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Babe Ruth Discussion Thread

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  • Babe Ruth Discussion Thread

    I'd like to create this companion thread to our amazing Babe Ruth Thread. To let us all expand to our hearts content all of our Babe chat. The best of this will be eventually transferred to the other Thread, so the chit chat doesn't sink it.

    Any good Babe stuff guys. Randy, Joe, Chris, this is for us to chew the fat and shoot the Babe breezes. So we can give the other Babe thread a rest for a while.

    Bill Burgess
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-18-2008, 01:38 PM.

  • #2
    RUTH STUFF


    Sportswriter Grantland Rice, 1920

    Why is the mad mob howling?
    Hurling its curses out?
    Why is the wild wind yelping?
    What is it all about...
    Maybe you've guessed the answer.
    Hung to the bitter truth -
    Only the rival pitcher,
    Starting to walk Babe Ruth.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Brooklyn lefty Sherry Smith talked about facing Ruth for the first time. He walked Babe four times that game, including once intentionally which set off "an awful howl from the stands."

    "If Babe got balls somewhere near where he liked to hit them, he would bat .450. He seldom gets a good ball. A pitcher is foolish to give him a good ball, especially with men on bases."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Miller Huggins

    "Take all the adjectives there are in the language which could be used to describe a slugger, plaster them all on and then wish there were a few more for good measure. You can't describe him, you can't compare him with anybody else. He's Babe Ruth."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Every Ruthian blast created a new stir. It was an entirely new type of game from the scientific one that Cobb and McGraw favored. Sportswriters began focusing on Babe's new style calling it "a whale versus a shark." Which prompted Casey Stengel to reply with,"Nah, it's a bomb against a machine gun."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Walter Johnson

    "He is tall, heavy and strong. His weight is in his shoulders, where it will do him the most good. He is a tremendously powerful man...He grasps the bat with an iron grip and when he meets the ball, he follows through with his full strength and weight. For his size, Joe Jackson is as hard a hitter as Ruth, but that margin of 30 pounds in weight and enormous reserve strength enables Ruth to give the ball that extra punch, which drives it further than anybody else."

    Ruth's 12th homer in 1920 was spectacular. It was the first homer Walter had allowed in over 2 years. It came with 2 men on, in the sixth inning of a 7-7 game, and gave the Yanks a 10-7 win. Johnson threw a hard curve and Ruth hit the ball off the facade of the Polo Grounds roof. The Times the next day reported that the ball "nearly tore away part of the roof." The hype machine was in full force, and Ruth's play gave them no reason not to.

    More Walter on Babe from Baseball Magazine -

    "Ruth is the hardest hitter in the game. There can be no possible doubt on that point. He hits the ball harder and drives it further than any man I ever saw. And old timers whose memory goes back to days when baseball was little more than 'rounders,' tell me they have never seen his equal."

    Johnson contemplates "Ruthmania" -

    "There was an odd angle to the Memorial Day games which illustrate what a curious sport baseball really is. In the first encounter, Duffy Lewis smashed a home run into the stands, which tied up the score. There was very little commotion. A minute later, Truck Hannah drove out another homer, which won the game. The excitement was nothing unusual. Then in the second game, Ruth hit his home run when the game is already won, and there is particularly nothing at stake, and the crowd gets so crazy with excitement, they are ready to tear up the stands. Strange, isn't it?"

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    From "Babe Ruth, Launching the Legend"

    Babe as told to Ferdinand Cole Lane in Baseball Magazine, 1920.

    "Do you see those mud hooks?" Ruth asked Lane one day at the Polo Grounds, extending his enormous, powerful hands to provide more evidence of his abilities. "There's a lot of strength in those hands," said the Babe, gripping the handle of a bat. "And do you notice anything about those hands?" he added, extending his palms to reveal they were covered with calluces. "I got those from gripping this old war club. The harder you grip the bat, the faster the ball will travel...When I swing to meet the baseball, I follow all the way around...In boxing, when you hit a man, your fist generally stops right there, but it is possible to hit a man so hard that your fist doesn't stop. When I carry through with the bat, it is for the same reason."

