The Homes of Babe Ruth
The Ansonia Hotel
Babe Ruth spent the majority of his "bachelor" life here as a New York Yankee. I put bachelor in quotes because although he was married at the time to his first wife, Helen Woodford, he was certainly not faithful to her. He lived hard by drinking and womanizing at the Ansonia Hotel, located on 2109 Broadway in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York.
The Ansonia, now an upscale condominium complex, is characterized by its old-world architecture and its trademark gargoyles perched at the top of the building, overlooking the Broadway area. Although extremely beautiful, it sticks out and looks oddly out of place as new buildings have been developed around it during the following decades.
The actual room where the Babe lived in has been lost to history, but you can just imagine him coming home late at night and causing all sorts of havoc within the walls of the building.
From the outside, the Ansonia shows its 118 years of age. To me, this adds to its history and lore. Compare the modern photo above to the one below that was taken a century ago. You could safely conclude that Ruth would recognize his former home today, 69 years after his death.
In the fall of 1919, the Ansonia Hotel was also the meeting place for many of the initial conferences between gamblers and a few corrupt ball players of the Chicago White Sox. It was here where they made their plans to throw the World Series to the underdog Cincinnati Reds.
When you consider that the Ansonia was once the home of baseball's greatest legend and also housed the proceedings of the worst event in baseball history, it's easy to conclude that the building is an important location for the history of the sport.
345 West 88th Street, Manhattan, New York
After Ruth married Claire Hodgson, they moved to her 11-room apartment at 345 West 88th Street in Manhattan, New York.
110 Riverside Drive, Manhattan, New York
Ruth spent the later years of his life living at 110 Riverside Drive with his second wife Claire, his daughter Dorothy, and his stepdaughter Julia. He moved here in 1942 and would stay here until he died in August of 1948.
Home Plate Farm, 558 Dutton Road, Sudbury, Massachusetts
The Home Plate Farm was a getaway for Ruth during the early- to mid-1920s. He stayed here with his first wife, Helen, and their daughter Dorothy. He tried his hand at raising chickens and other barnyard creatures—but the farm life, and all of the work that goes with it, wasn't his style. This former residence was actually on the market late last year. The asking price was $1.65 million, complete with ash stains on the floor where the Babe used to smoke his cigars.
One of the most popular legends surrounding this home took place at a pond near the property (Ruth didn't own Home Plate Farm at the time of this story; he rented a nearby cabin). During a particularly rowdy and raucous party, he wheeled a piano onto a frozen pond, intending to play it for his guests. It fell through the ice and sank to the bottom. There have been numerous attempts to recover the piano over the years, but each attempt has proved futile until just recently. Kevin Kennedy, a man obsessed with proving the reality of this legend, found a small piece of wood from a piano in the pond. It is impossible to verify if this particular piece was a former member of the piano belonging to the Babe, but it only adds to the legend.