Baby born at San Diego’s Petco Park the second coming of “Prince?”
Earlier this week there was a child born at San Diego’s Petco Park, the first to have come into the world at the Padres’ home stadium.
Surely this is not the first kid to be born at a stadium, but there was once a baseball player/entertainer who claimed to have been born in the same exact spot where “The House That Ruth Built” once stood in New York.
The man on this 1939 Play Ball card is Al Schacht, a former pitcher/coach/entertainer who thrilled crowds during the early part of the 1900s. And as it would have it, the rear of this card furthers Schacht’s claim to have been born where the original Yankee Stadium stood.
Schacht was born in 1892, some 30 years before the original Yankee Stadium — which was demolished in 2010 — was erected at present day West 161st Street and River Avenue.
Schacht spent much of his life in baseball, although he actually only played in the Majors for a handful of years with the Washington Senators. He’s better remembered as the “Crown Prince of Baseball,” due to his comedic acts on the field as a third base coach — nonsense that flew during the period but would have no place on the game today.
The child born this week in San Diego reportedly is a boy named Levi, who arrived just outside the gates of Petco Park during the fourth inning of a contest between the Padres and division rival San Francisco Giants.
In this piece at “The National Pastime” Schacht is documented as not only having been born where Yankee Stadium stood, but also notes that Schacht spent his youth sneaking into the Polo Grounds to hang out with players, particularly one Christy Mathewson. Mathewson of course pitched for the New York Giants, the team that ultimately would move to San Francisco, the same franchise that played in San Diego this week when baby Levi was born.
Perhaps baby Levi is the second coming of Schacht and he was “sneaking” into Petco to see the Madison Bumgarner, the team’s modern day ace who just happened to be starting that game.
(Side note: The NEW YORK Giants played the WASHINGTON Redskins on this night as well in a Thursday Night Football contest.)
Or maybe it’s just a coincidence.
Regardless, it’s a fun narrative to consider. After all, this is baseball. Romanticism is part of the lore of the American Pastime.