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Inside the Alligator Farm: the Babe Ruth pond.

Home Run That Changed Baseball

Field review by the editors.

Hot Springs, Arkansas

On St. Patrick's Day 1918, Babe Ruth was pitching in a Spring Training game in Hot Springs. The team needed someone to bat, and Babe -- who wasn't considered a hitter -- promptly belted a pitch over the fence, out of the ballpark, across the street, over a wall, and into farthest pond of the neighboring Hot Springs Alligator Farm. It changed Babe's career, and baseball in general, since no one had ever imagined that a ball could be hit that far.

Exactly how far was unknown until 2011, when modern technology concluded that the ball traveled 573 feet on the fly (It helped that the alligator pond had remained unchanged through all those years). The spot formerly occupied by home plate was marked on the parking lot where the ballpark used to stand, a historical marker was erected across the street outside the alligator farm wall, and there's a sign inside the gator farm where the ball landed.

Home Run That Changed Baseball

870 Whittington Ave., Hot Springs, AR
The home plate outline is in the far northwest corner of the large parking lot on the north side of Whittington Ave., directly across from the plain-looking Hot Springs Family Church building. The historical marker is further east, on the south side of Whittington Ave., outside the wall of the Arkansas Alligator Farm.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Arkansas Alligator Farm: Home of the MermanArkansas Alligator Farm: Home of the Merman, Hot Springs, AR - < 1 mi.
Tiny TownTiny Town, Hot Springs, AR - < 1 mi.
Josephine Tussaud Wax MuseumJosephine Tussaud Wax Museum, Hot Springs, AR - 1 mi.
In the region:
Fake B-17 Bomber Marks Crash Site, Sheridan, AR - 37 mi.

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