Thursday, April 9, 2015


In September 1913, my father's mother and father welcomed Dad into the world with appropriate cheer.

There was no major league baseball here in Baltimore at the time, although Dad's folks lived a couple of blocks away from the eventual site of Memorial Stadium, where the Orioles played for years until moving downtown to a ballpark built by the train station where Dad's folks sent him off to World War II (and he never saw either of them again.)

But, all that aside, Dad's father, if he followed baseball, would have remembered when the Chicago Cubs had won the World Series in 1907 and 1908.

The Babe as a youth
And he would have been thrilled when the minor league Orioles signed a local lad for the 1914 season, a young man once adjudged incorrigible, by the name of Babe Ruth, who was purchased on July 4 by the Boston Red Sox, only to be sold to the stupid New York Yankees by 1920 so that the owner of the Red Sox could invest the money he received in return in the musical "No No, Nanette."

This is all true!

Ruth went on to ascend the heights of fame and legend, while "No No, Nanette" has not been produced outside of smalltown dinner theaters for quite a few years.

It was believed that Ruth cursed the Red Sox for selling him to the stupid Yankees, a curse that kept the Sox from winning the World Series until 2004.  It's said that the finding a piece of a piano that Ruth had thrown into a pond on his farm broke the curse.

That's true too.  The Babe was a man of prodigious strength, able to eat dozens of hot dogs and toss pianos about.  Baltimoreans are that way.

But, back to the original father was born in 1913, dropped out of school during the Depression and went to work for the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., fought a war, came home, got married and raised two fine children (one of whom is my much-older sister) and retired at 64.  He lived 20 years more, went on trips to England, France and Scotland, and did just about everything he wished until passing away at age 84 in 1997.

And the Cubs haven't won the World Series since!  They came close, winning pennants seven times, but no more winning it all, in all that time.

Tomorrow, we'll talk about their curse.

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