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  • Bill Burgess
    Babe Ruth, Boston Red Sox.

    I like this Ruth photo. If they had made a Babe Ruth movie in the 1980s or 1990s Vincent D'Onofrio would have been the perfect actor to portray Ruth.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-29-2012, 08:54 PM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    After his wedding to 2nd wife Claire, 1929.-------------------------------------January 14, 1930. Babe adopts Claire's daughter, Julia.
    She was a 32 year-old southern girl from Atlanta.------------------------------Claire adopts Babe's daughter, Dorothy.

    Babe's real biological daughter, Dorothy (Ruth) Sullivan,
    with her husband, Dominick Pirone, 1948. She was 28.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 05-30-2012, 11:28 PM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    The Babe in Authentic Technicolor.

    We seldom see Babe in authentic color. They didn't develop color photography until 1935. So, we mostly see him in glorious b/w, or occasionally in sepia tone. But these shots from 1947 are not colorized but the real thing. Enjoy! Cheers!

    April 27, 1947: Babe Ruth Day at Yankee S.: Bucky Harris (Yank Mgr.), Babe, batboy----------------April, 1947

    April 27, 1947, Babe Ruth Day at Yankee Stadium

    April 27, 1947, Babe Ruth Day at Yankee Stadium

    April 27, 1947 Babe Ruth Day at Yankee S.: Bucky Harris (Yank Mgr.), Babe, batboy.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-18-2011, 07:33 AM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    1924 World Series: Honus Wagner, Bill McKechnie, John McGraw, Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth, Nick Altrock, Christy Walsh.

    1933 All-Star Game: Babe Ruth, Al Simmons, Earl Averill. AL's starting out-fielders.

    Babe Ruth, Red Sox.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-18-2011, 08:50 AM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Lou Gehrig/Babe Ruth---Looks like around 1928.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-18-2011, 05:54 PM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Red Sox, 1915-19.---------------------------------------------------------1920-21.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-18-2011, 08:48 AM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Eddie Collins, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker; April 11, 1928, Yankee Stadium.

    Eddie Collins, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Tris Speaker; April 11, 1928, Yankee Stadium.-----------------------April 11, 1928, Shibe Park.

    Lou Gehrig, Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth; April 11, 1928, Shibe Park. Yanks won 8-3.

    Lou Gehrig, Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth: April 11, 1928, Shibe Park.-------Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Eddie Collins: 1927 Opening Day, Yankee Stadium.

    1927 Opening Day, Yankee Stadium. L-R: Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Eddie Collins.

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 10-04-2013, 08:01 AM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    October 7, 1915 World Series: Red Sox Pitching Staff:
    L-R: Rube Foster, Carl Mays, Ernie Shore, Babe Ruth, Dutch Leonard.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-18-2011, 08:24 AM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    AUCTIONED BABE RUTH BAT: December 2, 2004. What a beauty.

    The baseball bat, signed by Babe Ruth, with which Babe Ruth hit the first home run at Yankee Stadium on April 18,1923 is seen being handled and placed in a display case, by a worker from Sotheby's Auction House in New York City made available Friday, December 3, 2004. The bat sold for $1,265.000 to an unidentified collector at a baseball memorabilia auction at Sotheby's, Thursday, December 2, 2004.

    April 5, 2004: One of only three bats known to be in existence that contain notches carved around the center oval trademark brand to indicate home runs that Babe Ruth hit at the Louisville Slugger Museum.

    April 5, 2004: One of only six known game-used bats actually autographed by the legendary Babe Ruth, arguably the greatest baseball player of all time. The bat went on display at Louisville Slugger Museum on Saturday, April 3, in commemoration of the 120th anniversary of Louisville Slugger baseball bats.

    June 28, 2005: Artifacts from the legendary career of baseball star Babe Ruth on display inside the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore, Maryland on June 28, 2005. Among the dozens of displays are personal items from Ruth's life including jerseys, signed baseballs and documents. Ruth was born in the house, just a few blocks away from Camden Yards, where the Baltimore Orioles play their American League home games.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-18-2011, 07:28 AM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    The Babe and the Sizzler:

    Babe Ruth/George Sisler----------------------------------------------------------------------------------George Sisler/Babe Ruth
    May 14, 1924, Yankee Stadium---------------------------------------------------------------------------1922, Sportsman's Park
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-18-2011, 08:22 AM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    The Babe and The Peach:

    1920---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Babe Ruth/Ty Cobb: 1927

    ------------------Babe Ruth/Ty Cobb, 1923, Navin Field.



