By Scoop Malinowski
Status: Baseball Hall of Famer. (Note: Special thanks to Mrs. Linda Ruth Tosetti for making this perspective on her grandfather possible.)
DOB: February 6, 1895 in Baltimore, MD
Passed Away: August 16, 1948
Childhood Hero: “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.
Nicknames: The Colossus of Clout, The Sultan of Swat, The Wham of Bam, Caveman, Tarzan, The Goliath, Mauler, Gidge – from Lou Gehrig’s family.
Hobbies/Interests: Anything sports affiliated, bowler, scratch golfer, billiards – he could clear a table. Listening to ‘The Shadow’ and ‘The Lone Ranger’ radio programs while smoking a White Owl cigar.
Funny Career Memory: In the 30’s, the Yankees were invited overseas to Asia. They were the guests of an emperor and they’re all sitting around the table, quite full after a wonderful dinner. And Babe said, That was the most delicious meal I ever had. And the emperor said, through his translator, I’m glad you liked it. We had a prized chow dog killed in honor of the Yankees. And with that, the Yankees sort of grabbed their throats and stood up. And Babe said, That was so good, I’ll have another piece!
Most Treasured Possession: His silver crown that the Yankees made for him. For when he won the batting title in 1924. It was a foot-and-a-half tall. When he died, he donated it to the Hall of Fame. My mother said he had a lot of fun with it, wearing it for pictures.
Greatest Sports Moment: Probably hitting his 60th home run in 1927. He beat his own record. In private, maybe it was getting the 12-point deer he had mounted.
Most Painful Moment: When the Yankees didn’t make him manager. He knew the game so well. He really wanted to be a manager with the Yankees. I guess his saddest moment was not getting the chance to manage.
Favorite Food: Actually, believe it or not, it was hot dogs (with mustard).
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: Wheaties. They gave him a year supply.
Early Baseball Memory: My mother told me, the first time he had his first paycheck in Boston (age 19), he bought himself a pedal bike. He always wanted a bike.
Musical Tastes: Peter DeRose.
Favorite Athletes: Jack Dempsey – he really liked Jack a lot. They used to spar. Lou Gehrig – best buddies. Bobby Jones. Lefty Gomez.
Favorite Vacation Spot: Greenwood Lake, NY. He went around the world. But he went there the most. He had a boat there.
(Artwork by Stephen Burkett.)