Baseball season has just wrapped up with the Washington Nationals beating the Houston Astros to win their first World Series title ever. It reminds me of a baseball game played here in Perry back in 1922.
In October of 1922, Babe Ruth and a less popular but still very successful player in his own right, Bob Meusel, came to town to play an exhibition game. There was a lot of hype and excitement, as you can imagine, leading up to the event. The Perry branch of the American Legion had organized the event and hoped to make a tidy sum of cash off of ticket sales. Unfortunately, the day ended up being cold and dreary, and even though the rain mostly stopped an hour or so before the game began, the attendance was much lower than hoped. Ruth and Meusel ended up taking most of the profits home with them. I guess that’s what happens when you play a baseball game on Friday the 13th.
The game was against Pella, and Meusel played for them while Ruth played for Perry. Meusel hit a homerun and Babe hit a couple of triples. You’d think “The Sultan of Swat” could have managed at least one homer, but apparently the outfield wasn’t enclosed by a fence, which enabled the outfielder to get to the ball and throw it back in before the lumbering Ruth could get past third base.
I hadn’t realized until recently that the Ku Klux Klan was very active in Perry around that same time. I also didn’t know that the KKK was extremely anti-Catholic. Babe Ruth was Catholic and is said to have even visited St. Patrick’s School while in town. You would think given the fact that, according to a The Perry News article, a KKK grand master lived in town, there would have been protests and maybe even a cross burning. In reality, Babe Ruth coming to town was such a big deal that KKK members decided to forgo their prejudice for the day and instead sat in the stands and cheered for him and the hometeam along with everyone else. I guess that’s what happens when you play a baseball game in Perry. God bless America.
Hello readers and welcome back to the Hometown Heritage blog!
This morning I was watching the television while eating my breakfast, as I always do, and a segment came on about a new prototype car that was recently finished. This car, called the Hum-X for those interested, was special in that it could employ hydraulics to raise itself into the air and pass over other cars in traffic. This got me thinking about that today cars are everywhere and, aside from new ones like this, are no longer that amazing to us. However, this was not always the case.
Look at the slide show below. As you can see, they are all pictures of people standing next to various cars. “What is so special about that” you might ask. That, my dear readers, is exactly my point. Today, we all take cars for granted and understand (generally) how they work. However, imagine just for a moment that you were living back in the late 1800s and early 1900s with these people. You are used to getting around via horseback or walking, and suddenly this metal mechanical marvel (or devil, depending on whom you ask) appears. It goes just as fast as any horse you have ever known and it never gets tired! Also buying one costs probably the same amount as a small house, yet somehow your father managed to bring one home. What else would you do but take a picture to mark this momentous occasion! Everyone will want to be able to remember the day your family first got its very own Model T. Yet, compared to today, no one seems to be as excited about his or her first car. Sure, teenagers get excited when their parents present them with the keys, but it is not the same kind of excitement as it was in the 1900s. Back then, it was something to parade about the whole town, showing all your friends and neighbors how lucky and wealthy your family is. Today it is something everyone simply expects to happen. Who knows, maybe in the future we will react to new invention as people in the 1900s did (fingers crossed for flying cars!).
Do you remember your first car? Did you and your family all take pictures around it to mark the occasion? Let us know in the comments, and come back next week for another Hometown Heritage blog!