Ruth and Yanks Destroy 1930 Buffs, 17-2

Ruth and Kids By Opie Otterstad

Ruth and Kids
Opie Otterstad


It wasn’t pretty. The New York Yankees blew through town on Saturday, March 29, 1930, on their winding way to the end of spring training. While they were here, they destroyed the Houston Buffs at Buff Stadium by the resounding thump of 17-2.

Babe Ruth led the demolition with a 4 for 6 day that included his 3rd home run of the pre-season, along with a double and two singles. In his two no-hit-credit times at bat, the Sultan of Swat, even in action against minor league vermin foes, also reached first on an error and was retired once on a ground out.

Other Yankee batting assassins joined in the merriment.  2nd baseman Tony Lazzeri also homered for New York – and shortstop Mark Koenig battered Buff pitching for a 4 for 5 day. The Yankee pitching duo of starter and winner George Pipgras (6 innings) and reliever Tom Zachary (3 innings) gave up only 2 runs and 6 hits by the over-matched Buffs.

Buff starter Ray Lingrel took the loss for the Buffs. Lingrel and two other Buff pitchers gave up 17 hits on the day. Not a player of any note took the field for Houston that day. Dizzy Dean later in the season made his first fly-by appearance with the 1930 Buffs, but this was a year prior to the great Houston Buffs of 1931. That one featured both Dean and the young Ducky Joe Medwick.

I don’t really have time to research it right now, but 1930 probably was the same year when, earlier that Saturday morning, Babe Ruth had a chance to address a full house of Houston kids at the old City Auditorium in downtown Houston. (The City Auditorium was located where Jones Hall now stands.) From a photo I’ve seen of Ruth on the stage, speaking from midway to the left side as the camera point of view, the body language of the kids in the picture suggests that it was a loving, loud, and most animated lucky gang of young Houston fans in the house that very special day.

This story also drives home a thrill chill awareness to this former kid “Babe Fan,” who was only 10 years old when the Bambino died in 1948:

When Babe Ruth hit his  homer at Buff Stadium in 1930, he did it only 2.5 miles from the future home of Eagle Field in Pecan Park. That’s as close as our intrepid little future gang of Pecan Eagles would ever get to actual contact with The Babe, but that’s OK. The spiritual connection for some of us with Babe Ruth still knows no time and space physical barriers. Even now.


San Antonio Light, March 30, 1930, Page 49.

Galveston Daily News, March 30, 1930, Page 25.

Darrell Pittman, Astros Daily.

Reporting Note

The San Antonio Light reports that Babe Ruth went 5 for 6 in the game, but the Galveston Daily News and several others I examined report the Babe going 4 for 6, with one “safe on error” call and one ground out. My inclination to accept the “4 for 6” report as the truth. Perhaps the San Antonio papers went to press too soon to know about an infield hit call that may have been reversed later and re-designated as an error.


 eagle-0range Bill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas


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One Response to “Ruth and Yanks Destroy 1930 Buffs, 17-2”

  1. Tom Hunter Says:

    My Aunt Lois and her husband, Earl Bundy, attended the New York Yankees vs Houston Buffs game on May 29, 1930. Years later, she stayed in the same assisted living facility in Pearland as Raymond Lee Cunningham, who first played for the Buffs in 1929 and made his major league debut with the St. Louis Cardinals in 1931. They talked baseball and she showed him her photo of Buff Stadium on its inaugural opening day in 1928. Both of them died in Pearland; he in 2005 at age 100; and she in 2007 at age 101.

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