When Babe Ruth refused to play right field
Sulphur Dell Park was a historic park in baseball, serving several teams for more than 100 years until it was demolished in 1969. Its grandstand was at the corner of Fourth Avenue North and Jackson Street near the Bicentennial Mall. It’s low-lying field and odd dimensions made for less than ideal playing conditions and the terrain was so uneven, right fielders were nicknamed “mountain goats.” Supposedly, when the Yankees played the Vols in an exhibition game, Babe Ruth refused to play right field and switched to left. With the addition of First Tennessee Park, an 8,500-seat grandstand, Nashville now has a state-of-the-art facility for its AAA baseball team, the Nashville Sounds.
The day a Nashville native became president of Nicaragua
Although this didn’t technically occur in Nashville, it certainly counts as weird Nashville history. In 1856, Nashville native William Walker became the president of the Republic of Nicaragua. Walker was an American filibuster who led a notorious expedition into Latin America with the mission to establish pro-slavery, English-speaking colonies. His regime took control of Nicaragua in ’85, and he appointed himself president. His newly formed government was even recognized by President Franklin Pierce. However, he didn’t hold power for long; he was defeated 1857 and executed in Honduras in 1860. He is the only American to become president of another country.
When a Playboy centerfold led the local debate team
Before born and raised Nashvillian Bettie Page became the “Queen of Pinups” she was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” A model student, she led the debate team and graduated second in her class at Hume-Fogg. She also graduated Vanderbilt’s Peabody College and had a brief career in teaching before she pursued acting and modeling.
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Kendall Mitchell Gemmill is a Nashville native who is unashamed to admit she teared up when reading about the Millennium Falcon.