    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-16-2011, 01:35 AM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    The Rajah and The Babe: Some nice shots.

    -----------April 7, 1922, in the South----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------1920.

    October 6, 1926, World Series, Sportsman's Park----October 2, 1926, WS, Yankee Stadium

    October 9, 1926, World Series, Yankee Stadium. With Kirk Miller,------------------------------------------------------------October 8, 1926, World Series; with J.A. Hillerich,
    presenting the Babe Ruth All-American certificate to Rogers.------------------------------------------------------------------- representative of the bat company.

    October 2, 1926 before World Series. Hornsby's wife, Mary, in the background. Holding Christy Walsh, Jr.---------------October 9, 1926, World Series, Yankee Stadium. With Kirk Miller, presenting the Babe Ruth All-American certificate to Rogers.

    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-13-2011, 01:13 PM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    Babe Ruth, posing with 4 yr. old Yankee Mascot, little Ray Kelly.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-18-2011, 08:01 AM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    I once wrote this little biography on Babe, trying to limit myself to lesser-known stuff.
    The Babe: A Personal Glimpse

    As a final contribution to this tribute to the Babe, I'd like to donate this piece, where I put as many little-known facts of the Babe's life into this as I knew of. Hope it entertains.

    George Herman Ruth, Jr. was born February 6, 1895, in Baltimore. His father, George Herman Ruth, Sr. was born in Baltimore also, on January 31, 1871. His mother, Catherine (Schamberger) Ruth was born in Baltimore in July, 1873. The Ruths were German Catholics. His parents were married on June 25, 1894. So apparently, Babe was conceived before the Wedding Day. Babe was born in his mother's home at 216 Emory St., now home to the Babe Ruth Museum.

    Babe was baptized a month after he was born, March 1, 1895, by Father J. T. O'Brien at the Catholic Church down the street from where he was born.

    Babe's sister, Mary Margaret (Mamie) (Ruth) Moberly, was born Aug. 2, 1900 and died on July 1, 1992, in Hagerstown, MD 21740 at age 91. She had married married Wilbur Moberly.

    After Mary Margaret, Katie had 6 other children before she died in 1912, but they all died at birth or at an early age.

    As soon as he could stand, he was difficult to handle. So his Dad dropped him off at St. Mary's industrial School on June 13, 1902. He was only 7. He was raised Catholic, and the Xaverian Brothers saw to it that he went to Mass, etc. He was assigned shirt-making as his future profession. And Babe always knew a good quality shirt after that, and sewed his own collars too.

    The Xaverian Brothers, hadn't known that Babe had already been baptized, and baptized him again on Aug. 7, 1906, by Father Francis. On May 9, 1907, he received the sacrament of Confirmation. He received his first Holy Communion on Aug. 15, 1906. Babe was taken in hand by Brothers Gilbert and Mathias. Brother Mathias taught Babe how to play baseball. Babe caught and pitched for the school team.

    One of the reasons that Babe's Dad had put him in the school, was the fragile health of his mom. She died August 11, 1912, at the age of 38. Babe was still at the school and aged 17. 18 months later, he signed his 1st pro contract. Her death certificate states "exhaustion" as cause of death.

    Lest any misunderstanding arise from what has been written here, the core essence of this man was love, not rancor. He was always seeking the love from life, that which he was denied from day one. And he was always willing to give it out, to all near him. He never held his love/goodwill/affection back from anyone. Man, child, animal.

    Babe was signed by Jack Dunn, who owned the minor league team, the Baltimore Orioles, on Feb. 27, 1914, as a pitcher. Before the mid-season, Dunn would sell him to the Boston Red Sox, as a pitcher.

    On July 11, 1914, Babe debuted with the Boston Red Sox. He got into 5 games, and batted 10 times, got 2 hits. He started 3 games, went 2-1, as his W-L, pitched 23 innings, gave up 21 hits, and struck out 3 batters, walked 11. Not bad for a 19 yr. old kid. He was 6'2, weighed a svelte 180 lbs.

    On August 15, 1914, the Red Sox sent Babe to Providence, to acquire a little seasoning. Babe won 11, lost 2 while there. They won the pennant. Carl Mays had been his team mate, and both were brought back to Boston to stay.

