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1940s / Buth Ruth Final Public Appearance
According to a popular myth (perpetuated by New York Yankees fans), Babe Ruth's final appearance at a ballpark was in Yankee Stadium on Babe Ruth Day on June 13, 1948 where the terminally ill Bambino put on the pinstripes one last time and addressed a huge, subdued crowd in a croaky, cancer-ravaged voice. It makes for a fitting end to Babe Ruth's days as a public figure, but it wasn't so. Ruth's final public appearance actually occurred six days later at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis when the lowly Browns hosted the Yankees in a Saturday game. The ailing Ruth failed to create much excitement that day: The paid attendance was under 6,000. Ruth made a short, raspy speech and posed for this photo flanked by kids who had descended from the ballpark's grandstand. Ruth died two months later, on August 16, 1948. He was 53.