1935 Police Beat: Babe Ruth Hits Pedestrian on Seaman Avenue

Babe Ruth poses with a 1926 Nash.
Babe Ruth poses with a 1926 Nash.

On a summer evening in 1935 Julia Straus, a fifty-eight year old resident of 72 Seaman Avenue, had a run in with the most famous athlete in baseball—Babe Ruth.

Intersection of Seaman and Cumming, Inwood, NYC.
Intersection of Seaman and Cumming, Inwood, NYC.

As it happened, Ruth was driving southbound on Seaman Avenue when Straus walked into the path of his car near the intersection of Seaman Avenue and Cumming Street.

Babe Ruth in Seaman Avenue accident, New York Times, August 7, 1935.
Babe Ruth in Seaman Avenue accident, New York Times, August 7, 1935.

The ballplayer quickly loaded Straus into his automobile and drove her to the nearby Jewish Memorial Hospital for treatment.  While inside the hospital Ruth telephoned police to report the accident.

Straus suffered a possible brain concussion and a bruised right leg.

The police said that Ruth had been driving with the green light and had had no chance to stop,” reported the Times.  “They placed the responsibility for the accident on Mrs. Straus and took no action against the baseball player.”  (New York Times, August 7, 1935)

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  1. Sounds as if he were driving south down Seaman Ave in order to get onto Riverside Drive heading south.The Babe and wife Claire had an apartment at 173 Riverside Drive, south of W 90th St.

  2. As a former resident of Cumming(s) St. (1943-1970) I found the Babe Ruth auto accident very interesting.
    I also noted the two spellings of Cumming St. The newspaper article spelled it Cummings, and the street sign indicated Cumming. When I lived on the block, the street sign at one end of the block said Cummings and the street sign at the other end said Cumming. It was a very small block, with three apartment houses on the North side and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and some commercial property on the South Side.

  3. I read the article in which the incident took place in 1935 and started wondering, which JMH did he take her to? The ‘original’ one on Dyckman Street btw the Hudson River and Staff St, or the one Broadway and 196th St.?
    This article from The NY Times dated August 18, 1983 appears to say the JMH on Broadway was built in 1936, so he might have taken her to the one by the river….


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