    He probably faced 1,000 batters, hit 11 of them, had 11 wild pitches. He also hit .231, with 28 hits, 1 HR, 2 doubles, 10 triples.

    The next season, he became a full-time pitcher star, and from 1915-17, he was the best LH pitcher in the AL. It was also noticed that, on occasion, he hit the ball so hard and so far, that the fans got excited. The right-fielder on the team, Harry Hooper, encouraged him to convert to the OF, and play every day. Manager Ed Barrow scoffed at such a notion at first, but by 1918, had been persuaded to play Babe in the OF, between his pitching assignments. It was a decision which would alter the course of the game.

    During his year in the minors, with Baltimore, Babe married Helen M. Woodford. She had been born in East Boston, MA in Oct. probably 1897. They were married on Oct. 17, 1914. They would stay married until her accidental death in a fire, on Jan. 11, 1928. But they were separated since the early 1920's.

    Babe says that his Dad never visited him at the school, but Babe visited home often, but always was returned to the school soon after. During the 1915 World Series, in Oct., Babe visited his Dad's bar, and a famous photo was taken. The resemblance between father/son was striking. Babe's Dad apparently didn't care about his son in the least, and was killed outside his bar, trying to mediate a scuffle, on August 25, 1918. He was stabbed with a knife by his brother-in-law, who claimed it was self-defense, and was later determined to be an accident. Babe was 23.

    Life passed quickly. Babe had made good as a pitcher, and was signed by the Boston Red Sox in July, 1914. He was good from his first day. A born ballplayer, by 1917, he had shown good promise as a hitter, and he wanted to stop pitching. As stated earlier, his manager, Ed Barrow, who had previously managed Detroit in 1903-04, wouldn't hear of it. He insisted Babe take his regular turn on the mound every 4th day, in between his OF assignments. Babe balked. Said his arm was tired. He even once ran away to Philadelphia in protest. They had to go get him and bring him home.

    But he was a handful. Refused to obey any curfew, etc. By 1920, Babe had become a great HR champion and was sold to the hated rival Yankees, who converted him into a full-time OF, which he wanted. And the NY press welcomed him to NYC like a conquering hero.

    After the 1920 season ended, Babe went to California to play ball in the Pacific Coast L, and had an affair with Juanita Jennings, a Latino beauty. She got pregnant. Babe told her if she ever came East, to look him up. She called him not long after, from Cal. Told him she was knocked up. Babe convinced her to come to NYC to have the baby. She trusted him and came. Babe made arrangements to have her put up in a nice apartment, and then the hospital to have the baby.

    This was all hush-hush, because he was married, and having a huge sports season. A scandal might have turned his fans against him. And he couldn't afford that, since his drawing power was what gave him a lot of his value.

    So the baby girl, Dorothy was born, and Babe coerced Juanita into giving up her baby, so Babe could raise her. Babe arranged for him and his wife Helen to adopt the baby legally. And everyone assumed baby Dorothy was not his biological baby, even Dorothy herself, until told the news by Juanita herself in Oct., 1980, 2 weeks before she died. This info is found in Dorothy's book, "My Dad, The Babe," by Dorothy Ruth Pirone, with Chris Martens, 1988, pp. 194.

    Juanita, as a strategy to stay near to her daughter, found ways to be near her. From 1960 to 1975, Dorothy took care of her, never suspecting her to be her true, biological mother. Two weeks before she died, she revealed to a shocked Dorothy that she was, in fact, her mother, and showed her photographic proof, as evidence. It was quite a shock, but a relief also.

    In 1923, Babe, estranged from wife Helen, who went back to Boston, met a young, 26 year old, attractive, Georgian woman, named Claire Hodgson, a divorcée. Babe was immediately taken by her, and they became a couple right away. But Babe couldn't afford to tell her the truth about Dorothy, since Claire could have held that info over his head, as a weapon.

    When Babe met her, he was 28, but thought he was 27, due to a mixup of his birth certificate. So Claire believed him to be 27. Claire herself was 26, having been born near Athens, GA on Sept. 27, 1897. For reasons unknown, Claire always falsified her age. She introduced herself to Babe as being 23, and always told him and others that she was born Sept. 27, 1900. Georgian birth records confirm the truth. She was born Clara Merritt.


