Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Daily Conlon: #169 Babe Herman - Catch a Baseball from a Plane

Here is todays Daily Conlon card numbered #169 featuring former Dodger Babe Herman. He tells of a story concerning long-time Dodger manager Wilbert Robinson- affectionately known as Uncle Robbie.

Apparently, in 1915 at Brooklyn's Spring Training camp in Daytona Beach, Uncle Robbie offered to catch a Baseball falling from a plane. Little did he know that something else would occur. From the SABR Biography Project:
A female aviator, Ruth Law, was making daily flights in the area, dropping golf balls as a publicity gimmick for a local golf course, and eventually the talk in camp turned to the idea of catching a baseball dropped from the plane. Though none of his players was brave enough to try, Robinson, three months shy of his 53rd birthday, agreed to accept the challenge. On the big day, Law forgot the baseball back in her hotel room so she substituted a grapefruit from the lunch of one of her ground crew at the last minute. The grapefruit landed in Robinson's mitt and exploded, knocking him down and drenching him in warm juice. Thinking he was covered in his own blood, Robbie called for help. The players rushed over and began laughing uproariously when they realized what had happened. Robinson always suspected that Casey Stengel or trainer Fred Kelly had played a prank on him, and Casey later claimed that he had been the one to drop the grapefruit, but Law herself told the true story in a 1957 interview.
I would have loved to see Tommy do this.

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