knock a homer for you
On the promised
day, Ruth hit not
one, but three hom-
ers, leading the New
Yorkers to victory in the fourth game
of the series. The Yankees eventually
lost the series, but Sylvester came up
a winner. Newspapers reported his
With the series over, Ruth returned
to New York. On his way to Bradley
Beach to play an exhibition game, he
took a detour, making a surprise visit
to the stricken boy.
The story added to the Ruthian leg-
end and made a reluctant celebrity of
young Sylvester. “My father shunned
publicity,” says Sylvester Jr. of the epi-
sode. “He only spoke of it when asked,
but never bragged.”
Sylvester Jr. shared some of the
fame—like that day in third grade when
his classmates read about his dad. “The
next day, I brought the signed baseball
and photos into school,” he recalls.
“When I got home, Dad put it all in his
dresser next to his socks.”
At a ;;;;s game at Yankee Stadium,
Ruth posed with the boy, then suppos-
edly asked the gathered newspapermen,
“Who the hell is Johnny Sylvester?”
When Sylvester graduated from Princ-
eton in ;;;;, he carried a sign that read,
“Who the hell is Babe Ruth?”
Sylvester Jr., now ;;, says the two
men reconnected when the Babe was
dying. “My father visited him. We’re
lifelong Yankee fans.” Ruth died of
cancer in ;;;;; Sylvester died in ;;;;.
The Ruth/Sylvester tale has been
depicted numerous times on film,
most recently in I’ll Knock a Homer
for You, a ;;;; documentary by Andrew Lilley.
● GARDEN STATEMENT
“I love New Jersey.
Since coming here, I’ve
changed my view of the
—Syria-born Jumana Jaber, a teacher at
Montclair State University, page 35
Stadium in 1928
his head injury.
It’s time to make your bath
Additional Locations: Ridgefield | Union | Middletown | Dover | Tenafly
An impressive collection of fixtures, faucets and cabinetry.