Hot Stove #238 – Dewey Defeats Truman (1948) and Cardinals Defeat Royals (1985)

Peggy Wehrman and George Vecsey, two long-time friends of Hot Stove, generated story ideas for this edition.

Peggy sent me a photo of a Sports Illustrated cover she spotted in a scrapbook her boys kept almost 40 years ago. The cover shows the Royals celebrating their first World Series victory and is dated November 4, 1985.

George Vecsey, a New York Times sportswriter (retired), continues to write on a regular basis in his blog. The columns are mostly on sports, but he veers off on occasion. In a post published in October, he told the story of seeing President Franklin D. Roosevelt during the campaign of 1944. George was five at the time. I told George I had a similar experience, but one election removed. When I was seven, I saw Harry Truman the day before this famous photo was taken on November 4, 1948.


Cardinals Defeat Royals (Not): The Royals played the Cardinals in the 1985 World Series. After four games, the Cardinals led 3-1, and the betting odds held out little hope for the Royals. If it was a political campaign, the polls would favor the Cardinals in a landslide. For Game 5 in St. Louis, the Cardinals had champagne on ice to celebrate. The Royals won. Returning to KC for Game 6, the Royals chances of winning dropped to 16% after Frank White flied out to end the 8th inning with the Cards holding a 1-0 lead. Headline writers were starting to think what to say, like “CARDINALS DEFEAT ROYALS.” The Royals came back to win Game 6 and became World Champions the following night by winning Game 7.

Beware of the polls.

One of the perks for Royals fans was the fun Sports Illustrated cover. Peggy Wehrman’s piece of Royals history is matched in a framed display in our condo – thanks to Rita.

The 1985 World Series was special to me on a personal level – I attended all seven games, the four in KC and the three in St. Louis. Rita made the four in Kansas City, but her job kept her from going down to St. Louis for the three weekday games. For Christmas that year, Rita gave me a framed set of ticket stubs organized around my copy of that Sports Illustrated edition:


In addition to the stubs for the seven World Series games, Rita included stubs for Opening Day and one of the Toronto ALCS games.

Ticket Stub Trivia: I have ticket stubs going back to 1955 (the first A’s game in KC), ranging from all types of sporting events to concerts to Broadway. But not so much recently. Traditional tickets have mostly been replaced by barcodes on copier paper or tickets held digitally on our phones. Not worthy of being keepsakes. You can take a screenshot for a digital memory (see below), but I don’t think anyone will be framing these.


Dewey Defeats Truman (Not): Seventy-five years ago…

Although the famous “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN” photo was taken on November 4, the story begins two days earlier. November 2 was election day, and Harry Truman finished the day in the quiet of the Elms Hotel in Excelsior Springs where he had a mineral bath and dinner before retiring for the night. The race was too early to call, but he knew almost everyone thought his “Whistle-Stop” campaign would not be enough to defeat Tom Dewey. The polls said so.

Facial Hair Friday: Thomas Dewey – Pieces of History

Beware of the polls.

The Chicago Daily Tribune (later known as the Chicago Tribune) felt so sure about the pending results that they published their infamous banner headline in the early edition on November 3.

Dewey Defeats Truman | National Museum of American History

The Kansas City Times was more accurate in its 6:00 A.M. edition that same morning, noting Truman’s surprising pace and showing an electoral edge with 22 million ballots remaining to be counted.

News Article, Kansas City Times (published as The Kansas City Times), November 3, 1948, p1.png

Truman left the Elms early in the morning and headed to his campaign headquarters in the penthouse of the Muehlebach Hotel in downtown Kansas City. When he was shown the Kansas City Times headline with the word “DOUBT,” Truman confidently said “[Publisher]Roy Roberts will change that in a few hours.” He was right. In the afternoon version of the paper:

News Article, Kansas City Star (published as The Kansas City Star), November 3, 1948, p1.png

After receiving congratulations from a horde of visitors at the Muehlebach, Truman again went to the Elms for a mineral bath and dinner. He then headed to his home in Independence, and although no victory celebration had been planned, Truman was treated to an impromptu rally on the Independence Square. As recounted by David McCullough in his book Truman:

“In a roaring and spontaneous outpouring of pride and good will, forty thousand people jammed the Square to see and honor the victorious native son. Speaking from a small podium, visibly touched by what was the biggest crowd in the history of the town, with his courthouse behind him, Truman called it a celebration not for him but for the country.”

