Saturday, July 28, 2012

Yankee Stadium remains dumped at Hazleton site

Site Location / Description

The Hazelton Reclamation site is a 277 acre property located within the City of Hazleton, Luzerne County Pennsylvania.  The location is in northeast Pennsylvania directly off Interstate 81 and bounded by Routes 924 Route 309 and Broad Street. (Click for map)
          The site is an abandoned mine site that has been severely impacted by past deep and surface mining practices containing 277 acres of un-reclaimed abandoned mine pits and spoil piles.  Portions of the site (approximately 50 acres) were subsequently used for disposal of municipal and industrial waste in several mine pits.
          The site is a brownfield site and is a designated Special Industrial Area under the PA Act 2 and has been designated a Brownfield Action Team site (BAT) by the Governor of Pennsylvania giving the site priority attention for remediation.  HCP is authorized to conduct the site reclamation /  remediation using the residual materials approved under WMGR085, WMGRO96, WMGR097, and WMGR125.
          The Hazleton Reclamation Project site has the capacity to accept over 10 million cubic yards of residual materials to complete the site reclamation.
          In order for HCP to determine whether your material is acceptable for beneficial use at the Hazleton Reclamation Project site, please complete the attached forms and provide HCP with the necessary information regarding the nature of the residual material, generation site, generator and due diligence performed.
For More Information on the Site or to discuss contractual terms, please contact our Hazleton Creek Properties offices.

Yankee Stadium remains dumped at Hazleton site
Published: April 13, 2011
Here lies Yankee Stadium.
The final resting place of the New York Yankees' original ballpark is in Hazleton where an abandoned mine site is being reclaimed with material that includes construction debris.
The original Yankee Stadium was demolished last year when construction of the new stadium was complete.
The demolished remains of the historic stadium were hauled from the Bronx to Hazleton Creek Properties' demolition debris disposal site on Hazleton's southwest side.
Hazleton Creek Properties LLC and the Mark Development company are working to re-claim 277 acres of abandoned mine pits and spoil on a swath of land located between state Routes 924 and 309. Future plans for the land include construction of an amphitheater and retail shops.
With permits from the state Department of Environmental Protection, the Hazleton Creek group is using various types of approved fill to close the mine pits.
Hazleton Director of Public Works John Ackerman said this week that when demolition of the historic stadium was complete, the mountain of rubble and concrete that was once Yankee Stadium was hauled to the Hazleton Creek site for burial.
Ackerman and members of the city's Redevelopment Authority toured the Hazleton Creek site last summer when the remains of Yankee Stadium arrived.
"It was just a pile of broken concrete," Ackerman said.
The rubble was used to fill a mine pit and is now about 30 feet underground, Ackerman said.
In its heyday, the old Yankee Stadium was known as "The House That Ruth Built," in honor of Babe Ruth, whose legendary baseball career coincided with the stadium's grand opening in 1923 and the beginning of the Yankees' winning history.
Coincidentally, the Yankee Stadium burial ground in Hazleton is just a stone's throw away from the site of the old Cranberry Ballpark in Hazle Township where Babe Ruth once played ball.
Cranberry Ballpark was located on a parcel now called Cranberry Creek Gateway, a 366-acre tract between Interstate 81 and Route 924 near West Hazleton.
Greater Hazleton's economic development agency, CAN DO, purchased the Cranberry Creek land in 2006 as part of a partnership with the Greater Hazleton Chamber of Commerce to attract development of commercial, retail, residential and recreation options on the land.
In 1922, the Cranberry Creek site was home to the Hazleton Mountaineers, a New York-Pennsylvania League (eventually known as the Eastern League) Class B baseball team. The ballpark held 5,000 spectators.
On Oct. 22, 1923, Babe Ruth played at the stadium. The Bambino slammed one out of the ballpark during practice, but went hitless during the game, which ended early so Ruth could sign autographs.
According to a New York Times story dated Oct. 23, 1923, the coal mines and public schools in the region closed for the afternoon on the day Babe Ruth came to Cranberry Ballpark to play.
"Mine workers left their posts in such numbers that work had to be suspended," the story said.
According to the report, Babe went hitless against a man named Mondero, a mine worker of Coleraine, who pitched for the Hazleton team.
"He struck the home run king out twice," the story said.
The Hazleton Mountaineers played as a team until 1936 when they became the Hazleton Red Sox, an affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. They played as the Red Sox from 1927 to 1938. The ballpark's illustrious history came to a close in 1965 when it was demolished to make way for state Route 924.
In the Bronx, Yankee Stadium was the Yankees' home park from 1923 to 1973. It closed for renovations in 1974 and 1975 and re-opened in 1976. It continued as the Yankees' home until 2008 when construction of a new stadium on public park land adjacent to the original stadium was complete.
The original Yankee Stadium hosted a variety of historic events over the years, including World Series games, no-hitters, perfect games and historic home runs. The stadium also hosted boxing matches, concerts and three Papal Masses.
Demolition of the original Yankee Stadium was complete on May 13, 2010. A few months later, its remains were buried under Hazleton's mine-scarred land.
While work continues to fill the mine pits and re-claim the land, Ackerman said trespassing on the site is prohibited.
"It's an active mine reclamation site. It's posted no trespassing and it's patrolled by security," Ackerman said.
William Rinaldi, president of Hazleton Creek Properties, declined to comment.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Babe Ruth Documentary - "Universal Babe"