    Not long after Babe married her, Claire moved her mother, her 2 brothers, & daughter, Julia, into their Riverside Dr. apartment, with Babe & his daughter, Dorothy.

    They were presumably very nice people. One of the brothers, Eugene Merritt, presumably jumped to his death, in a suicide from the 15th floor, on January 12, 1936, at the young age of 45. He had been very ill from WWI, and had since been a shoe salesman (1920); clerk in Siegel Pharmacy, & conductor on Hudson Tube railroad.

    Incidentally, by one of the quirks of fate, Claire had known very well a 20 yr. old Ty Cobb back in her childhood in Georgia, and had flirted with him around 1907, when she was only 10. In his biography, by Al Stump, Cobb wrote, "I met a girl named Claire Hodgson, and for a while it got interesting."

    When estranged wife Helen died in a fire in 1929, Babe was freed to marry Claire, which he did on April 17, 1929. She had a daughter Julia, by a previous marriage. Julia was born in 1915. Babe adopted Julia, and Claire adopted Dorothy. Babe & Claire got along reasonably well. But by 1937, he had had enough of her domineering ways, and had taken up with a tall, attractive redhead named Loretta, and lived with her for months at a time every year, in a small hamlet in NY called Greenwood Lake. He loved to fish, hunt, and enjoyed the taverns, restaurants, bars, lodges, etc.

    Around 2 weeks before Babe died, 2nd wife Claire, went to his hospital room, with her lawyer in tow, and had Babe sign papers. It was a new will, which transferred his main assets, a trust fund for Dorothy, which he had since 1928, to herself, Claire, as the beneficiary. It had $400,000.

    So Claire stole Dorothy's inheritance, and lived on it the rest of her life. But Loretta surprised Claire, by showing up at the hospital before Babe died. She demanded $25,000. from Babe's will, or she'd go to the NY Times with her story. She got the money.

    Much of the information in this article came from the following sources, which are specialized documentation, available to the public through SABR.

    My Dad, The Babe, by Dorothy Ruth Pirone, with Chris Martens, 1988

    Babe Ruth: The Dark Side, by Paul F. Harris, Sr. He is a native Baltimoran, a retired attorney.

    Babe Ruth and the New York City Press: 1919-1932, by Craig Lynn Irons, 1996.

    The Life That Ruth Built, by Marshall Smelser, 1975. (Info on Babe's minor L. career.)

    The 2nd/3rd 2 papers are available via SABR (Research Exchange, Len Levin, 282 Doyle Avenue, Providence RI 02906-3355.)

    Not long after Babe married her, Claire moved her mother, her 2 brothers, & daughter, Julia, into their Riverside Dr. apartment, with Babe & his daughter, Dorothy. They were presumably very nice people.

    Thought some of my readers might be curious to learn what became of this warm, little family.

    Dorothy Helen (Ruth) Pirone(daughter) was born Jun.7, 1921, in NYC, & died May 18, 1989, at the age of 68, in Durham,CT. Born St. Vincent's Hospital, 7th in Greenwich Village. Married Daniel J. Sullivan, on January 11, 1941, a Brooklyn employee of the Railway Express Co. Had daughter on Nov. 8, 1941. Had 4 other children. She married Dominick Pirone, a NY contractor, in NYC, on December 8, 1948. She was separated from him from 1965-71. Raised Arabian horses in Durham, CT.

    Hubert L. Merritt (Claire's brother) was born October 8, 1894, in Georgia, and died October 14, 1948, in NYC, at the age of 51. Arrived in NYC in 1920. Worked for Harry M. Stevens Co. 1923-48, had served as a soldier, Camp Funston, Riley, Kansas.

    Eugene Merritt (Claire's brother), was born July 24, 1890 in Georgia & died January 12, 1936 at the age of 45 in NYC. Was shoe salesman(1920); clerk in Siegel Pharmacy, conductor on Hudson Tube railroad. d. suicide,jump from NYC 15th, floor while he was residing with his sister, Claire, mother, Cassie Merritt, brother-in-law, Babe Ruth and Ruth's biological daughter, Dorothy and Claire's daughter, Julia.

    Julia Hodgson)(Ruth) Stevens (Claire's daughter) was born July 7, 1916 in GA, & is still alive & living in Conway, NH at the age of 89.

