Not to be overlooked amid all the hubbub over the Home Run Derby and tonight’s All-Star Game: On this date in 1914, Babe Ruth made his big league debut as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. His mound opponent at Fenway Park was Pleasant Grove native Willie Mitchell of the Cleveland Naps. Ruth and the Red Sox won the game 4-3 as Mitchell took the loss. But the record will also show that in his first at-bat in the majors, Ruth – not yet known as the Sultan of Swat — was struck out by Mitchell. A crafty lefty, Mitchell pitched parts of 11 years in the big leagues, won 84 games and fanned 921 batters.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of Babe Ruth’s debut in the big leagues as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. Know what Ruth did in his first at-bat? He struck out against Willie Mitchell, a left-hander from Pleasant Grove by way of Mississippi State. Mitchell won 83 games in an 11-year career. Ruth got the win on July 11, 1914, however, going seven innings as the Red Sox beat Mitchell’s Cleveland Naps 4-3 at Fenway Park.