From a Fan: A tie to Babe Ruth’s 700th Home Run

During the weekend of February 7th, BRC was up in Detroit for the annual Babe Ruth birthday party at Nemo’s. While in Detroit, we also had the opportunity to visit the home of Dennis Bielski, the nephew of a man who had a great connection to the Babe.

On July 13th, 1934, 21,000 baseball fans were in attendance at Detroit’s Navin Field for the matchup between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers. Probably everyone’s biggest interest in that particular game was the hope that they would see the legendary Babe hit is milestone 700th homer. In the third inning, Babe Ruth successfully smacked his 700th home run that day against Tiger pitcher, Tommy Bridges. As noted in Bill Jenkinson’s The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs, the ball sailed over the street behind the then-single deck bleachers in right field, and is estimated to have traveled over 500 feet on the fly.

Lenny Bielski (Dennis Bielski’s uncle) was a Detroit youngster, sitting with a pack of other kids on the sidewalk outside Navin Field’s right-field fence. When the ball flew out of the stadium and bounced toward Plum St, Bielski was the one that came up with the treasure during a wild scramble. Meanwhile, as Ruth left home plate to circle the bases, he began yelling: “I want that ball! I want that ball!”. Police were dispatched to find it and Bielski was escorted into the Stadium to meet the Babe, Lou Gehrig and the rest of the Yankee squad, as well as watch the rest of the game from the Yankee dugout. As told by Lenny himself, Babe said to him after the game in the clubhouse, “Kid, that’s a ball I’ve waited a long time for. One I really want. Here’s $20 for it.” Lenny happily passed the ball along to his idol (which can be seen in the below press photo) for the $20, as well as a signed ball from Babe acknowledging the gift of that special 700th home run ball.

Babe Ruth and Lenny Bielski

Babe Ruth and Lenny Bielski – Detroit Press Photo

Back of Ruth Bielski Photo

Back of Ruth Bielski Photo




















Lenny’s story made headlines throughout the country and even provided Lenny a little baseball-related notoriety throughout his life. In fact Lenny is featured with Babe on a card (part of Ruth baseball card collection) that reflects the milestone 700th home run. Per the article below, Babe kept in touch with Lenny and visited him often during future trips to Motor City. Another example of Babe making time for his friends and fans.

Ruth Bielski Baseball Card

Babe Ruth/Lenny Bielski Baseball Card

Lenny Bielski Article

Lenny Bielski Article











Today, the $20 bill, as well as the autographed ball, are treasured family heirlooms that belong to its caretaker, nephew Dennis. While Dennis is a passionate Tiger fan, you can see he has a special place for the Yankees, particularly given the special connection to the most special Yankee of them all.

$20 Bill From Babe Ruth

$20 Bill From Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth 700 HR Thank you Ball

Babe Ruth 700 HR Thank you Ball

Nephew, Dennis Bielski

Nephew, Dennis Bielski

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