Shieber: 16 millimeters of Babe and Lou in 1927

From SABR member Tom Shieber at on November 28, 2018:


The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles (JANM) features a wonderful exhibit titled Common Ground: The Heart of Community.

Through hundreds of artifacts, documents and images, the exhibition examines well over a century of Japanese-American history.

In a section of Common Ground devoted to immigrant community life before World War II, a case includes items from a general store owned and operated by a Japanese-American family in Hood River, Ore., prior to World War II: Packs of chewing gum, a bottle of denture powder, an advertisement for money orders.

Accompanying these commonplace objects, a video monitor plays home movies taken by the Reverend Sensho Sasaki, a Buddhist priest and amateur filmmaker. With his 16mm camera, Sasaki captured everyday life in various Japanese-American communities on the West coast: Children playing, families walking to church, action at a baseball park.

But it was more than just “action.” Recent research conducted by the Hall of Fame not only revealed that the footage shows Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth at a ballpark, but their distinctive uniforms made it clear that the movie was taken during their postseason barnstorming tour of 1927.

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Originally published: November 29, 2018. Last Updated: November 29, 2018.