By Roy Reiss
September 7, 2012
You probably never could imagine the two spoken in the same sentence, yet there’s a connection between the Bambino and the “Field of Dreams” off Lowell Ave in picturesque Cotuit. Fasten your seatbelts for the fascinating story.
Seems back in 1927 the Yankees played an exhibition game at Springfield’s League Park. Ruth played in that game with his favorite bat that had already accounted for 24 home runs that season. At the end of the game, the Bambino somehow left the bat on the field and some young fans scrambled wildly for the famed bat. One emerged with the valuable piece of lumber.
14 year old Arthur D’Ambrosia came up with the bat and lugged it all the way home to his Acushnet Ave address. The next day, the youngster read that Ruth was distraught that he had lost his bat and offered a $25 reward along with a duplicate bat to the individual who would return his favorite bat.
Young D’Ambrosia approached the owner of the Springfield Eastern League team that had hosted the exhibition game and said he really didn’t want the money or other bat. He simply wanted to return Ruth’s bat and watch the Bambino hit more home runs with it. The owner was obviously pleased and quickly sent Babe’s bat to New York and asked Arthur what he wanted in return. The answer was a swim suit which he got along with another one for his younger 7 year old brother.
Now fast forward many, many years and walk around the plaza at Lowell Park that surrounds the home plate area and check out the red bricks with CAA volunteer Hugh D’Ambrosia. You’ll notice a very special brick near the 3rd base stands commemorating that incredible happening from 1927 that made front page headlines in the Springfield newspaper.
Bet Babe Ruth never thought he’d be celebrated at Lowell Park! Quite a story, and one way to be very creative if you’re thinking of purchasing a space in the new Cotuit Brick Project that’s currently underway.
A special Cotuit salute to Sports Illustrated (August 20th issue) and L. Jon Wertheim for the heart warming update on Johnathan Taylor (Cotuit 2010) and Zach Cone (Cotuit 2009-10) and how they’re both doing today.
You might recall Taylor was paralyzed after an outfield collision with his best friend Cone back in March of 2011 while playing for the University of Georgia. Taylor is back on campus in Athens, working toward his degree in consumer economics which he hopes to achieve next May. He’s one of the most popular figures in the Georgia athletic program.
Meanwhile Cone was drafted at the end of the first round by the Texas Rangers and just finished his season with the Hickory Crawdads of the Class A South Atlantic League where he hit .262 in 112 games. One of the classiest things the Rangers organization did was also draft Taylor in the 33rd round saying he deserved to be selected along with his teammate and best friend Cone.
Just how far has Taylor come since that tragic day? J.T. tells Wertheim “We hit each other. We both went down hard. Unfortunately I didn’t get up.” Then he smiles. “But we did hang on to that ball, you know?”
The Deven Marrero watch.
His first season in the minor leagues is now complete. In 64 games the former Kettleers Shortstop and #1 draft pick of the Red Sox hit .268 with the Lowell Spinners in Class A action. Marrero committed 9 errors in the field and stole a team leading 24 bases.
If anyone has any ideas or thoughts about future things you’d like to see in this space, please feel free to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kettleers Korner will be anything and everything that might interest fans, past and present, about the Kettleers. Roy Reiss, who started his career working for Curt Gowdy Broadcasting, was a former sportscaster on Channel 7 and several radio stations in Boston. His son Mike now covers the Patriots for ESPNBoston.com.