    Ruth talking about his bat -

    "It's not only heavy, but long, about as long as the law allows. My theory is the bigger the bat the faster the ball will travel. It's really the weight of the bat that drives the ball...I have strength enough to swing it and when I meet the ball, I want to feel that I have something in my hands that will make it travel."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Newspaper man had a field day in '20. They called Ruth "Big Bertha," The Son of Swat," and the man "who made sick ball games well."

    "Ruth has become the most alarming menace big league pitchers have ever bucked against. "An extra outfielder stationed in the upper grand stand may be necessary to curb the clouter. But that wouldn't stop Ruth, for they would also have to plant another outfielder out in Manhattan Field, and maybe before the season is over another would have to be scouting flies in Eighth Avenue" - Times, 1920

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Ken Williams started using a heavier bat (48 oz) after seeing what could be done with it. He gripped his heavier bat tighter than ever, and as he put it, "swinging not only from the shoulders, but from the feet. It's all a matter of taste and batting style. Babe Ruth is the model of all home run sluggers, so I guess I don't have to apoligize for my own preferences."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The press constantly hounded Ruth for exclusives. The competition was fierce to get the best story, the most details on the latest home run, and to out hype eachother. Early in '20, a news organization offered to pay Ruth $1,000 bucks for the season with a $5 bonus for each time he hit one out of the park and described the details. The news place send a guy named Ferguson to New York in attempts at signing the deal, but Babe couldn't be found. Ferguson ended up going to Philadelphia where the Yanks were playing the A's, and he finally found Ruth there, in the middle of a craps game with six teammates at the Aldine Hotel. Ferguson kneeled down with the others and joined in, winning big which was the only reason Babe noticed him. He spit out his offer and Babe signed up.

    A 20 something year old Pegler was given the task of taking what Ruth said, and turning it into something which would be read by all of America. After a dozen or so homers, there was no word from Ruth. Ferguson was upset, and wired the Babe to ask what was happening. A couple nights later, a telegram arrived from Detroit which said, "SOCKED ONE TODAY. FASTBALL. HIGH OUTSIDE. SEND CHECK. BABE."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Tidbits

    *Ruth emulated Brother Matthias' batting stance while at St. Mary's. Pigeon-toed lean toward the incoming baseball.

    *Ruth was the best bowler on his early Red Sox team. The best bowler with either the right or left hand.

    *Babe once tried out for a barbershop quartet, and as you'd expect he was turned down.

    *Had there been no baseball, Babe probably would have ended up as a tailor or shirtmaker. Learning the trade while at St. Mary's he was quite good at it, and even years later as a rich man, would personally fix his expensive shirts by hand.

    *His father and older brother both were killed in street fights. [Babe's Dad 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.]

    *Babe always wore the best tailored suits and his nails were done by a manicurist

    *The term "murderers row" was formed from the 1919 Yankee team. A lineup that included Pipp, Baker, Bodie, and Lewis. (speaking of Pipp, he gets a bad rap by history regarding Lou Gehrig's streak. Pipp didn't just have a headache the day he sat out, he had a fractured skull as a result of a batting practice beanball to the head. A pitch thrown by rookie Charlie Caldwell, who later became Princeton's football coach)

    *Babe's favorite shows were "Gangbusters" and "The Lone Ranger."

    *He gave up reading early in his career out of fear of it ruining his batting eye.

    *Some 77,000 people filed past his open coffin in Yankee Stadium on Aug 19, 1948, three days after his passing. From there it was to a mass and then the casket was taken 30 miles to the cemetary where 6,000 people had waited since the early morning. Ruth is buried within 200 feet of Mayor Jimmy Walker who was an old friend of his who once told him, "Never let those poor kids down."

