Watch new footage from a 1927 barnstorming exhibition game featuring Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
The baseball names that conjure black-and-white images in our minds -- Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, to name a few -- do so in large part because there is little actual video footage of them playing the game.
That makes discoveries of video evidence of their existence that much more powerful, and that's exactly what the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles offers in its exhibit Common Ground: The Heart of Community.
When I visited the Japanese-American National Museum in Los Angeles, I never thought I'd bump into previously unidentified footage of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig during their barnstorming tour of 1927. Check out the story and the now-identified footage here: https://t.co/mUGcrfTtky pic.twitter.com/BfJLeNMol4- Tom Shieber (@tshieber) November 27, 2018
Specifically, the exhibit includes a segment documenting immigrant life in the community prior to World War II, as filmed by the Reverend Sensho Sasaki. And during a visit to a baseball field in Stockton, Calif., Sasaki obtained this footage:
That depicts Ruth and Gehrig, who were taking part in a barnstorming tour. This next video was thought to be the only remaining video of the event, prior to this new video in the exhibit.
It sounds like this barnstorming tour taken by Ruth and Gehrig was a truly special experience for all involved. As Tom Shieber of the Baseball Hall of Fame details:
"The brainchild of agent Christy Walsh, the three-week tour made stops in 20 cities across the country and featured a unique concept. While Ruth and Gehrig played on opposite teams (the Larrupin' Lou's and the Bustin' Babes), the rest of the positions were filled by local talent."
Look at this photo:
Could you imagine taking the field alongside two baseball players who were already legends in their own right, destined to become near-mythical figures as the years would progress?
The local players who filled out the rosters must have had stories for decades to come.