Barnstorming Baseballers play ball to benefit Mercy Hospital

Michael Bushnell
Publisher


While there might not be live baseball due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we here at the House of News are continuing our series of historic postcards dedicated to baseball parks and games that made history.


George Herman “Babe” Ruth and “Larrapin” Lou Gehrig played in a barnstorming game on Oct. 15, 1927, at Muehlebach Field, Kansas City, Missouri, to benefit Mercy Hospital.


The promotional card shows both Gehrig and Ruth donating a new electric refrigerator with a “monitor top” to officials at Mercy Hospital.


After the Yankees’ 1926 World Series win over the Cardinals, Ruth and Gehrig traveled as “Bustin Babes” and “Larrapin Lou’s” in a national “Home Run Tour” that awarded the Christy Walsh trophy cup to Babe Ruth as the slugger who hit the most home runs at the end of the barnstorming tour.

The result was not unexpected as Ruth belted a major league record 60 home runs during the 1927 season.


The site where this game was played is also of historic interest. Built as Muehlebach Field in 1923 and named after the owner of the Kansas City Blues of the American Association, the field also hosted the Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues from 1923 to 1954 before being razed and rebuilt prior to the 1955 season hosting the Kansas City Athletics.


Mercy Hospital at the time was at 1750 Independence Avenue, the present day home of Kansas City University, an Osteopathic medical college.
In 2016, the school celebrated

its centennial with the publishing of the commemorative book “A Century of Triumphs.”


As part of the research for that work, the book’s author Jeff Barnes and Northeast News publisher Michael Bushnell went looking for the location where this photo was taken back in 1927.


A small alcove near the southwest corner of the building is where this photo was taken.

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