    (Clara Mae Merritt) Claire (Hodgson) Ruth ( wife 2), 5'2. Was born September 11, 1897 near Athens, GA. & died October 25, 1976, in NYC 10024, at the age of 79. Married the Babe April 17,1929. Claire always claimed 1900 as her birth year, when it was really Sept., 1897. She was flirting with Ty Cobb before he married another in August, 1908, that would have made her 10. After 1937, Babe spent long periods away from home with his girlfriend. d. cancer

    Cornelia (Carrie) Lou (Rylle) Merritt (Claire's mother) was born March, 1872 in Gainesville, GA & died April 13, 1943 in NYC at the age of 71. The Merritt clan arrived in NYC, after the father died in Georgia on May 29, 1920.
    Others in the Babe story.

    Frank Bishop Hodgson (Claire's 1st Husband) was born December 25, 1883 & died February 16, 1921 at the age of 37 in Fulton County, GA. Was a small hotel owner.

    Juanita (Jennings) Ellias (Dorothy's mother) was born November 29, 1894 & died October, 1980, at the age of 86 in Durham, CT. Bore Babe his only biological child.

    Colonel James Monroe Merritt, (Claire's father) was born March, 1862, in South Carolina, and died May 29, 1920, in Barrow County, GA. Was a lawyer, teacher.
    I'd like to continue some of Babe's story.

    I'd like to pick it up in Nov., 1920. At that time, his future 2nd wife, Clara Merritt, then Claire (Merritt) Hodgson, arrived in NYC, with her 5 yr. old daughter, Julia, and her 20 yr. old black friend/maid, Marie Martin, and checked into the Waldorf.

    She immediately sought work as a model, with Christie, the famous portrait artist. She posed from 9AM to sundown, and also posed for Harrison Fisher and Penrhyn, but mostly for Christie, for $10./day. She soon was able to move herself, Julia and Marie into a 4 room flat on 70th Street bet. Brdwy./Columbus.

    Her father died May 29, 1920, in Georgia, and her mother then moved to NYC, to stay with her. Christie had connections, which led to Claire getting a small part in a Brdwy show, Dew Drop Inn. One day, one of the cast asked if she and another would like to go to the ballgame, and see the Yanks and Babe Ruth. It was in 1923. Dew Drop Inn was on tour in Washington. They went to Griffith Stadium. She went, met Babe, wasn't too impressed, but Babe started to call her regularly.

    When Babe met her, she was tiny. 5'2, 100 lbs., 26 yrs. old, brunette, attractive. Coming from Georgia, she had an accent like Jimmy Carter. She'd have pronounced it, Jimma Cata. Talked just like Ty talked. Soft Atlantan tones.

    And so began Babe's long courtship and going steady with future 2nd wife Claire. From 1923-1929, they dated as a steady couple. But on the road, Babe did what his liberty allowed him to do. Women constantly threw themselves at him. But when he was in town, NYC, he presumably behaved himself. At some point, Claire's 2 brothers re-located from Georgia to NYC, and they all lived together. Not the Babe, of course. He was still married, but separated from 1st wife Helen.

    Babe became a regular staple at the Merritts' home. This went on for 7 years, until one day, word came that Babe's wife, Helen had died in a Boston fire. Babe was frantic to get his daughter, Dorothy, with him. He knew she was his biologically, but no one else did, beside Juanita Jennings, who at that time was not in the picture.

    Babe married Claire on April 17, 1929, and on January 14, 1930, he formally adopted Claire's daughter Julia, and she formally adopted Babe's daughter Dorothy. Only thing was, Claire never knew Dorothy was Babe's actual biological daughter. She always introduced Dorothy as "our adopted daughter, Dorothy"! Tacky as hell. Dorothy always hated that, but Claire intended for all to "know" that Dorothy wasn't the "real thing".

    Another interesting arrangement was that Claire suggested to the Yankees' that she be allowed to go on the road with the team. The Yanks took her up on her offer. It worked to their mutual advantage.

    So from 1929-34, whenever the Yanks left town, Claire went along, and the Ruths enjoyed staying in a separate room. However, the Yankees never failed to bill the Babe for this extra perk. This kept Babe out of mischief. Prior to this, he'd always sleep with a woman, come in to the team hotel around 5-6AM. Now, he'd have his wife to ride herd over his amorous dalliances. She got to run clearance between Babe & his female groupies, and the Yanks no longer needed to watch his curfew.