    *Babe led the Yanks in SB in '20 and '23, and tied for the team lead (17) in '21.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    July 9, 1920 was a Friday. Before the home game, the Knights of Columbus presented him with a diamond-studded watch. Ping Bodie was standing near Ruth at home plate for the ceremony, and later joked, "if anyone handed me a cluster of sparklers like that, it would be my luck to have them turn out to be ice...The best I get for hitting home runs is a box of socks."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    He got huge amounts of mail and room for it all was becoming scarce. An extra locker was used for storage. Babe would often ask a teammate, "Open these for me, will ya. Keep the ones with the checks and the ones from the broads." Once the team trainer, Doc Woods went through a garbage basket stuffed with Ruth's discarded mail and found $6,000 in checks and endorsements.

    Many of the letters were outrageous requests and get-rich schemes. He ignored most, but some he answered, especially those from young boys asking for an autograph. A Ruth biographer, Lee Allen, estimated that in 1920 the Babe signed roughly 5,000 pictures and sent them to children who had written him. This was a time when the autograph craze was still far in the future. Allen also wrote that "the chances are that he made 10 quiet visits to see a boy in a hospital for every one that was publicized."

    One of the letters was a shoe company offering him a free pair for every homer he hit. He accepted the offer and insisted that the company donate each pair to a Catholic orphanage in New York.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Most of the ballplayers back then liked to walk to and from the Polo Grounds. Ruth could not do this without complications. In later years he would leave the ballpark through back exists because of the commotion.

    One witnesses account of a mob scene: "Ruth blocks traffic going to and from the clubhouse. Men and boys fought with one another yesterday after the game to reach his side and grasp the mighty hands which clutch the home run bat. Girls and women make him pose for snapshots and proud fathers edge their lads up to him to lay his mammoth paws on their curly heads."

    Novelist James T. Farrell was 19 years old when he saw Ruth leaving Comiskey Park one day surrounded by more than 100 kids.

    He later wrote about it:

    "Wearing a blue suit and a gray cap, there was an expression of bewilderment on his moon face. He said nothing, rolled with the kids, and the strange, hysterical and noisy little mob slowly moved on the the exit gate with Ruth in the center of it. More kids rushed to the edge of the crowd and they, also, pushed and shoved, Ruth swayed from side to side, his shoulders bending one way, and then the other. As they all swirled to the gate, Ruth narrowly escaped being shoved into mustard, which had been spilled from an overturned barrel. Ruth and the kids left the park, with the big fellow still in the center of the crowd of kids."

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-06-2006, 12:07 AM.
    "By common consent, Ruth was the hardest hitter of history; a fine fielder, if not a finished one; an inspired base runner, seeming to do the right thing without thinking. He had the most perfect co-ordination of any human animal I ever knew." - Hugh Fullerton, 1936 (Chicago sports writer, 1893-1930's)

    ROY / ERA+ Title / Cy Young / WS MVP / HR Title / Gold Glove / Comeback POY / BA Title / MVP / All Star / HOF

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sultan_1895-1948
      RUTH STUFF

      He got huge amounts of mail and room for it all was becoming scarce. An extra locker was used for storage. Babe would often ask a teammate, "Open these for me, will ya. Keep the ones with the checks and the ones from the broads." Once the team trainer, Doc Woods went through a garbage basket stuffed with Ruth's discarded mail and found $6,000 in checks and endorsements.

      One of the letters was a shoe company offering him a free pair for every homer he hit. He accepted the offer and insisted that the company donate each pair to a Catholic orphanage in New York.--[/b]
      A good number of those checks, hundreds of them were sent with only one purpose of the sender. It was a clever way of getting Babe Ruth's signature when the cancelled check was retrieved by the sender.

      On that shoe deal, I believe that was for the 1921 season and Ruth personally handed out 59 pair of shoes to the children.
      Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-27-2006, 04:31 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Get this one, I had verified by one of the boys at Sabermetrics. I have that email from them and the fellow that answered my question, if I can find it( lost some how) I can post his name.

