His Dad’s Brush
With the Babe
;;;;;;; ;;, John Sylvester Jr. didn’t
realize his dad was a celebrity. But one
day, when Sylvester Jr. was in third
grade, My Weekly Reader had a story
that featured his father alongside none
other than Babe Ruth, the great baseball hero of the era.
“That’s my dad,” Sylvester Jr. told
The senior Sylvester’s brush with
the Babe occurred in October ;;;;,
when he was ;; years old. A horse had
kicked Sylvester in the head, causing life-threatening complications.
Unsure if the boy would pull through,
his doctors said he needed something
to live for.
Sylvester lived in Essex Fells and
grew up idolizing Ruth. As it happened, Ruth’s Yankees were playing
the St. Louis Cardinals that fall in
the World Series. A newspaperman,
George Buckley, arranged to have each
team sign a baseball for the bedridden
New Jersey boy. Ruth’s note read, “I’ll
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