Long Island's Hidden Past: Cuban Giants of Babylon
Baseball and the Town of Babylon have always been a winning combination.
It's the summer of 1885, the head waiter of the Argyle Hotel in Babylon came up with the idea of putting together a baseball team made up of waiters to entertain guests. The Cuban Giants were an overnight success.
"They were neither Cuban nor Giants," says town historian Mary Cascone.
There's a story about how they pretended to be Cubans and that they would even speak gibberish to one another on the field.
James Barton, a famous entertainer who loved the game, decided that if he built it in West Babylon they would come.
"He decides to build a stadium that would include night games," says Cascone. "It was the first night game played in Suffolk County.
But the best Town of Babylon baseball story involves a big time, big name on Oct. 18, 1930.
Babe Ruth, who loved Lindenhurst for the fishing and easy access to booze during prohibition, agreed to play a game with his teammates, including Lou Gehrig against the local Babylon team.
It is estimated that 3,000 people watched.