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The Story Of My Grandfather Meeting Babe Ruth

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The Yankee I wish I could have met is on the left, Ruth is on the right.
The Yankee I wish I could have met is on the left, Ruth is on the right.

On a windy day in Corona, New York, one young baseball fan went to the movie theater with friends to catch a quick flick. The young fan, my Grandfather, at age fourteen, was in for a big treat, as the movie was combined with a special guest appearance for the day. The doubleheader, as they called it, included an appearance by Babe Ruth, in full Yankees uniform, though retired.

The movie went by quickly on that Saturday afternoon in the Corona Theater for the young movie-goer, and next came Ruth speaking to the crowd. Much like how a current player will sign autographs for money nowadays, Ruth was being paid to be a "showcase star" for the day.

Following Ruth's appearance, the young man and his friends waited outside to see if Ruth would say hello. Ruth walked outside, now changed into an extravagant suit, and my Grandfather and his friends approached the retired star.

Ruth talked to the group, addressing many topics and seeming to be in no rush at the time. The young man, jitters dispersed throughout his body, asked Ruth questions as the towering Sultan of Swat answered warmly. Ruth sounded extremely hoarse, which could have been a signal of his health struggles to come.

For just one quarter, the price of admission at the time, the group of fans got to meet Babe Ruth by chance on that unforgettable day. Though currently a Mets fan, and at the time a fan of the New York (baseball) Giants, Ruth's kindness spoke volumes to my Grandfather.

None of the group asked for autographs, and before I could ask why my grandfather drifted into a story about the time he met Margaret Hamilton, co-star of the Wizard of Oz.

Perhaps that is a story for another day.