January 3, 2010

Great Day for the Yankees

On this date in 1920, the
Boston Red Sox announced the sale of pitcher and outfielder Babe Ruth to the New York Yankees. Because of that sale, this New York City baseball team became what some would say was the greatest sports franchise of all time.

On this date in 1929, the New York Yankees announced that they would put numbers on the back of the team uniforms. This was to help fans in the stands recognize their favorite players.

A Mighty Big City!

Over the y
ears, New York City has fielded four different professional baseball teams—three of them at one time! That's because NYC is huge, the largest city in the U.S. There are five boroughs: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.

The NYC baseball teams have found homes in different parts of the city.
NYC's first teams were the National League Giants and Dodgers. The Giants played on the Polo Grounds of Upper Manhattan, and the Dodgers played in Brooklyn. When the American League Yankees (then called the New York Highlanders) first came to NYC from Baltimore, they shared the Polo Grounds and Manhattan with the Giants. However, the Yankees' popularity outgrew sharing a field, and Yankee Stadium was built in the Bronx. Sometimes the Yankees are called the Bronx Bombers.

In 1957 and '58, the Giants and the Dodgers both moved to California, becoming the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. At that point, NYC was down to only one team, the Yankees. Soon plans were made to begin a new National League team, once again at first playing on the Polo Grounds. The new team was called the Mets, short for the Metropolitans, and soon a new stadium was built out in Queens. Shea Stadium was the Mets' home field for several decades until a new stadium, CitiField, was opened last year.

Play baseball!

Recite a baseball poem! For generations, children have read aloud or recited from memory the looong but colorful poem, “Casey at the Bat,” written in 1888 by Ernest Thayer. Good fun!

Read about baseball! This website claims to review the best baseball books for kids.

Watch a baseball movie! I've always loved “Field of Dreams.”

Eat a Baby
Ruth candy bar!

The Curtiss Candy Company claimed that this popular candy bar was not named after the Yankee Babe Ruth, but rather after the former president Grover Cleveland's daughte
r Ruth. However, the candy bar was named Baby Ruth in 1921, the very time when Babe Ruth was becoming famous—and this was 13 years after Cleveland had left the White House, and 17 years after Ruth had died. Since the company had never negotiated an endorsement deal with Ruth, many people think that this story was concocted just so that the company didn't have to pay royalties to Babe Ruth.

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