    Another little tidbit, is the rift/feud between the Babe and Lou Gehrig.
    Sometime in 1933, 14 yr. old Dorothy was visiting the Gehrig's home in New Rochelle, NY. Lou's Mom Gehrig, commented on how she usually looked like a ragamuffin, compared to how sharply-nattily Claire's daughter, Julia usually looked. Well, another Yankee wife over-hears the remark, and mentions it to another Yankee wife, and ka-boom. Word filters back to Claire, who feels shamed and PISSED. Next day, Babe brings up the remark to Lou.

    Now Lou is passive and easy-going. There could be a long list of things he can roll with. Telling his mother to mind her own damn business is not on the list. Lou was a Mama's boy all his life. By choice. Now, let me be clear here. No one can ever be criticized for defending one's mother. God forbid. And there is a list a cosmic mile long, of things which are worse than being a Mama's boy.

    But this is what caused the feud. Babe told Lou to never talk to him again, off the field. But Babe was Babe. Later, he tried to approach Lou and make up, but Lou brushed him off. Babe had been something of an idol/hero to Lou, and a good pal besides. So when Babe turned on him, it had hurt him deep.

    This silly situation remained until July 4, 1939, on Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium. When Lou uttered his famous heart-felt words, "Today, I feel like the luckiest man on the face of the Earth", Babe walked over and hugged him. Lou didn't shrug him off. So the rift ended that day. And Babe visited him after that too.

    Another tidbit is the interplay between Babe and Leo Durocher. Leo was all glove, no bat. At the end of the 1926, '27 seasons, the Yanks brought Leo up to warm the bench at the close of each season. He got into no games, however, which is why it doesn't appear in the record books that he was on those teams.

    Babe liked to kid the guys and when Leo came up, Babe dubbed him "The All-American Out". Man did that burn Leo's butt?! But since it came from Babe, what could he do but grin and bear it?

    One day, a players very expensive wrist watch disappears from the Yankee clubhouse, and Babe accuses Leo of light-fingering it. Leo is furious & humiliated, but again, what can he do? Babe is Babe, and he's the "All-American Out." So, he denies it vehemently, but . . . what can he do?

    Leo plays a slick glove for the Yanks at SS/2B, for '28-29, is released to the Reds, drifts to the Cards, and ends up in Brooklyn for 1938. Comes June 17, 1938, Babe is hired on by Larry MacPhail, Brooklyn GM, as a 3rd base coach. Babe was hired to appear in all exhibition games, and give a 10 minute hitting exhibition before each regular and exhibition game. Pay? $15,000./per season.

    Babe mistakenly assumed he'd be made manager the next season. Came a moment during the season, Babe was thought to have missed a signal, which cost the Dodgers the game. Babe mistakenly assumed that Durocher had told reporters about it. Ruth next day, stormed into the clubhouse and told Durocher, that "whatever happened in the clubhouse, stayed in the clubhouse", and that feeding a missed signal to the press was dirty pool. Leo charged Babe, and bulled him into the lockers behind him. Other players, of course, came between them and intervened.

    But next season, when manager Burleigh Grimes was let go, for finished 7th, Babe read that the new manager would be - Leo Durocher! After reading it in the morning editions, Babe sat in his kitchen and wept. He never called MacPhail, and MacPhail never called him. He was out of Baseball once again.

    No contract arrived in the mail, and Babe assumed Durocher didn't want him. Durocher confirms that he didn't want him or need him. Durocher further claims that he never told the press about the missed sign, and also that he never told MacPhail to not rehire Babe. Durocher claims that the press just assumed a missed sign, but he never confirmed it to them.

    All he wanted to do was be a part of the game he adored. In some way a part of the ML scene. That he was never given another opportunity saddens me deeply. He and Ty. Ty and he. Both WERE baseball, and had the smarts and desire to contribute. Such waste. Baseball has made such errors of judgment in its past. I've forgiven it, but still feel sad that those who loved it so profoundly were brushed off so shabbily.

    Hope someone is reading this. I'm enjoying the retelling of it. Is anyone out there enjoying this? Let me know.

    Most of this material came from the following:

    The Babe and I, by Mrs. Babe Ruth, with Bill Slocum, 1959, Prentice-Hall, Inc.

