There was corruption in Washington, and elsewhere. The crooks were making a fortune in sugar speculation; it was all over the papers. "Harding," Grandpa said, dripping contempt. And his generation thought General Grant was unfit for the White House.
"You boys should keep up with these things, too," he admonished. "Don't just read the damn box scores."
Hey Kids, Hop Right In
It was 1 p.m., two hours from the first pitch, and the scene around the stadium was like nothing anyone had ever seen. The ticket booths and windows, with their stash of 50,000 precious passes, opened and the line surged forward.
"OK, folks, plenty for everybody. Stop pushing," Officer O'Leary said.
They should have sold more tickets beforehand, some of the people were murmuring.
"Send a letter to Ruppert, my friend," the policeman said. "For now, stop pushing. You'll get one."
Back at the Ansonia, the Big Man had dressed, put on his raccoon coat and stuck his head out the door.
"Cold," he said to himself. "Not a good day to hit one. Bat's going to feel like bumblebees."
The shiny Pierce-Arrow, with the letters GHR painted on the fender, was already waiting. Another of New York's finest approached.
"Mr. Ruth, it's crazy in the Bronx. Mr. Ruppert called, thinks we should lead you there."
"OK, boys. Let's go."
Then Ruth turned and spotted a couple of young kids on the sidewalk, noting the holes in the knees of their trousers as they approached sheepishly.
"I suppose you want me to sign those?" Ruth said, pointing to the brownish baseballs in their hands. They nodded.
The police outside the Ansonia had seen this many times. They had a pen ready, and Ruth signed. "Thank you, Mr. Ruth," the kids said in unison.
Then Ruth brightened. "Hey, you boys want to come out to the game?"
"Do we?" they screamed.
"Hop in," Ruth said. "Just make sure the seat of your pants is clean."
Ruth's car started up, the policemen hopped onto their cycles and into the sidecars, and the race began.
"We're taking you up the East Side, along the Harlem River," they said.
Yankee Stadium ■ The Final Season