22. The Majestic Hotel

Located in historic downtown Hot Springs The Majestic Hotel, like her sister hotel The Arlington had a proud baseball history. Built in 1902 the property was four stories tall with each floor opening out on the mountainside. Sixty five of the rooms even had private bathrooms! Baseball teams loved staying at The Majestic because it was conveniently located on the streetcar lines at the Whittington and Park Avenue junction. The 1918 Boston Red Sox were staying at The Majestic Hotel when five of their players escaped death at the hands of a Hot Springs taxi driver. It seems that Red Sox players Harry Hooper, Babe Ruth, Everett Scott, Joe Bush and Wally Schang were riding back to the Majestic in a taxi after a day of the races at Oaklawn Park when the taxi driver decided that he had driven them far enough and ordered them out of his cab because he wanted to return to Oaklawn for another fare. The players appealed to a policeman who ordered the driver to take them all the way to the Majestic Hotel. The driver threatened “I will tip you all out first. I have half a mind to dump the machine.” Then he set out to show them he was not fooling. He banged a jitney aside, knocked a horse down, and busted up a wagon. He was zipping down Central Avenue into downtown Hot Springs at 50 miles per hour! When Harry Hooper told him he was going to punch him with “the finest punch to the nose ever torn off” the driver finally stopped. After the party had been held up while the owner of the horse and wagon collected autographs the trip to the hotel resumed. They all made it safely back to the Majestic except for Everett Scott who jumped from the car when it finally stopped along side the public bathhouses. This story was not the greatest public relations piece to ever come out of Hot Springs when it appeared in the Boston newspaper.