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!
As many of you know, Perry is a town that flourished because of the railroad. The railroad was so prevalent here that we have many photographs in our collection that show the trains, the tracks, and more. In fact, Perry used to have so many trains that came in and out of town that we had our own roundhouse! Although the number of roundhouses is not clear from our records, we do know that one roundhouse used to be located where the elementary school is currently. What is interesting about the roundhouse, however, is that it was not just used as a place to gather trains! Readers, do you have any guesses as to what else might have happened at the old roundhouse?
If you guessed that people used to go skeet shooting at the roundhouse, then you would be right! According to the description of this photo, people would go out on Sundays and meet at the roundhouse where they would do some skeet shooting in the 1940s. What amazes me most about this is that guns were allowed so close to a place of work. If the shooters were fooling around too much, they could have injured one of the railroad workers! Perhaps this was allowed because the workers were not working during Sundays? Or maybe the railroad workers were in on it and allowed people to do this without the consent of the managers. It seems only someone who was there would know!
In any case, it looks like this is what people would do for fun during the 1940s. Readers, what do you do for fun on the weekends? Let us know in the comments, and join us next week for another Hometown Heritage Blog!
Hello Readers and Happy Wednesday!
Many of you have probably heard about the new phone application that is sweeping the nation, Pokémon Go. It seems millions of people are walking around outside playing this new game. However, this game is relatively recent, and got me thinking: What were the games that brought people outside before Pokémon, phones, and any electronics at all were invented?
I did some digging in our files, and found a few games that seemed to be popular in the past. First, there is the game of Horseshoes. The photo included is a picture called “Charles Challands and Friends Pitching Horseshoes”, and dates to 1934. Horseshoes was a simple, but difficult game. The goal was to throw a horseshoe from a distance and try to get it as close as you could to an upright stick in the ground. Then, you would get points based on how close you could get it! Of course, getting the horseshoe around the stick would earn you the most points, and was called a “ringer”. We have a few photos of this game, so it must have been a popular game around the 1930s and 40s.
Of course, that was not the only game that was played in the past. We have another photo dated to 1920 called “Women Appear to be Playing a Dice Game, Smoking Pipes”. As you can see in the picture, there are two women looking at the ground, and it appears that they are rolling dice. Unfortunately, there is little other information about this game. What is the goal? How do you win? Or, for that matter, are they actually rolling dice? Readers, if any of you know more about this dice game, please share so we can add the information to our system!
As you can see, before Pokémon Go there were plenty of other games. These games may not have swept the nation like Pokémon Go is doing, but they were still popular. It just goes to show that even without technology; people will find a way to have fun outside!