Monday, July 8, 2024

Babe/Baby Ruth and Americana stops on a New Jersey road trip

I bounced between air conditioning and cultural sights for three hot days in New Jersey in my cultural collectors quest to catch 'em all. We focused on Princeton this time, whose cemetery includes president Grover Cleveland and his "baby" Ruth, born in the White House and passed of diptheria at age 12.

That's me, sweatin' to the oldies

Soon after the Babe hit a record 54 homers in 1920, Curtiss Candy renamed their existing "Kandy Kake" bar to "Baby Ruth," hoping to draft off his headline-making swats. They claimed this honored Ruth Cleveland's nickname almost 20 years after her death, a Dom Draper level marketing move.

Thanks to compliant court judges, Curtiss avoided Ruthian compensation and prevented "Ruth's Home run" candy bar on the market. That short-lived product included a small promotional card set and my set profile adds more detail to Curtiss's candy shenanigans. Its "favorite with the kiddies" #5 features Ruth smooching his daughter Dorothy Ruth Pirone.

Surviving "Ruth's Home Run" candy ephemera includes these red wrappers. Given his stature, counterfeits exist, so be wary of buying them unless your dealer knows their stuff.

Princeton Cemetery hosts the shaded grave of Clarence "Pop" Foster, a turn of the 20th century player at multiple levels of organized ball. I appreciated its tree coverage as temps hit 95!

Aaron Burr Senior and Junior lie in state at Princeton, an enduring reminder against "wasting your shot."

The permanent collection of Princeton's Morven House contains this Althea Gibson plaque and photo from a local match onsite, when it served as home to NJ's governor and their family.

More from the Morven House, as their family played some Burro Baseball on a trip to the southwest. I welcome your theories for how one would play it!

Every Princeton visitor should stop by Grover's Mill and its 1938 War of the Worlds radio broadcast markers.

One of the memorial walk's painted alien stones, so cute

Photo credit Nick Vossbrink for this metal plaque

Pop Foster's pro career included a stop in Quebec, whose Capitales bus I passed at the revived Hinchcliffe stadium in Paterson for a series against its Frontier League rivals, the Jackals.

Atlantic coast residents might know Jersey's Garden State Parkway, which spiffed up its passenger views with sports and cultural honorees. Doby played in Paterson, so merits this spot nearby.

Larry Doby's NJ HOF marker at Brookdale service station

Not pictured, one stop at Popeye's for biscuits and wings! A family dinner there is like $30 for six meals, it's nutty.


Nick Vossbrink said...

Glad we were able to meet up. And glad you enjoyed both the Grovers Mill and Paterson suggestions.

Fuji said...

Looks like you had a pretty cool road trip. That Ruth card with his daughter is neat. A few years ago, I bought some Babe Ruth licorice and the shipment got delayed. They ended up sending me an autographed card as compensation. It was signed by Dorothy Ruth Pirone's daughter.

Matthew Glidden said...

Wow, that's a fun pickup under the circumstances! Any other autos you have from family members on player cards?