Lots of people came through Back Bay station here in Boston on July 11, 1914. And, likely, even a few of them stood 6-foot-2 at 215 pounds. But only one would rise to the heights of the 19-year-old who arrived from Baltimore that day.

Long before Fenway Park was a cathedral to baseball, before it was a place where 25 people gather just to take a tour on a weekday morning, it was simply the new home for a still relatively new American League team.

"The team’s owners at the time, the Taylor family — who also owned the Globe coincidentally — they had decided to build a ballpark in the Fens," said Dan Rea, a special assistant to Red Sox president Larry Lucchino who has served as the team’s unofficial archivist and historian. "They looked at it as this up-and-coming area which would suitably fit an up and coming team like the Red Sox."

All they needed was an up-and-coming young player. They found him in George Herman Ruth, a 19-year old from Baltimore, who had yet to step foot on a major-league field.

"His parents had dropped him off at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys in Baltimore when he was about 7 years old and he virtually was an orphan — he grew up in this orphanage," said Leigh Montville, author of "The Big Bam: The Life And Times of Babe Ruth." "Why did his father and mother bring him to the orphanage? There's a fog that kind of resides over all those years in Baltimore. It’s very mysterious, his 19 years before he came to Boston."

What we do know is that at the orphanage he found baseball, playing some 200 games a year there. At 18 he was signed sight-unseen by the minor-league Baltimore Orioles, mainly on his reputation as a pitcher. By all accounts, Ruth was already larger than life.

"He just came straight from the orphanage right into the fast lane," Montville said. "He had an aura about him. He’d been a big-time guy in the orphanage and he just thought he’d be a big-time guy wherever he went."

Midway through his first season, with attendance flagging and bills piling up, the Orioles sold Ruth off along with two other players to the Boston Red Sox. On July 10, 1914, Ruth hopped an overnight train, arriving at Back Bay Station the next morning.

"It probably was the greatest day a person could have, better than Ferris Bueller ever considered, you know," Montville said. "He went for breakfast and he met a 16-year-old girl — so the story goes — named Helen Woodford and they got chatting and one thing led to another and she eventually wound up as his wife."

From there it was over to the Red Sox offices on Devonshire Street, where Ruth signed his first major league contract — which carried with it a significant raise.

"And they told him you’re going to pitch today," Montville said. "And they took him to Fenway and they gave him his uniform and the game started at 3 o'clock."

Ruth — and the Sox — earned the win over the Cleveland Naps, 4-3. But the roster was crowded with vets, and the brash rookie rubbed some of them the wrong way. He was sent down and played most of the season in the minors in Providence. The next year, says Rea, Ruth hit his stride on the field and off.

"He’s just a perfect fit for this exuberant, boisterous Boston crowd," Rea said. "The Royal Rooters, who have their heyday in the 19-teens, they were a boisterous bunch and he was just a perfect superstar for that group."

In five seasons with the Sox, Ruth would win three World Series, and begin the transition from the games most dominant pitcher to it’s most dominant slugger.

"His name has been synonymous with the curse and the lack of championships for 86 years, but in truth he was a guy who brought championships here early in our existence," Rea said.

And while Ruth was a great player here, even a star, it was 200 miles to the south, in blue pinstripes, where he would become a living legend.

"He was the first true superstar, I believe," Montville said. "He just an iconic American picture, isn’t he? New York was the perfect place for him."

Still, it’s likely that George Herman Ruth never had a day like July 11, 1914. When he first set foot in a major league ballpark — one of the last still standing where the Great Bambino played.

If you have a tale of forgotten Massachusetts history to share, or there's something you're just plain curious about, email Edgar at curiositydesk@wgbh.org. He might just look into it for you.