The Babe’s Homer
A few years before he died, My maternal grandfather, Sid Plott, told me this story.
I always think about it during the World Series.
I’ll tell it in his own words:
I was a young man in Kansas City, the city where I was born. It was the 1928 World Series between the Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals.
My father and I gathered at the local Western Union office to listen to the live reports. A large crowd was gathered outside the office, listening intently as an employee called out each event in the game.
The reports were coming in by telegraph on Morse Code. The announcer took the telegrapher’s handwritten translation and announced each out, hit, or event. My father, O.S. Plott Sr, was a telegrapher with the Kansas City Railroad and used Morse Code daily.
At an exciting point in the game, the Yankees had a rally. Babe Ruth, the most famous Yankee of all time, came to the plate.
The crowd outside waited breathlessly for the next announcement.
In the background, the telegraph clattered.
My father leaned close and whispered, “Babe Ruth just hit a home run.”
About thirty seconds later, the announced called out, “Babe Ruth just hit a home run to clear the bases.”
The crowd exploded in cheers.
My father just looked at me and winked.
It was a special moment between my father and me.
Last night, I sat with two of my sons and six of my grandchildren watching Game 6 of the 2016 World Series.
There was no telegraph or delayed announcement.
But that special father/son/grandchild bond was in the room.
A reminder that many things can connect a family.
In my family, baseball has always been a major connection.
Thanks, Grandpa Sid for passing it on.
Many folks may not know it but my full name is Sidney Curt Iles.
I’m named after the two men in the above story: O.S. Plott Sr. and his son, O.S. “Sid” Plott, Jr.
I have a granddaughter with the same name, Sydney Kaye Iles.