Byron Hunter and Linda Ruth Tosetti, the co-producers of Universal Babe, invite you to support the production of their one-hour documentary that will capture the fervor by which George Herman "Babe" Ruth embraced and was adored by cultures around the world. Did you know:
  • Babe Ruth played in “barnstorming” games against Negro League players?
  • Babe Ruth traveled to Japan in 1934 with the “Babe Ruth All-Stars” and introduced the game of baseball?
  • Babe Ruth was one of about 50 German-Americans in 1942 that took out full-page print advertisements in the New York Times and other major newspapers denouncing the Nazis' massacres of the Jews?
Universal Babe is scheduled for release this fall.
A limited number of Babe Ruth fans will have the special opportunity to help make this documentary project possible and receive very special gifts in recognition to their support. Check out the link below for details of the film and the special items available:
Thank you!!
Ruthian regards,
Linda Ruth Tosetti

Remembering Jake Ruppert - by Harvey Frommer

Remembering Jake Ruppert:
           the Man Who Built the Yankee Empire

By Harvey Frommer
The Yankees roll on, top of the heap, more stars, more world championships, more hype and hoopla. They are New York. They are big time baseball.
Lest we forget, the roots go all the way back to the son and grandson of Bavarian beer tycoons who founded the Ruppert Breweries. Heir to the family millions, young Jacob Ruppert was born on August 5, 1867. He lived with his family in a commodious and luxurious Manhattan Fifth Avenue apartment. He attended the prestigious Columbia Grammar School. Although he was accepted to the School of Mines of Columbia University, his father insisted he become  part of the brewery business.
      By the
turn of the century, the Rupperts in a time before income tax, were reaping huge profits and had become fabulously wealthy.  The Ruppert Brewery, one of the most modern beer producing plants in the world, was a complex of thirty-five fortress-like red brick buildings located from East 90th to East 94th Street between Second and Third Avenues in the Yorkville section of Manhattan's upper East side.
The brewery chimneys spewed smoke carrying the sulfurous smell of malt from the boiling vats into the air. On windy days the smell was especially foul and noxious. Maids in the area even in the summertime, closed windows, pulled down drapes, did what they could to keep the stench out of their employer’s dwellings.
     At 19, Jacob Ruppert began work at the brewery - - washing barrels.  Four years later he was general manager. At 29, he was president of the Jacob Ruppert Brewing Company succeeding his father who had retired.  Under the young Ruppert’s direction, the brewery increased its 1893 output of 350,000 barrels to 1,300,000 barrels just prior to prohibition. In his tenure Ruppert would create and head a gigantic and modern plant for 62 years -  home to the finest brewery in the world. At one point, valued at over $30 million, the Ruppert brand (“Make Mine Ruppert”)  employed more than a thousand workers and was an integral component of the entire New York economy.
A vast fortune and Tammany Hall connections eased Ruppert into a congressional seat. He was elected as a Democrat in a normally Republican district. The ambitious Ruppert served as a four-time member of the House of Representatives from 1899 to 1907  representing the "Silk Stocking" district of Manhattan.
After the death of his father in 1915, Ruppert continued to live with his mother in the family's red brick Victorian house at 1115 Fifth Avenue on "Millionaire's Row" along Central Park. When his mother died in 1924, Ruppert stayed on in the family mansion for another year. He then sold to a developer and moved across the street into a 12-room apartment in a 15-story luxury building at 1120 Fifth Avenue. His apartment faced Fifth Avenue and looked out onto the Central Park Reservoir directly across the street.  Five full-time servants catered to every whim of the Teutonic, punctilious millionaire. Throughout his life, Ruppert lived within easy walking distance of his brewery.
He was appointed an honorary Colonel in the New York State 7th National Guard Regiment, and it pleased him very much when people used "Colonel" in addressing him.
         A heavily invested real estate toomler as well as the head of the most powerful brewery in the world, “Colonel” Ruppert’s wealth kept increasing making him one of the world’s richest men with an estimated fortune of nearly $50-million.
Called “Congressman” by some, “Colonel” by most, "Jake," by his closest friends, Ruppert had the world on a string. A confirmed bachelor, he always had one beautiful woman, sometimes two, on his arm. But his true love had always been baseball. He was always a rabid fan.     
Back in 1880 when he was just 13, Jacob Ruppert owned,  managed, captained and played second base for a local Manhattan baseball club. The snobbish, some would say cruel, rich boy, insisted that his players clean the cages of his private menagerie before he would bring his bat and ball down to the vacant lot where the team played.  Making it perfectly clear to all that he could not abide losing, Ruppert also made it very uncomfortable for any of his players who struck out – he fired them. The highly privileged youngster was a passionate rooter for the New York Giants. As a teenager he tried out but could not make the club. No matter, he would accomplish much more in baseball than that.
