“At 2:30 o’clock it was estimated that upwards of 0,000 (sic) persons were sweltering in the huge cistern, otherwise known as the house that Ruth built.” Evening News (Wilkes-Barre, PA), May, 12, 1923 p1 (Article about a boxing match at Yankee Stadium. Appeared in many newspapers.)
- NOTE: There was an earlier use of the phrase “the house that Babe Ruth built” in 1921, but it referred not to Yankee Stadium but to the Pere Gibault Home for Delinquent and Dependent Boys” in Terre Haute, Indiana built by the Knights of Columbus that was financed in part with money raised by selling balls autographed by Ruth, a member of the Knights of Columbus.
Previous earliest use (Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2009):
1ST USE. 1923. “Upwards of 50,000 persons were sweltering in the huge concrete cistern, otherwise known as the house that Ruth Built” (Canandaigua [N.Y.] Daily Messenger, May 12; Barry Popik). USAGE NOTE. Michael Gershman (Diamonds: The Evolution of the Ballpark, 1993) claimed that “reporter Fred Lieb named Yankee Stadium after Ruth when he homered to beat the Red Sox on the day it opened, April 18, 1923” however, no primary citation prior to 1926 has been found.