Hawthorn: The day Babe Ruth played in the Vancouver rain

From SABR member Tom Hawthorn at The Tyee on October 21, 2014:

It rained the day Babe Ruth came to town. It was not a misty rain, or even a shower, but a pounding, drenching, rainforest downfall. It was not a day to play baseball.

Ruth lounged in his suite at the Hotel Vancouver, where he was joined by his second wife, Claire Hodgson Ruth, a former showgirl, and his 18-year-old stepdaughter, Julia, whom he had adopted when he married her mother five years earlier.

Down in the lobby, boys armed with papers and pens and pencils scurried from elevator to entrance in search of other famous guests. The players of the Orillia Terriers championship lacrosse team were staying at the grand hotel, as was former world heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney, who was in Vancouver to check on his holdings in the British Columbia mining industry.

Ruth was not only the ball player at the inn. “Mighty Bambino Heads Baseball’s Greats in Town,” stated a front-page headline in The Province. An all-star team of American League greats had been organized to play a tour of Japan. Gathering in Chicago, the group barnstormed across the western half of the continent, playing exhibition games on the prairies and along the coast.

Eighty years ago, on Oct. 20, 1934, the greatest collection of baseball talent ever assembled in Vancouver boarded the sleek Empress of Japan for a transoceanic journey. They counted among their numbers eight future members of the Baseball Hall of Fame, as well as a backup catcher who has entered baseball lore as a spy.

Read the full article here: http://thetyee.ca/News/2014/10/21/Babe-Ruth-Played-in-Vancouver/

Originally published: October 21, 2014. Last Updated: October 21, 2014.