Spring 2020 Premium Auction
Search By:
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/20/2020

Offered is an extremely rare program/scorecard for the April 18, 1923 game at the brand new Yankee Stadium, the first ever game played at Yankee Stadium. Over the years a tremendous amount of history was created at Yankee Stadium, but the history BEFORE the new Stadium was built needs to be discussed.

At the time Babe Ruth was traded to the Yankees, the team was playing its home games at the Polo Grounds, home of the cross-town rival New York Giants. The teams would play each other in the World Series in 1921 and 1922, both Giants victories. But as the aura which was Babe Ruth continued to flourish and after he hit a record 59 home runs in 1921, a funny thing happened. The Yankees began to outdraw the Giants playing in their own home! The Giants were not enamored with this fact, and after the 1922 season, they booted the Yankees from the Polo Grounds. Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert responded with the greatest construction project of all time, the first concrete and steel Stadium ever created – just across the river from the Polo Grounds and to be built in time for Opening Day 1923. And in about six months’ time Yankee Stadium was complete and the Yankees had a ballpark of their own.

Over 74,200 fans were in the stadium on April 18, 1923 to witness the game between the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, ironically Ruth’s former team. It was also reported that another 25,000 or more people were turned away at the gates. It always seemed Babe Ruth did the “first” of many things related to baseball. He hit the first home run in an All-Star Game; he was the first to hit 50 home runs, and then the first to 60 home runs. So, after Ruth hit the first ever home run at the Stadium, it was only natural the Sultan of Swat hit the first home run during a game in new Yankee Stadium. In the third inning against Red Sox starter Howard Ehmke, Ruth clouted a massive three-run homer to right field, providing the wining margins in the Yankees 4-1 victory. Yankee pitcher Bob Shawkey bested his former A’s teammate, garnering the first ever pitching victory in what Ruth called “a real nice ball yard.” Ruth also was quoted in saying, “I’d give a year of my life if I can hit a home run in this first game in this new park.” And in another great Ruthian baseball moment, the Babe backed up his wish. Interestingly, after Ruth crushed that home run, the Red Sox didn’t pitch to him again, walking him in his final two plate appearances and he ended the day 1-for-2, the home run, two walks, two runs scored and three RBI. It was after this historic game legendary sports’ writer Fred Lieb, writing in the Evening Telegram, dubbed the Yankees' new home "The House That Ruth Built." But with that short right field porch built specifically for Ruth’s prowess, if likely should have been “The House Built for Ruth.

Amazingly, while the demand was high for tickets to this game, and 74,000 fans were actually at the game (plus those turned away), you would figure even more programs than the amount of seats available were produced for that game. So, why are these programs exceedingly rare? Well as opposed to World Series programs sold over the course of a series of games, this was a one-day event. Maybe the Yankees, even though they knew the anticipation was strong, simply did not produce as many as they should have. In any event, this is an extremely rare program, one of a dozen or so known. The actual program measures 9-1/4" x 11" and has 14 internal pages. On page 11 there are circular, pin-back style black-and-white images of the defending American League Champions, including Ruth in the top row. The pre-printed lineups also feature Ruth in his customary No. 3 position. Ironically, Wally Pipp’s image is to Ruth’s left and behind him in the initial Yankee Stadium lineup. Yankee owners Col Jacob Ruppert and Col. T.L. Huston are featured in black-and-white images on the front cover, and there are features inside about both owners plus general manager Ed Barrow and field manager Miller Huggins. There are also pieces discussing the new Stadium, including a “Facts and Figures on Yankee Stadium” area. The program has not been scored and is in good overall condition. There is edge wear on the spine and corner wear, along with a diagonal crease fold.

1923 Yankee Stadium Opening Day Program
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $14,760.00
Number Bids: 24
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
Email A Friend
Ask a Question
Have One To Sell

Auction Notepad


You may add/edit a note for this item or view the notepad:  

Submit    Delete     View all notepad items