What has become a great Detroit winter tradition continues as the 32nd annual Babe Ruth Birthday Bash hosted by Tom Derry will take place at Nemo’s Bar in Corktown on Saturday February 2nd from 7:14 PM (get it) to 2 AM.
Nemo’s will be decked out in Babe Ruth photographs, famous quotations, and other memorabilia. In honor of the Babe, the beer will flow and there will be plenty of free hot dogs, peanuts, Cracker Jack, Baby Ruth candy bars, and a birthday cake. (no cover charge) If Babe was there, (certainly his spirit will be) he would have to blow out 124 candles.
In addition, Frank Rashid, Mike Betzold, and John Davids, three of the five co-authors of Tiger Stadium: Essays and Memories of Detroit’s Historic Ballpark, 1912-2009 (McFarland, 2018) will be on hand to sell and sign their book.
Two of the Babe’s most famous home runs were hit at Navin Field at Michigan and Trumbull. On June 8, 1926 he hit what is believed to be the longest home run-in major-league history, officially measured at 626 feet and in his final season with the Yankees, Ruth hit his 700th career home run off of Tommy Bridges on July 13, 1934.
“Babe Ruth loved Detroit and he always had a great time when he came to town,” says Tom Derry, the host of the party and a Ruth aficionado. “He enjoyed fishing in the area, frequented many of the local bars, and had many good friends here including Hall of Fame slugger Harry Heilmann.”
It is well documented that Ruth and Tiger legend Ty Cobb were fierce rivals on the baseball diamond yet they admired each other and even became friends in later years.
“When Ruth was stricken with cancer Cobb wrote letters to his friend, and tried to cheer him up,” says Derry. Ruth died on August 16, 1948 at just 53.
If you want to read more about the legacy of the “Sultan of Swat” and his important place in American history and culture I highly recommend the fascinating new book, The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created. (Harper, 2018.)
Renowned baseball writer Bill James wrote, “Jane Leavy writing a book about Babe Ruth is the biggest thing that has happened to me since Santa Claus visited my classroom in the send grade.”
Nemo’s Bar, once ranked the #3 sports bar in America by Sports Illustrated is located at 1384 Michigan Avenue, just a block east of the Tiger Stadium site.
Visit the Babe Ruth party Facebook page for more details.