The 1927, the New York Yankees had great batters including George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr who had finished his 60th home run season and Lou Gehrig who hit 47 homers. Together, people referred to Ruth and Gehrig as the, “Triphammer Twins of the Yankee circuit.” A week after winning the World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Ruth and Gehrig went on a barnstorming tour to make money in the off-season. Ruth and Gehrig played with local Omaha teams that were finalist for the amateur city champion. Prior to coming to Omaha, Ruth said he had two goals during his visit. “I want that right fence in Rourke Park and then I want to meet the classiest little chick in the world, Babe Ruth the hen.” Ruth and Gehrig’s exhibition game entertained thousands of Omaha citizens.
Babe Ruth previously played an exhibition game with Bob Meusel in Omaha on October 16, 1922. Meusel gained national attention for his strong outfield-throwing arm. They stayed at the Fontanelle Hotel. Ruth played for the Woodman of the World-South Side Merchants; Meusel played for South Siders at Burch Rods’ park. Prior to the game, there was speculation that the New York Yankees were considering trading both of them. Over 4,000 fans watched as Ruth hit a ball a mile in the 9th inning while the Merchants won seven to five. Meusel would go on to be a pivotal member of the 1927 New York Yankees’ team and lead the American League with 33 home runs and 138 runs batted.
On October 16, 1927, Ruth came back to Omaha with teammate Lou Gehrig. Two hours before they took the field at 1:30 pm, Ruth visited the American Milling Company at 29th and B Street to meet Lady Amco of Norfolk, the “Babe Ruth of poultry.” The hen was a contestant in the National Egg Laying Contest sponsored by the American Egg Laying Association running from Nov. 1, 1926 to October 25, 1927. The hen greeted him with, “Cluck, cluck, cluck.” A.R. Landers, her owner, interpreted her greeting as, “The honor is all mine, big fellow.” Ruth ended up getting the 170th egg enclosed in a jeweled box inscribed, “From the Queen of Eggs to the King of Hitters.”
Ruth played for the Omaha Prints and Gehrig for the Brown Park Merchants at League Park at 15th and Vinton. Prior to the championship game, Ruth and Gehrig played an exhibition game with both teams. Over 4,500 fans paid one dollar to attend the game.
The exhibition game lasted nine innings. Both players started on first base and later pitched. Ruth batted two home runs out of his five times up at the plate. Gehrig failed to hit a home run during the game, but got a triple to deep center field. Ruth hit a pitch over the center fence in the fourth inning with no one on bases. Ruth struck Gehrig out in the seventh inning. Ruth struck out future Omaha Mayor Johnny Rosenblatt in the ninth inning. When the game was over, the Prints beat the Brown Parks with a 9-5 victory. The next day, Ruth and Gehrig would do another exhibition game in Des Moines, IA.
Baseball remains important to American. In 1927, the Yankees dominated the American League while the players became superstars. One day in October of that year, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig played an exhibition game and a hen laid her 170th egg. The event sparked the imagination of Omaha’s citizens while paving the path for other games. Today, baseball remains popular with new players in the spotlight. None of them spurs the country’s imagination like Ruth and Gehrig.
[i] “When the Twin Triphammers Entertained Season’s Biggest Ball Crown,” (17 October 1927), Omaha World-Herald, pg. 9.
] United Press, “Ruth Will Meet Namesake: See Champion Hen Today,” (16 October 1927), Seattle Daily Times, pg. 30, https://www.genealogybank.com