When we last left the Bam, on 10/26/23, he was being mauled by a crowd of 6,000 young boys in Scranton, PA, while making his way across the great state of Pennsylvania; creeping ever so closer to his supposed meeting with Donald “Dutch” Schneider. Dutch grew up in the Hughesville/Williamsport area of PA, and we’ve already established that Ruth played a game in Williamsport on October, 31 1923. Will we find what we’re looking for? Most likely not, since it’s still inconclusive as to whether we are searching the right year, and location. Ruth was all over Pennsylvania in the 20’s, so if Dutch’s location in 1923 was somewhere other than Williamsport, the location and timing of his supposed game with Ruth would change as well.
In the last entry, we focused on the team that was traveling with Ruth, led by Jack Bentley, and established that they played a game in Baltimore on 10/28/23 without the Babe. Where was Ruth? I mentioned then that I had an idea, and that it didn’t make a ton of sense. Well… here’s what I found to back up that claim:
Ok, so Ruth was in Oil City, PA for a game on October 27th. Why is that strange? Logistics my friend, logistics. If you take a close look at the map below, you will see that there is quite a bit of distance between Scranton and Oil City. You will also see that it seems as though this trip to Oil City was a bit out-of-order, since the Babe had to come quite a ways back east for his next stop in Williamsport, considering there’s only about 50-100 miles between it, and Scranton.
From what I can gather here, the contest that took place on 10/27 was between the local Oil City squad, and the World Series All-Stars. It looks like Ruth did what he does best, and knocked one out of the park to the delight of the home crowd. The article also mentions that he was struck out twice by a local pitcher named Cooke. It’s mentions like these that leave me with some sense of hope that I will find something that definitely proves that Dutch Schneider was not only a ballplayer, but faced and struck out Ruth himself.
That’s Oil City way out there on the left side of the map. I didn’t trace Ruth’s route, since I am still unsure how he exactly made his way out to western PA. As you can see from the map, there are a plethora of paths he could have taken. I’ve actually got an even older map, from 1930, which isn’t near as expansive as this one is. Once it has been updated with what we know so far, I’ll start using it, since the accuracy factor will undoubtedly be higher.
As mentioned earlier, Ruth’s next stop is the one I’ve been waiting for, since it brings him directly onto Donald “Dutch” Schneider’s home turf. You’ll get to hear about that stop eventually, but that’s another chapter, for another day.
This is the sixth of a series of posts documenting my attempts to not only track Babe Ruth’s barnstorming trip of 1923, but to also track down my wife’s great-grandfather, who is believed to have played against him in a game that year. CLICK HERE to read other posts from this series.
Dedicated to Donald G. Schneider, 1933-2011, son of Donald M. “Dutch” Schneider.