Brea Old and New: Tick-Tock, History Isn't So Boring After All™ ~ Charlie the Clock

Remembering a Halloween past.

8 years ago by in ( Welcome to Brea )


Babe Ruth crosses home plate at the Brea Bowl, 1924.
On the old Olinda lease, just to the north of today's Carbon Canyon Park, a young man named Walter Johnson once played catch with his friends on the dirt roads.

In 1924, after pitching several seasons for the Washington Senators, Johnson came back to Brea...with a new nickname.  The  “BIG TRAIN” (Ty Cobb said “you can't hit what you can't see”), who was a recipient of a MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD from his league, returned to town with a major league line-up of baseball stars that included Bob Meusel, Ernie Johnson and Babe Ruth.

The Brea Bowl, today. Home plate would be about mid-picture, in the middle of the street.

Brea businessmen and the Anaheim Elks Club sponsored a benefit exhibition game at the “Brea Bowl”, which was near where today's intersection of Lambert Road and Brea Blvd are, near St. Crispin Place.

The game was played on Halloween afternoon and businesses and schools for miles around, not just in Brea, but in neighboring communities too, were closed for the historic event.

Cars stretched for miles and crowd estimates at the game were close to 15,000. Before the game, the players changed into their uniforms in a tin building that still stands on Brea Blvd.  Today, it's known as Ron & Wayne's Auto Repair.

Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson played on opposing teams that afternoon...and the Bambino pitched for his team, opposite Johnson.

Johnson's team lost that game 12 to 1, but a memory was made that day when Babe Ruth hit a foul tip that struck a young fan in the head.  The game was stopped when Ruth went to the boy and gave him a quarter....the legend is that he approached the young man and told him, "Don't cry kid, it'll be okay."

After the game, all of the players, including Ruth and Johnson, signed a baseball which is still one of Brea's most treasured articles of memorabilia from the past and housed at the Brea Museum.

In 1936, Walter Johnson, along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner,  and Christy Mathewson, were the first players ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Author :

"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded freelance consultant. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting and promoting the city of Brea and its historic iconic Charlie's Clock turned "Charlie the Clock cartoon character!" Click on the front page illustration to read about the beloved time traveling talking clock!!

  • Carolyn Campbell

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