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 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!
Hello Readers! (And sports fans!)
Have you ever wondered if any famous athletes have come to little old Perry, Iowa? Well, hold on to your stadium hot dogs, because I have quite the story for you!
Long ago, on an October day in 1922, Perry faced Pella in a good old-fashioned baseball game. The weather did not exactly co-operate. Everyone was worried about the game being rained out, a problem that is all too common today as well. Eventually, the game did start, and the athletes played it just like any other game. Each team took their turn, and at the end of the day, Perry won the game with a score of twelve, while Pella only had a score of four. So far, this all sounds like the average baseball game and not anything interesting at all.
However, here is where this story gets amazing! Thanks to the American Legion, who paid what I can only assume was a decent amount of money, both Perry and Pella had a special member on their team: Perry had Babe Ruth, and Pella had Bob Meusel! That is right, Perry once hosted the world famous Babe Ruth thanks to the hard work and contributions of the American Legion. Not only did he come and play for the Perry team, he also stayed at the Hotel Pattee, along with Bob Meusel. In fact, if you every have the chance to stay at the Hotel Pattee, there is a photo of Babe and Bob in the bowling alley on the lower level.
Most of this information comes from a very old Perry Chief. It took quite a while for me to find it, since we keep old scans of different Perry newspapers on microfilm (and I misread the dates at first as well, oops!). Still, there are many interesting things in the old newspapers. If you ever have the chance, look over some of the old newspapers you may have lying around. Not only is there bound to be some interesting stories, but also just the advertisements can hold some value and entertainment. I saw one while I was looking about a quote "swaggerest" (the ad actually uses this made-up word) villain. That, however, is a story for a different day.
Good afternoon readers!
Today we have another interesting, but ultimately useless, item from our collection. What makes this item truly useless is what is inside of it. In order to make this a little more fun, we are going to play a simple game. Here is how it works: I am going to describe everything that I can about this item, and I want all of you to try to guess what is inside it. To guess, all you have to do it comment on this post! I will reveal the answer in the next blog post. So, let us play “What’s in the box”!
Here at Hometown Heritage, we call the box in question “HPI Box 40”. As you can see in the picture, it is a wooden box. There are a multitude of scratches on the top of the box, indicating that is has been used a fair amount. The front of the box has a lightly metal decorated clasp to hold the box shut. It does not work very well, as the clasp does not stay completely down. The hinges on the back of the box have a similar design to the latch on the front, with the light flourishes. Both seem to be made of iron or some other gray colored metal. The bottom is just like the top: it has quite a few scratches, most likely indicating frequent use. The box is approximately 12 inches wide, 19 inches long and 3 inches high.
Here are a few final clues that may help you guess what is inside. The box is part of a group of items donated to us from the estate of Beulah Bentley Schluter. There are all kinds of items in this collection, ranging from Christmas letters to travel documents to various pictures. Beulah appeared to be someone interested in art, as included in the collection are also various drawings of hers. She was also a well-traveled woman, having been to Germany, Hawaii, New Zealand, and South America. As you can see, this box is very odd. In my opinion, it should not be in our collection.
These are all the clues I can give you, readers. Partly because I do not want to make it too easy to guess what is in this box, and partly because Beulah Bentley Schluter is somewhat of a mystery woman. What I have told you about her is almost all that I know of her. It would be great if, in addition to guessing what is in the box, any of you who knew her could tell more about her!