The cool part of this story for me – I was there.

Morris Buffet and Bar: I was seven years old, and the night’s place in history did not register until years later. But I remember the big crowd, and that my brother Gary and I were with our parents at Morris Buffet and Bar across from the courthouse. The restaurant was on the first floor of the three-story building shown below (1950 photo from the archives at the Truman Library). This was on Liberty Street, the west boundary of the Square. The street at the side of the building is Maple, which in the next block becomes the north boundary of the Square.

As we awaited Truman’s arrival, we could see out of the side windows to Maple. My only memory of maybe actually seeing Truman was that the motorcade came up Maple and people excitedly said he was arriving. Based on newspaper accounts, Truman got out in the next block to enter on the north side of the courthouse and then addressed the crowd from the south side. I do not remember seeing him talk (it was only three minutes), and the paper said few could see him.

How do I remember Morris Buffet and Bar? It’s part of my family heritage. In 1907, my grandfather Andrew Lukomski left his village near Lviv (then in Austria-Hungary, now in western Ukraine) and came to the U.S. via the port of Galveston. He worked his way up the oil pipeline until he reached Sugar Creek, Missouri. After some years with Standard Oil, he became a dynamiter at Portland Cement Company in Cement City, near the Missouri River at the edge of Sugar Creek.

Andrew and Anna Lukomski lived in Cement City from 1920 to 1934, and because they had a big family (eventually ten children), Portland Cement let them occupy the largest company house (one of the few with indoor plumbing). Nearby was a building with a grocery store owned by Morris Rosenberg and a pool hall and ice cream parlor owned by Simon Kross. The two Jewish business owners became good friends of the Catholic Lukomski family, and two Lukomski daughters worked in Rosenberg’s store.

In the late 1930s, Rosenberg opened Morris Buffet and Bar on the Independence Square. Over the years, three Lukomski daughters worked there, and the various Lukomski families were regular patrons (including the kids, like me).

The Rest of the Story: The Truman rally on the Square was headlined in the Kansas City Times the next morning as “HAIL A NEIGHBOR.”

News Article, Kansas City Times (published as The Kansas City Times), November 4, 1948, p1.png

Truman left for D.C. by train that same morning (November 4) and was greeted by crowds along the way in Sedalia and Columbia. When he reached St. Louis, another crowd gathered to cheer Truman. As he came out on the rear platform of the train, he was handed the November 3 edition of the Chicago Daily Tribune. He joyfully held it up for the crowd (and many photographers) to see the “DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN” headline.

In 2008, in a retrospective article, the Tribune wrote that Truman “had as low an opinion of the Tribune as it did of him.”

Signage Trivia: Going back to the photo of Morris Buffet and Bar, there is a baseball story to tell. One of the large signs on the building is for Griesedieck Brothers Beer, a St. Louis-based company. Starting in 1947, Griesedieck was the lead sponsor for the St. Louis Cardinals broadcasts by Harry Carey.

The Cardinals sponsorship by Griesedieck ended when Anheuser-Busch bought the team in 1953. Harry switched to Budweiser.

Opening Day (1949): The following April, Truman continued his tradition of throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day for the Washington Senators (vintage video here).


 From 1946 to 1952, Truman threw out the first pitch on each Opening Day in Washington. His career total of seven times leaves him one short of the record in the President League – FDR did it eight times.

 Lonnie’s Jukebox – November 4 Edition: Continuing with the theme of a November 4 dateline, here are some events from rock ‘n’ roll history.

November 4, 1961 – Bob Dylan’s First Concert: In early 1961, Bob Dylan started performing in clubs in New York on bills with multiple artists. In November, he got what appears to be his first concert as a headliner at the Carnegie Chapter Hall (not the big venue, but a 200-seat room in the same complex). The concert drew 53 people. But in a precursor of things to come, there are bootlegs of the concert (click here).

