event were nothing short of grand. The Seventh Regiment Band, directed by John Philip Sousa, escorted both teams onto the field. Baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis was in attendance as was New York City mayor John Hylan. Governor Al Smith threw out the first pitch. The unseasonably cold weather could not dampen the spirits of the thousands in attendance as one of the most famous sports arenas in the history of sport began its unrivaled history.

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