Long Island's Hidden Past: Cuban Giants of Babylon

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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.

Hear more about the Cuban Giants and Babylon baseball in a companion podcast for the News 12 Talks Long Island podcast:

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.

MORE INFO ON THIS MONTH'S SEGMENT:
Suffolk Sports Hall of Fame
Town of Babylon Historic Services

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