North of the city at his large estate in Garrison, New York, Ruppert kept  St. Bernards and Boston terriers. He owned a dozen varieties of doves, two dozen varieties of monkey. He had a collection of Percherons, the large horses that had pulled the big beer trucks. He was a collector of trotting horses and thoroughbred race horses, yachts, Chinese porcelains, jades. His country place was a repository of one of the largest personal art galleries and libraries in the United States.
His office was devoid of curtains. Close by his desk were marble pedestals, a goldfish aquarium, two bronzes of American Indian collectibles.
Ruppert’s shoes were made to order. Changing his clothes several times a day, he dressed in the latest and most expensive fashions and was attended to by a valet.       He traveled in style with his secretary Al Brennan in his own private railroad car. It was known that the “Colonel” enjoyed the comforts of his own drawing room and sleeping in a silk brocade nightshirt.
 Always interested in baseball, always acquiring, Ruppert was very much interested in purchasing the New York Giants but was told by manager John J. McGraw that they were not for sale but that the sad sack New York Yankees might be.
"It was an orphan club," Ruppert said, "without a home of its own, without players of outstanding ability, without prestige." It was a team whose average annual attendance was 345,000, and dozen year record was a mediocre 861 wins and 937 defeats. But Jake Ruppert, the man they would later call "Master Builder in Baseball," would change all that.
On January 11, 1915, Jake Ruppert teamed with a real Colonel, Tillinghast L'Hommedieu Huston, and purchased the Yankees of New York for $460,000 from the original owners  - -professional gambler Frank Farrell and ex-police commissioner William S. Devery. Huston impressed everyone by peeling off 230 thousand dollar bills – his share of the purchase price.   
Players and sportswriters referred to Hutson as "Cap." There were others who called him "the Man in the Iron Hat" because of the derby hat, generally crumpled, that he wore. The hat matched his suits, always crumpled and rumpled.
The Farrell-Devery duo had milked and mismanaged the franchise for years. So owning the Yankees, who had a 12 year record of 861-937 and average attendance of 345,000 a season, would be a challenge for the new owners.
Ruppert and Huston, however, were up to the challenge. They had  deep pockets and a great deal of  business acumen.  Huston was a successful entrepreneur engineer, a rich contractor.  Ruppert always knew his way around a buck. 
 All kinds of intrigue surrounded the purchase of the Yankees involving Tammany Hall wheeler dealers, other owners, and the American League President. All of them were very anxious to put in place new Yankee ownership and a successful franchise in New York City. To close the deal, American League owners and the League kicked in the rest of the half million dollars that Farrell and Devery insisted on before they would sell out.
"I never saw such a mixed up business in my life,” Ruppert complained right off the bat. “Contracts, liabilities, notes, obligations of all sorts. There were times when it looked so bad no man would want to put a penny into it. It is an orphan ball club without a home of its own, without players of outstanding ability, without prestige."
All of that would change. The “Prince of Beer” wanted to re-name the Yankees to “Knickerbockers” after his best-selling beer, but the marketing ploy failed. Besides, it was said, the name was too long for newspaper headlines. Years later it would be short enough for basketball’s New York Knickerbockers.
          Ruppert pressed on. As a beer baron, he was hands on for every aspect of his business. That same behavior pattern existed for him with the Yankees.  He knew them all and was always up to date on their capabilities, shortcomings, foibles and performances.
         In his early ownership years Ruppert lost almost as much money as was paid to purchase the Yankees. But on the field there was some progress.  The team finished fifth in 1915, fourth in 1916,  their first time out of the second division since 1910.
The Yankee owner rarely hung out with "with the boys," Rud Rennie wrote in the New York Herald-Tribune. "For the most part, he was aloof and brusque.... He never used profanity. 'By gad' was his only expletive."
       A fixture at his Stadium, which he insisted on keeping so fanatically clean that sometimes he even swept it himself, Ruppert had a private box  to which he invited the celebrities of the day. He was not an owner, though, who came to the park to be seen. His interest was in seeing his tea, excel.
The Colonel’s idea of a wonderful day at the ball park was any time the Yankees scored 11 runs in the first inning, and then slowly pulled away. The Colonel was fond of saying, “There is no charity in baseball, I want to win every year.” 
“Close games make me nervous.” he said. “A great day is when the Yankees score a lot of runs early and then just pull away.”
He created the “Ruppert effect.” Those who worked for him at the brewer on the ball club knew he was around and about and very interested in all that was going on.
Members of his team received first class treatment. For the Yankees this showed itself in the sleeping accommodations he arranged on trains. Most other teams had players, dependent on seniority, given berths, upper or lower. The players on the New York Yankees all slept in upper births
        While the Yankees were high flying, Ruppert’s other business – his brewery was hurting.     Prohibition cut his brewery's annual production of 1.25 million barrels of real beer to 350,000 barrels of half-percent near-beer that nobody wanted to drink. In effect, the brewery treaded water  producing, bottling and selling "near beer".