    My Luke and I, by Eleanor Gehrig and Joseph Durso, 1976

    My Dad, The Babe, by Dorothy Ruth Pirone, with Chris Martens, 1988

    Nice Guys Finish Last, by Leo Durocher, 1975
    Excerpts from Claire's book:

    Babe's 2nd wife, Claire had some choice words for Ed Barrow in her 1959 autobiography, The Babe and I. Here are a few of her choice morsels.

    "Barrow, as Babe's manager in Boston, and later as general manager of the Yankees, was his particular bete noir. Here was enmity from the start, with no quarter on either side over a quarter century. Huggins had to handle Babe at Babe's most riotous. Hug never succeeded. Ruppert was a constant foe at contract time and always backed Huggins, despite Houston's espousal of the Babe's rather weak case. Landis, as Commissioner of Baseball, was a cruel and ruthless judge. McCarthy exerted no discipline, just implacable loathing which was reciprocated.

    I do not see them all as blackly as they appeared to Babe. I think both Huggins and Ruppert tried very hard to understand their lucrative problem child. (pp. 61)

    "But Barrow did one thing for Babe Ruth. Barrow took Babe, who might well have become the greatest pitcher of all time, and made of him the greatest hitter of all time. And that took one thing Barrow had in abundance, courage. Taking Babe from the mound is not the obvious move it seems. It was obvious he was a remarkable hitter and even before Barrow came on the scene Carrigan and Barry occasionally took advantage of an opportunity to use Babe's bat more than once every four days by giving him an occasional job at first base or in the outfield. But neither man ever dared think of Babe as anything but a pitcher. Taking Babe off the mound was like telling Paderewski (Polish pianist Ignace Paderewski) that he should try the violin. (pp. 62-63)

    If for nothing else, the Babe and his friends can always be grateful to Barrow for having the courage of his convictions. And, frankly, I can think of nothing else to be grateful to Ed for. (pp. 64)

    But the Babe always felt that the basic problem he faced in dealing with Ruppert was Ed Barrow.

    Ed, tough as a hickory nut, wise in the knowledge that baseball law made Ruth helpless in all salary fights, was always set against big salaries for Babe. Ed's friends said Barrow was without rancor in the matter. He was merely doing his job, which was to run the Yankees as economically as possible.

    Babe felt Barrow's attitude was personal. They had fought in Boston and again in New York. They were bitter fights and the men hated each other. (pp. 142)

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  • Bill Burgess
    Some special compliments that Babe picked up from some special ballplayers.
    Christy Mathewson lauds The Babe: (The Outlook, August 30, 1922, pp. 704, Interview by Frederick M. Davenport)

    We fell to discussing the salaries of big players. "They are very much larger now than they were in my day," said Mathewson. "I began at $250 a month for six months' work. Even at the height of the period the best players got only from $7,000 to $10, 000 for the season. Now I hear that Babe Ruth gets somewhere near $40,000 a year."

    Here was an opening. I said, "Isn't Babe Ruth growing irascible and showing pretty poor self-control?" Instantly the poise and breadth of sympathy of Mathewson showed itself. "Well, I don't know," he replied. "Self-control is a wide word. Sometimes the management doesn't think a player has self-control because he exercises his own judgment at the bat instead of following implicitly the directions of the coach. Ruth is what he is. It is his temperament which makes him so valuable to baseball and so worthy of his salary. The mass of people on the bleachers care most for a man whom they can cheer to-day and jeer to-morrow, and Ruth fits into that picture. He is on the heights when the bleachers rock with applause, and he is correspondingly depressed and irritable sometimes when the great crowd turns on him because he doesn't produce the thrills. It is all in the mercurial temperament. And it is the very thing which gives Ruth great money value.

    Now there is Sisler, of the St. Louis team--he is every bit as valuable a player as Ruth, some people think more valuable. But he has another temperament. When he makes a great hit or a great play and the crowd are ready to idolize him, he modestly touches his cap and fades away out of sight. He doesn't fit into the picture."
    Hans Wagner Lauds Babe: On January 11, 1924, Honus Wagner chose an All-Time Team for the Los Angeles Times. Here is a tid-bit. His remarks on Babe. Interesting article.

    No all-American team would be complete without Babe Ruth, either as a regular or extra man. His hitting alone gives him a place. And, let me tell you, Ruth is a much better fielder and a faster man on base than a lot of people think. He looks slow on account of his immense size, but that boy can get about. Babe Ruth is without a doubt the longest hitter that baseball ever knew.

