Listing of the week: Babe Ruth's former home

Babe Ruth may have played for the Red Sox for just five years, but he fell in love with the Sudbury farm.

558 Dutton Road, Sudbury Mass.

For sale: $1.325 million

If there ever were a grand slam in real estate, “Home Plate Farm” would be it. Baseball puns aside, the stately property is a historic and restored residence that had the honor of housing previous owner and baseball great Babe Ruth.

Some historians say Babe Ruth bought the farm to lose weight. Others say it was a peace offering to his wife, Helen, who didn't like her husband partying in New York.

Ruth was first introduced to Sudbury when he played for the Boston Red Sox in the first part of his Major League career. Although he was only on the Red Sox roster for five years, he fell in love with the area and bought the Sudbury farm in 1922, after he was traded to the New York Yankees.

Historians record two separate reasons for Ruth’s purchase of the gentleman’s farm. Several guess the Great Bambino was trying to lose weight (at the start of the season he was lambasted in the press for his rising girth and falling batting record). Another set of historians believe the batter engineered the move as part of a reconciliation with his wife, Helen, who wasn't fond of Ruth’s partying in New York City.

Whatever the reason, Ruth spent a few years at “Home Plate Farm,” raising chickens, a horse, a cow, and several turkeys and pigs. The farm work did pay off; Ruth boasted later to the press that he had lost “21 pounds of flesh.” However, his marriage to Helen dissolved. The two divorced in 1926, and Ruth sold Home Plate Farm shortly after.

In the corner of the living room, above, is a mark on the floor from where Babe Ruth used to put out his pipe.

Since then the home has passed through a few owners, garnering a few updates along the way.

“The current owners have added on a family room, gutted and redid the kitchen,” said listing agent Lisa Greene of William Raveis Real Estate. “It shows beautifully.”

While much of the house has been redone, the hardwood floors are original, and a corner of the living room still holds evidence of Ruth’s presence: a mark on the floor where he used to put out his pipe, Greene said.

The 5-bedroom, 3.5-bath home measures 5,231 square feet. Property details include coffered ceilings, high-end kitchen appliances and built-ins. The two-acre grounds hold the original barn, also updated, as well as several patios and a gunite pool.

Erika Riggs, a real estate writer for Zillow Blog, covers celebrity real estate, unusual properties and home design trends. Read more of her work here.


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