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Queens Chronicle

Ruth, Gehrig play ball in Woodhaven

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Posted: Thursday, March 14, 2013 10:30 am

The New York Yankees had just swept the Saint Louis Cardinals four games to none in the 1928 World Series. Babe Ruth had batted a hefty .625 — with an amazing three home runs in the final game.

After the postseason was over, Ruth, fellow legend Lou Gehrig and other Yanks enjoyed going on tour around the country. Ruth’s barnstorming team was called the Bustin’ Babes, while Gehrig led the rival Larrupin’ Lous. On Columbus Day, Oct. 12, 1928, they visited the semiprofessional ballclub called the Brooklyn Bushwicks, who played in Dexter Park. Now gone, the park sat on Jamaica Avenue in Woodhaven, just off the Brooklyn line. Team owner Max Rosner lived on Curzon Road in Kew Gardens.

The Sultan of Swat and The Iron Horse arrived in grand style, decked out in western regalia, as they also were promoting Madison Square Garden’s World Series Rodeo.

The Bushwicks’ 6-foot-4-inch pitcher Bill Hockenberry managed to strike out The Babe that day, before a crowd of almost 20,000 people.

Ruth was no stranger to Queens, frequenting the borough’s many golf courses. He loved golf so much he rented a house in the summertime at 114-07 175 St. in St. Albans so he could walk out the door to the golf course just down the block. When World War II broke out, the golf course was sold and became a naval hospital.

The Yanks may have been the world champions in 1928, but the Bushwicks beat ’em that day in Queens, 10-6.

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