York Town Square

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Babe Ruth signed what became ‘that dirty baseball’: Linked in to York County, Pa., history, 4/17/13

Maxine Swann/Lafayette painting/Civil War identity tag

Babe Ruth played a sandlot game on or about this spot. York countian Mike Jacoby is a veteran observer of maps, and he pinpointed a diamond on this spot in an old photograph. He found that Eagle’s Park sat at about the location of these PennDOT sheds on North George Street, the road to Emigsville. Home plate, where the Babe took his turn at bat, is now covered by Interstate 83. The outfield was in this area. The late columnist, Jim Hubley, wrote about meeting the Babe in his 1928 visit, where he signed the youngster’s ball with an ink pen. ‘I tried to cover it from the rain but the ink ran off and Babe left before I could get a second. Without the autograph the ball didn’t mean much, so I used it until it was scuffed, dirtied and battered beyond use. Oft times during the past half century the lady who does my housekeeping has tried to dispose of “that dirty baseball.”‘ By now she has become resigned to the fact she would have to go first.” Read more about Jim Hubley’s reflections on that day: Babe Ruth, indeed, played in York in 1928.

Stuff from all over … .

I am in Boston, working with a team of journalists from our company, Digital First Media, on the Boston Marathon explosions.

So I’m not able to keep up my normal blogging schedule or answer history queries or comments immediately.

I’ll be back … .

Neat stuff from all over … .

The Lafayette painting hangs several years ago in the club that took his name.

That painting of the Marquis de Lafayette that hung in the Lafayette Club for decades?

Someone bought the painting at private auction for $1,400 and will sell to the York County Heritage Trust for $1,300, according to a ydr.com story about the auction and a subsequent public sale.

“We are trying raise the $1,300,” Heritage Trust CEO Joan Mummert said. “In the past, museums were the recipient of people’s goodwill. Today, people aren’t as likely to do that. They are more interested in selling rather than donating.”

Mummert said the person who bought the painting did so knowing that the trust would need to raise money to buy it, Mummert said.

The ydr.com story also told about Shawn Stine, the club’s most current vice president, buying his wife a letter for $23. The letter explained the club’s connection with the RMS Titanic.

Here’s the background on that: In 1912, the club bought what became known as the Lafayette Club building.

That sale was postponed when the deed was lost in the 1912 sinking of the Titanic.

Identity ring: A neat thing about the Civil War 150 is all the new stories that will come out. Here’s one about an identity tag, a type of dog tag.

Maxine Swann: Noted writer Maxine Swann grew up on a farm near Stewartstown. A question-and-answer story with Swann appears on Books Buzz.