Babe Ruth bat gimmick doesn't pay off for Yankees in opener

April 16, 2009
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For the most part, Opening Day at new Yankee Stadium was all about looking forward and less about looking back on the team's legendary ghosts.

The biggest exception, though, took place in the bottom of the first inning when Yankees officials placed a bat that Babe Ruth used to hit the first home run on the Opening Day of old Yankee Stadium directly on top of home plate.

However, if they were hoping that magic from the Bambino's three-run shot off Boston's Howard Ehmke would rub off on 2009 leadoff hitter Derek Jeter, they were left sorely disappointed. After picking up Ruth's bat and then pretending to prefer it to his own, Jeter handed it back and then flew out to Cleveland's Grady Sizemore for the first official Yankee at-bat in the new stadium.

If any of the power was transferred, it went to two places: 1) The Indians lineup, which hit two homers and scored nine runs in the seventh during its 10-2 domination of New York and 2) Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, who hit the first homer in new Yankee Stadium by driving a ball from Indians' starter Cliff Lee into Monument Park in the bottom of the fifth inning.

I'm sure that a lot of people will be prone to say that the Ruth bat was a little over-the-top, but I enjoyed the literal passing of the torch thunderstick and think it was done pretty well.

You can watch Jeter's entire routine on or view a screen cap of it below.

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Picture 1: Jeter holds both bats.

Picture 2: Jeter pretends to hand his own bat (right) to the batboy while keeping Ruth's bat.

Picture 3: Jeter finally relents and surrenders the Bambino's bat.