WNY historian Patrick Cullen interviewed Babe Ruth's granddaughter, Linda Ruth Tosetti, about the wealth of local history and memorabilia relating to Ruth's impact in West New York. Photo by Patrick Cullen
WNY historian Patrick Cullen interviewed Babe Ruth's granddaughter, Linda Ruth Tosetti, about the wealth of local history and memorabilia relating to Ruth's impact in West New York. Photo by Patrick Cullen

Babe Ruth’s granddaughter talks up West New York connections

West New York Town Historian Patrick Cullen recently met with Linda Ruth Tosetti, baseball legend Babe Ruth’s youngest granddaughter. The two met when she spoke at the opening reception of an art exhibit called “Spring Training: People, Places, Play,” in Princeton, thanks to a tip Cullen received from one of his sources during his time writing “1780 Battle of the Block House in North Bergen, New Jersey.’”

Linda’s mother, Dorothy Ruth Pirone, was raised by Babe and his first wife, Helen, who died in a fire in 1929.

“Linda, 64, never knew her grandfather,” Cullen said. “She has spent most of her life researching his life, most of it with her husband, Andrew.”

Cullen said that Ruth Tosetti has spent decades speaking to many groups about her grandfather, and has appeared in official ceremonies at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Fenway Park, where her grandfather played for Boston.

“Linda was equally proud of her grandfather’s off-the-field humanitarianism,” Cullen said. “While she is the first to point out that he was human and had his faults, she spoke of his big heart and generosity.”

Ruth Tosetti told Cullen that her grandfather outspokenly supported bringing an end to segregation in professional sports and allowing black people to participate in the major leagues.

Babe Ruth often went barnstorming around the country during the off season. He and his teammate Lou Gehrig donned the uniforms of the West New Yorks, a semi-pro team, wowing regional players who got to perform alongside them.

Ruth Tosetti added her signature to a black-and-white print of Babe Ruth, alongside the signature of artist James Fiorentino. Among other Baby Ruth memorabilia, the museum has a baseball signed by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig from an Oct. 4, 1931 game with the West New Yorks.

Union City High School students awarded scholarships

Union City High School students Fransheska Larios and Jerilyn Gomez were each awarded $2,000 Community Service Merit Scholarships from Palisades Medical Center.

The students earned the scholarships as part of the hospital’s Community Service Merit Scholarship Program that provides $32,000 in scholarship funding for students at eight local high schools in the hospital’s primary service area. The scholarships recognize and reward high school seniors who have demonstrated significant accomplishments in community service while maintaining academic success.

The online application process was conducted in February and March. Recommendations were made by high school guidance counselors. Scholarship applications were reviewed by a committee of community volunteers.

Union City Independence Day celebration

Union City will host a celebration of Independence Day on Tuesday, July 2, along Bergenline Avenue between 22nd and 26th Streets. The festivities will take place from 6 to 10 p.m., featuring live music, children’s activities, and free hot dogs and water.

The city will provide free transportation from the following locations: 4545 Palisade Ave., 3911 Kennedy Blvd., 39th St. and Bergen Turnpike, 3700 Palisade Plaza Apts., Bella Vista Apts., 1509 Bergenline Ave., 500 Central Ave., 1104 Palisade Ave., 1015 Central Ave., 380 Mountain Rd., and 49th and Hudson Ave.

West New York pools open on weekends

West New York officials announced that the West New York Swim Club is now open every weekend until school is no longer in session.

Once the school year is finished, the town’s pools will be open seven days per week as long as weather permits. The pool will stay open until Labor Day Weekend.

Walgreens to host blood drive on June 22

Walgreens Pharmacy, 7401 River Rd., will host a blood drive on Saturday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is sponsored through Walgreens’ partnership with the American Red Cross and Hackensack Meridian Health Palisades Medical Center.

New donors are needed. The drive is open to the public.

The American Red Cross will have a blood donor bus on site. Appointments are preferred, but not required. To schedule an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org or use the Blood Donor app and enter the sponsor keyword, “Walgreens North Bergen.”

Donors are urged to eat and hydrate beforehand.

For the daily rates and hours of operation, visit westnewyorknj.org.

Hudson County CASA is seeking volunteers

Learn how to become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteer and help foster children find safe and permanent homes. The next information session will be at Little City Books at 100 Bloomfield St, Hoboken, on Wednesday, June 19 at 7 p.m.

CASA is a nonprofit organization committed to advocating for the best interests of abused and neglected children. CASA works through trained community volunteers to ensure that needed services and assistance are made available to children while helping to move them toward safe and permanent homes.

Hudson County CASA volunteers are everyday people who make a direct impact in foster children’s lives. They are trusted, dedicated adults who seek to improve children’s well-being. CASA volunteers get to know their assigned child and his or her circumstances and provide valuable information to the court. Judges rely on the volunteers’ recommendations to make the best decisions about the children’s futures.

Bill to ban 3D printed guns introduced

On June 14, U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass), and Congressmen Ted Deutch (FL-22) introduced the 3D Printed Gun Safety Act to prohibit the online distribution of blueprints and instructions that allow for the 3D printing of firearms.

The legislation would ban any files that could program a 3D printer to produce or complete the manufacture of a firearm.

Last year, a US District Court judge settled a lawsuit against the federal government from Defense Distributed, which advocates for downloadable firearms. It has posted blueprints for a handgun called “The Liberator,” which can be made out of the same plastic used in Lego blocks.

Because these firearms can be made out of plastic, they may be undetectable by metal detectors at security checkpoints, increasing the risk that a firearm can be sneaked onto an airplane or other high-security area. People legally barred from obtaining firearms could manufacture one themselves.

These firearms are untraceable, because they don’t have a serial number for law enforcement to reference, which could make it easier for people intending to commit gun crimes to avoid prosecution.

Twenty-six senators have joined as cosponsors, and twenty-eight members of the House of Representatives supported the legislation.