When Major League baseball was still in its infancy, players made appearances and promoted the game..and their wallets. Barnstorming across the country was a source of income before million dollar salaries and television. For some, this would be their only shot to see a baseball star in person.
In Ocotber 25, 1923, Babe Ruth came to Scranton to play in an exhibition at Brooks Athletic Field. The Babe Ruth all-stars defeated the local Scranton team 2-1. Thousands of youngster waited to get a up close view of their hero and came onto the field. It was reported that Babe in an attempt not to “spike” any of the youngsters fell. Some youngsters piled on the Babe and had to be removed by local law enforcement to prevent injuring Ruth. Babe was ushered out of the stadium by officials to a waiting car.
In 1926, Babe Ruth came to Wilkes-Barre’s Artillery Park. The Babe played in an exhibition game between Hughestown and Larksville, playing for Hughestown. The game was played on October 26th, 1926. During the game Ruth challenged Larksville’s hurler Ernie Corkran to throw him his “best stuff”. Corkran did. It was not too good for Ruth. He smashed a home run. It landed in Kirby Park on the far side of a high school running track.
Ruth asked that his homer be measured. It was hit an estimated 650 feet, the longest home run in baseball’s storied history.