Babe Ruth was a Boston Red Sox from 1914-1919 and a New York Yankee from 1920 -1934. He played a few months in 1935 with the Boston Braves. In a way coming back from where he started, but in a way completely different. Basically in 1914 Ruth was a young naive pitcher. In 1934 he was an overweight aging slugger who was on his way out. He had one outstanding game where he hit three home runs, but was too stubborn to retire after the game, but retired a couple of weeks later.
It was sad ending to a great (super) baseball career, but I imagine Babe had fun in retirement. Why, because he always had fun. He still showed up in the public eye and seemed to have fun doing so. Ruth met Cobb in a 3-match series of golf matches in 1941 for charity. Cobb won 2 of the 3 matches. I read an article by someone who watched or caddy at the match and Babe seemed to have more fun. He just liked wacking the ball.
Apparently, rivals Cobb and Ruth became friends after the match. Cobb was quoted as saying I can’t honestly say that I appreciate the way in which he changed baseball,” Cobb said. “But he was the most natural and unaffected man I ever knew.”
Ruth was the first player who ever came up to the plate trying to hit home runs. Not just hit the ball out of the fielder reach. He was a start pitcher but was also recognized as a good hitter. When the Red Sox realized this, they played Ruth in the field more to get his bat in the lineup. Ruth started breaking home run records. He eventually gave up pitching and became a full-time hitter. One of the greatest of all time.
He was also very charismatic. People loved him, especially kids. Ruth still child like himself, loved kids. He could be found on the floor playing games with them. He also visited and read to sick kids in the hospital. People theorize it was because Ruth was a big kid himself.
Ruth is even more of a legend today. Everything he did is still noticed with pride. One player said he thought Babe Ruth was a cartoon figure, he was so legendary. There was a baseball tour going around Colorado, which covered the history of Colorado Baseballs. One whole section was about Babe Ruth playing in a barnstorming game in Pueblo, Colorado. He played in one game that didn’t even count but it is still a matter of pride.
As I’m a baseball fan someone gave me a kid’s book about Babe Ruth who for some reason goes to a little girl’s ballerina class and she give the Babe confidence to hits a game winning home run. It’s not a great story but having Babe Ruth makes it somewhat fun.
There are many biographies of Babe Ruth, including an autobiography. Jane Leavy has a new one that is supposed to be excellent, but I don’t think I want to read another biography on him. I read only two biographies on Ruth, one he wrote and the one by Robert Creamer. His was supposed to be great and I did find it to be great. I liked the autobiography more than the critics. I like the first words of the book “I was a bad kid”. Not trying to clean up his image there.
I know of two Babe Ruth movies. The William Bendix shows Babe’s humor and love of life. It is impossible to take Bendix seriously as an athlete. The movie came out in 1948 the year Ruth died. I think he was involved in production. The story is like watching a story of a legend who just likes to have fun, and does some goofy things, but uses his humor, charisma, and kindness to get out of messes. These problems don’t run very deep until Ruth dies. It is bad. Don’t bother to see it. Read one of the books.
The other movie was more recent staring John Goodman, who is a good actor. The movie didn’t get good reviews early. It also has inaccuracies to make the movie more Hollywood. Goodman never a thin man played Ruth when he joined the Red Sox as a 19-year-old. Hollywood has older people play high school students, but this is ridiculous. Also, Babe was not as heavy as he would become later in life. He was a great athlete. I’m glad I didn’t see that movie just for that. Goodman can get by playing Ruth at 42, but as for scenes in-between give me a break. Since I didn’t see this movie, I can’t warn you away from it. I’m just staying away myself based on the reviews I read and the fact that I can’t watch a 42-year-old John Goodman play a 19 year old Babe Ruth.