Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Southern California Hates Baseball History

In April of 2003, The Sporting News published a little book titled Roadside Baseball. Given my love for America's pastime, I noticed the book when it first appeared in the baseball section of my local Borders. I am given to browsing that section just as the void ends and baseball season begins, so it was natural that I would find this book just as it was released. I read the book discovering lots of little tidbits of baseball lore, when I came across a particular gem which highlights the one thing I find most frustrating about Los Angeles.

I really like LA but it is a city that seems to be continually trying to forget its past, maybe even destroy it. If America is a country which has no past, then LA is a city that doesn't seem to want one. One constantly reads stories about classic eateries, like the Brown Derby, being demolished. There is some wonderful deco architecture in town, but sometimes you have to really dig to find it.

Case in point -- On October 31, 1924, the one and only Babe Ruth came to the Brea Bowl where he played an exhibition game against Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson. The field where they played this historic game is now the Gateway Shopping Center. So if I want to visit the place where Babe Ruth hit the, arguably, longest homerun ever, I can go eat a Fatburger while looking at a mall. Ironically, the Original Fatburger location might be demolished.

The other day I found this nice YouTube video by Chris Epting, author of Roadside Baseball commemorating the event.

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