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Legendary slugger Babe Ruth played exhibition against team from Georgia Teachers College

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Posted: December 1, 2006 5:11 p.m.
Updated: December 18, 2006 9:51 a.m.
    George Herman "Babe" Ruth, played at every level of baseball. He started his career with the farm team of the Baltimore Orioles, and the moved up to the big game when he signed with the Boston Red Sox in 1914.
    By 1918, the "Sultan of Swat" had played in his very first World Series. In it, he pitched a total of 29 2/3 consecutive innings of scoreless baseball, quite a feat by anyone's standards, and a Major League record for nearly 30 years.
    By 1920, he had been dealt to the New York Yankees, in a move that the Red Sox fans never quite understood (or forgave). He proceeded to hit 54 home runs that year. In 1923, the Yankees played in their new stadium – Yankee Stadium – which became known as "The House That Ruth Built." They drew over one million fans that year alone. As his abilities faltered, he refused an offer to manage their top minor league club (the Newark Bears), and chose instead to become manager and player for the Boston Braves, the National League's worst team.
    It was at this time a very special thing happened in Savannah on April 11, 1935. The Babe had set up an exhibition game at Grayson Stadium in what was the one and only time he played in the Coastal Empire. What's more, he didn't play another major league team, or even a minor league team: he played a team made of faculty, staff and students from Georgia Teachers College (now known as Georgia Southern University), who came up from Statesboro. For either 50 cents (regular seats) or $1 (reserved seating), fans of baseball throughout Georgia and South Carolina were afforded an up front and personal meeting with the Bambino. The game progressed rather smoothly until the third inning, when Babe finally came up to bat.
    The Braves' second baseman, Martin, was on base, when Ruth drove a streaking liner over the centerfield fence, somewhere between the concrete bleachers and the wooden seats. Things just kept getting worse, and by the end of the inning the score was already Braves 11, Teachers 0.
Bob Smith, the Braves' starting pitcher kept the Teachers guessing, and the Teachers only scored one run.
    After the sixth inning, Ruth got dressed and walked out of the dugout. He was immediately swarmed by what seemed to be a million eager fans, who couldn't believe their luck at getting so close to this American icon. The pitchers for the Teachers had already given up 19 hits, and the score was 15-0. As the Babe departed, so did the majority of the fans. At the top of the seventh inning, the umpires made the decision to call the game on behalf of darkness, but later admitted that the game was just moving "too slow."
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