                                 BABE RUTH

In a move that would change the course of Yankee and Red Sox history, indeed, baseball history, Jake Ruppert on January 3, 1920 purchased George Herman “Babe” Ruth, 25, from Boston. The deal was a very smart business move – the young Ruth had talent and would become one of the greatest drawing cards in baseball history.  In his first season as a Yankee , he blasted 54 homers.
        Ruth bragged “They’re coming out to see me in droves.” From 1920 to 1922, the Yankees with G.H. Ruth on board drew more three million fans into the Polo Grounds. Never had the New York Giants drawn a million fans in a season.
The Colonel was the only one to conduct salary negotiations with the “Sultan of Swat.”Ruth was a valuable commodity and the Yankee owner treated him as such. The pair disagreed at times privately and publicly about contracts; nevertheless, Ruppert and Ruth were personal friends.        Frugal to a fault, Colonel gave orders that the Yankee front office should always keep an eye out for any out of line Ruthian expenses. Thus, a $3.80 train ticket for Mrs. Ruth and a $30 "uniform deposit" were not honored extracted for the greatest single gate attraction of all time.
            Angered and annoyed at the gate success of Babe Ruth & Company, the Giants told the Yankees to look around for other baseball lodgings. 
The Yankees had been playing in the shadow of the Giants at the Polo Grounds since 1913, tenants of the National League team.  It was a very unsatisfactory arrangement; now with the Yankees outdrawing the Giants in their in their own ballpark, it was an embarrassment.         
The forward looking Ruppert and Hutson suggested the Polo Grounds be demolished and replaced by a 100,000 seat stadium to be used by both teams and for other sporting events. The Giants were not interested. So the search was on to create a new ballpark, not just a new ballpark but the  greatest and grandest edifice of its time, one shaped along the lines of the Roman Coliseum. The Colonel dreamed big dreams and had the power and money to back them up.
Babe Ruth became a Yankee through the dream and efforts of the Colonel.   Yankee Stadium was really “the house that Jake Ruppert built.”  And all credit goes to Ruppert as the man who truly built the Yankee empire.