Lot Detail - Bob Dylan's 1961 First New York City Concert Program

 In October of 1963, Dylan returned to Carnegie Hall (the big venue), and led off with…

“The Times They Are A-Changin’” by Bob Dylan, live at Carnegie Hall. They certainly were changin’ for him. He was becoming a star.

Fast forward 60 years. Dylan is still doing concerts and is on the seventh leg of his Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour (175+ shows in North America, Europe and Asia from 2021 to 2024).

Steve Paul, Hot Stove’s Bob Dylan Editor, has attended three of the stops – Tulsa, KC and Boston. Steve’s take on the tour:

“I happen to think that Dylan’s ‘Rough and Rowdy Ways’ album of 2020 ranks among the handful of his great albums of the last 60 years. Clearly, he’s riding high on his Nobel Laureate status and setting a formidable standard of constant reinvention. Dylan builds each concert around almost all of the songs on the album, consistently adding a few songs from his catalogue going back to 1970 or so and occasionally working in covers of songs by the likes of Buddy Holly, the Great American Songbook, and the Grateful Dead. His opening at the first Kansas City concert of ‘Kansas City’ was a pleasant surprise and much more than an obligatory toss-off. Dylan revels in experimenting with arrangements, making each concert something unlike a cookie-cutter run through the setlist.”

For those who want to feel some of the concert experience, Google “Rough and Rowdy Ways Tour” and several unofficial clips are there (a sample from the Boston concert here). For those not familiar with the lyrics of Dylan’s latest songs (like me), I’m linking two of Steve’s favorite cuts from the album (with lyrics): “Key West (Philosopher Pirate)” and “Mother of Muses.”

Ticket Stub Trivia: Continuing the discussion above on lack of ticket stubs. At the November 3 Boston concert, Steve Paul had his electronic ticket on his phone. When he arrived at the Orpheum Theatre, he was given a “Seat Reference Slip,” which Steve described in a tweet as a “sorry-ass souvenir ticket.” Agreed. I don’t think it will be framed.


 November 4, 1963 – The Beatles and the Monarchy: The Beatles were one of 19 acts performing for the Queen’s charity event, the Royal Variety Performance. The Queen was pregnant with Prince Edward, so the monarchy was represented by the Queen Mother and Princess Margaret. John Lennon famously addressed the audience, asking the people in the cheap seats to clap their hands, and the rest to just rattle their jewelry.

The Beatles Royal Variety Performance - John Lennon's Rattle Your Jewelry  Quote

“Twist and Shout” by the Beatles live for the Royal Variety Performance at the Prince of Wales Theater. The linked video begins with Lennon’s remarks.

“Now and Then” by the Beatles (2023). Sixty years after their Royal Variety Performance, the Beatles issued this new single incorporating a vintage audio tape by John Lennon.

November 4, 1977 – Last Waltz Premier: Martin Scorsese’s concert film featuring the Band premiered on this date in New York. Because of Scorsese’s busy schedule, wide release did not occur until April of 1978.

The Last Waltz (1978) | The Criterion Collection

Last Waltz trailer here.

Two weeks ago, at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, there was a tribute to the late Robbie Robertson, chief songwriter and guitarist for the Band. It included a performance of the Band’s iconic song…

“The Weight” by inductee Sheryl Crow, Brittany Howard, Chris Stapleton and Elton John (at the piano and who was there to induct his songwriting partner Bernie Taupin).

November 4, 1984 – Prince Begins Purple Rain Tour: Prince kicked off this legendary tour with seven nights in Detroit. Final tally, 98 shows.

Prince Concert Poster 11" x 17" — The Artworks of DEAN TOMASEK

“Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince and the Revolution, live on the Purple Rain Tour.

“Let’s Go Crazy” by the original Broadway cast of Hamilton. When Prince died in 2016, Lin Manuel-Miranda led the cast in this joyful foot-stomping tribute.

“Purple Rain” by Prince at the 2007 Super Bowl in Miami. The song title matched up with the rain falling in Dolphins Stadium. Prince’s show is the consensus choice as the best performance ever at a Super Bowl.