The Boys of Summer, Part 2: New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois

The Boys of Summer, Part 2:  New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Illinois

Tom Zachary had a 19-year career in Major League Baseball (MLB), from 1918 to 1936. He played for eight different teams and, with 720 strikeouts and an earned run average (ERA) of 3.73, was considered an exceptional, well-rounded pitcher. On September 30, 1927, however, Zachary’s career culminated in a single eighth-inning pitch during a game between the Washington Senators and the New York Yankees.

George Herman “Babe” Ruth stepped up to bat for the opposing team. The game tied at 2-2 and one out. Ruth had just tied his all-time home run record of 59, set a day prior, six seasons earlier in 1921. This game was the final series of the regular season, and Babe had just two games left to break his record.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum houses an incredible collection of MLB memorabilia, including an expansive exhibit highlighting George Herman “Babe” Ruth’s career.

Zachary, a southpaw pitcher, had walked Ruth in the first inning and gave up two singles to him in the fourth and sixth innings. But here, in the bottom of the eighth, Ruth had his penultimate chance. Zachary sent a pitch hurling. Ruth, in his familiar left-handed stance, swung hard and drove the ball deep down the right field line and into the bleachers.

Motorcycles & Gear

2023 Indian Challenger Limited
2023 Indian Scout Rogue

Helmet: Shoei Neotec II, AGV Sportmodular Carbon
Jacket: Icon 1000 The Hood, REV’IT! Livingstone Jacket
Pants: Tellason Denim Ankara,Worse for Wear Denim
Boots: Danner 8-Inch Quarry Boots, Danner Light Boots
Gloves: Aerostitch Elkskin Roper Gloves, REV’IT! Caliber Gloves
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Comm System: Sena 10C Pro, Sena 10S

The baseball that Ruth walloped into the bleachers was collected by 40-year-old Joe Forner, a truck driver from the Bronx. He took it to Babe after the game in the Yankees clubhouse so he could sign and date it, along with noting that it was his 60th home run. That ball now lives in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY—baseball’s purported birthplace—alongside his Louisville Slugger from the 1927 season. Accompanying them are many other baseball relics that offer visitors an opportunity to travel back in time and experience a moment that might, arguably, have changed the world.

During the 1927 season, Babe Ruth hammered 60 home runs, breaking his own record. One of his bats at the museum bears the 28 notches Ruth carved around the Louisville Slugger logo.

The Hall of Fame doesn’t just commemorate baseball’s greatest. It’s as much a monument to both the game and the people who played it. Kyra, Nathan, and I had come to Cooperstown solely to visit this place, budgeting only a day. Unfortunately, a handful of exhibits alone devoured the entire day, leaving us little time to explore Cooperstown or the surrounding area. We made a pact to return when time would be on our side.