    I have seen all the long range boys but nobody in the world could ever hit a ball like Ruth. Many pitchers are justly afraid of pitching to Ruth. They fear he may hit a ball directly back at them that would be fatal. They pass him for that reason as any other. If I had him in the two-three hole you can bet I'd let him walk rather than put one in the groove.
    John McGraw - With respect to Ruth's historic 1919 spring training Tampa, FL HR, I thought you all might be interested in what John McGraw had to say about it. This is taken from his memoirs, written in 1923.

    "The longest hit I ever saw, and I feel pretty sure that it was the longest ever made, was a wallop by Babe Ruth in an exhibition game down in Tampa, Florida, off "Columbia" George Smith, who was pitching for the Giants.

    I didn't believe it possible for a man to hit a baseball as far as that. He caught the ball squarely on the nose and it started like an ordinary long fly. Instead of coming down, though, it kept rising.

    "My God," exclaimed one of the players, "where is that ball going?"

    The drive cleared the field, a race track and then the fence. Interest in its length was greater than in the game itself. For the rest of the game that was all we talked about.

    To be sure of its length a party of newspaper men and players went out and measured the distance accurately. That ball had traveled 587 feet. Mind you, that is just thirteen feet short of two hundred yards! Can you imagine such a drive?

    That hit by Ruth would have cleared the bleachers and the center-field fence in the Polo Grounds. It was easily the longest hit I ever saw, or ever expect to see.

    Often I am asked if any of the old-timers like Dan Brouthers or Ed Delahanty could hit a ball as hard as Ruth. My answer is "no." I don't think a man ever lived who could put such force behind a ball. (John McGraw: My Thirty Years in Baseball, by John McGraw, (as told to Boze Bulger), 1923, pp. 183-184.)

    Elsewhere in his book, McGraw had this to say about Babe.

    "I have chosen him because of his spectacular hitting. Nobody could ever hit a ball like Babe Ruth. He can play any of the outfield positions and as a pinch hitter is supreme. Despite his great bulk and apparent slowness Babe Ruth is a corking good base runner. He has been the greatest drawing card that the game has ever produced.

    I have to smile when I realize that I have picked a team for the American League and, in my opinion, have made it so strong as to necessitate keeping Babe Ruth on the bench as a utility outfielder." (John McGraw: My Thirty Years in Baseball, by John McGraw, (as told to Boze Bulger), 1923, pp. 235.)
    Walter Johnson discourses on The Babe.---Baseball Magazine, October, 1929-------------------------

    People have asked me if I didn't consider Babe Ruth the greatest of natural hitters. I certainly do not. There are many times when Babe looks terrible at bat. I've seen him miss a ball by two feet. Nobody ever saw Joe Jackson miss a ball two feet. Babe has his particular specialty where no one can equal him. He can hit a ball harder than anybody who ever lived. But why go outside that specialty and make claims for him that aren't true?

    Babe is certainly a terrific slugger. No one can convince me that his equal ever lived since baseball graduated from the rounders stage. I, for one, do not expect to live long enough to see any other player come up who can hit the ball, day in and day out, as hard as Ruth. Some kind friends have claimed that Lou Gehrig can hit the ball nearly as hard as Babe. Perhaps he can, but if so, it's just nearly. Gehrig may be second best, but he's not and never will be Babe's equal in sheer slugging.
    -----------------The Greatest Batters I Have Ever Faced-----------------Baseball Magazine, June, 1925.[/COLOR]

    Babe Ruth is the most dangerous hitter I ever saw, but he is not the best hitter. Like Ty Cobb, Babe has other talents which help out his batting. He is so big and strong that sheer strength works for him just as speed worked for Ty Cobb. Ty would beat out an infield hit by fast footwork. Babe will beat out an infield hit by sheer strength, for he will top a ball and still drive it through the infield for a hit.

    The public figures a batter altogether by results. His average is what counts. But a pitcher figures a batter by his ability as a batter. Ruth will look worse in one game than Lajoie would look all season. He will sometimes get crossed up and miss a ball by two feet. Lajoie was a well nigh perfect hitter. Ruth, at times, is about as imperfect as anybody you could think of. But he is, with it all, naturally a good hitter and his prodigious strength and knack of driving the ball for long clouts makes him the most dangerous batter in the game.

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