Sunday Baseball at the Parks
From 1891 to 1917, Rocky Point Grounds was the site of Sunday baseball games hosted by the Providence minor-league teams, major league exhibition games, and one official National League game in 1903. Rocky Point also was famous in baseball history when Babe Ruth played for the 1914 International League pennant winning Providence Grays. On September 27, 1914, in an exhibition at Rocky Point against the Chicago Cubs, Ruth pitched the Grays to victory. “Baby [sic] Ruth held the mound throughout the contest, and while he was wild as a broncho, succeeded in holding the Cubs to seven scattered hits and choked five of them off by the strike-out route,” the Providence Journal reported. Ruth didn’t disappoint at bat either, with “his tremendous wallop in the third session clearing the hill in right field by half a furlong and bouncing into the water on the other side.” By ground rule, though, Ruth was credited with only a triple, not a home run. This was also his final game in a Grays uniform as he was summoned to the Boston Red Sox the next day with teammate Carl Mays.
On September 6, 1903, the Boston Nationals defeated Philadelphia, 3-2, in the only regular-season major league game ever played at Rocky Point. The Grays weren't the only team in Rhode Island to play Big League clubs at Rocky Point. The Providence Stars, made up of semi-pro talent and former Major Leaguers, played against Big Leaguers. In 1920 the St. Louis Cardinals, with Rogers Hornsby in toe, came to Warwick and downed the Stars 5-0. Joey Connolly (Woonsocket), prominent member of the 1914 Boston Braves World Champions, signed to play for the Stars that season. The Stars also played exhibition contests with the Chicago Cubs and Cuban Tigers.
Crescent Park was another Sunday baseball venue for the state's minor league teams as earlier as the 1890s. The Pawtucket Phenoms of the New England League played there. In 1901 Christy Matthewson's New York Giants invaded Riverside to play the Grays. Boston Americans (later called the Red Sox) took on the Grays later that September. It wasn't the only major league presence in the state that year. In October 1901 Hall of Famer Napoleon Lajoie (Woonsocket) was given a reception and a gold watch by his hometown when his All-American nine faced off against the local Woonsocket Gyms ball club in an exhibition at the Clinton Oval in Woonsocket. His touring team (made up of big leaguers) was supposed to have met the Pennant winning Chicago White Sox on the previous Sunday at Crescent Park but it was cancelled on the account of rain.