        I believe it was the 1920 season, I know it was a Yanks/ White Sox game.
        The situation, the 9th inning, White Sox batting, two outs, Yanks ahead by something like ten runs. The batter may have been George Payne, will check that if I can locate that email.

        In the outfield runs a small dog. Ruth tosses his glove at the pup to scare him off. The dog puts the bite on Ruth's glove and Ruth playfully gets on his hands and knees, amused by the dog, the dog runs off with the glove. Just then the batter lifts a high fly and Ruth pulls it in bare handed, game over.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by blackout805
          thanks, what was Ruth's "auto"biography? (using the term Auto losely)
          Babe supposedly wrote an autobiography in 1928. It was tititled, "Babe Ruth's Own Book on Baseball." They promoted it as Babe's own book. Bunch of baloney. Everyone knew that Ford Frick ghost-wrote the entire thing, every syllable, and I have very good reasons to suspect that Babe never even read it. Just signed off on the project. I believe that Frick was working at the time as one of the writers in Christy Walsh's stable of ghosts. The other syndicate of ghosts worked under John N. Wheeler.

          The 1948 book, "The Babe Ruth Story", by Bob Considine, was never promoted as an autobiography. Simply another biography, and Considine received much of his material from Fred Lieb.

          One of the reasons why I doubt that Babe even read the 1928 Ford Frick book, is because of some things it has Babe saying. It puts classical references in Babe's mouth, which Frick's friends knew Frick loved.

          It also had a place where Babe is saying, "If I didn't have to hit home runs, I'd study Ty Cobb like a hawk, and imitate every single thing he does on the ballfield, in every particular. He is the greatest player anyone ever saw." They admired each other off the chart, but would never have been caught saying those things while Ty still played. They were far too competitive with each other.

          Bill Burgess
          Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-18-2005, 11:33 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            September 3, 1915. Ruth throws a two hitter at the Chicago White Sox. Boston manages just 3 hits, two of them by Ruth a single and a double. Ruth's double off the fence in left field brings home the winning run.

            July 31, 1916. Ruth throws a two hitter at the Tigers. Cobb bounces one over second base in the fourth inning. Later in the game Burns hits a fly down the line that Lewis just misses, hits the foul line for a double.

            July 11,1917. Ruth throws a one hitter at the Tigers.Tiger SS Bush hits a ball off of Ruth's leg. The ball bounces to Boston second baseman Janvrin who throws to first but Bush beats the throw.

            Comment


            • #7
              It looks as if Babe had the Tigers number, just as he had Walter Johnson's number. Now I realize his team might have been better. Is that what your research shows? That Babe owned the Tigers as his cousins?

              Sultan:
              123 career homers against Detroit, 15 more than anyone else. He must have liked hitting off Dauss, Ehmke, Leonard, and Whitehill.

              JoeJackson3:
              When I last looked a couple of years ago, this probably still stands.
              The most home runs hit by a visitor at any park over a career was Babe Ruth with 60 at Tiger Stadium.


              JoeJackson3:

              Some of his best games were pitched against the Tigers but overall the Tigers did good against Ruth.


              Ruth's won/lost against the AL teams while with Red Sox.

              St. Louis------------20-4
              New York-----------17-5
              Philadelphia---------13-6
              Chicago-------------7-6
              Detroit-------------11-10
              Cleveland-----------9-9
              -------------------89-46

              He did pick up 5 more wins as a Yankee. His last two wins were against his old team, the Red Sox.
              In 1933 he pitched his last game and that was against the Red Sox. He had pitched only one game in the last 12 years yet he went the whole 9 innings. He won that game 6-5 and his 34th home run of the season contributed to that win. He gave up 12 hits no strikeouts and 3 walks. He was arm weary and could have left the game with the lead. When asked why he went all the way he said because the fans came to see me pitch. His arm was so tired and sore he could not raise it for days.
              His catcher Joe Glenn. Joe could tell his grandchildren quite a story. He was the catcher for the only pitching appearance by Ted Williams. He caught for two of the greatest hitters ever.
              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-06-2006, 12:12 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by four tool
                Does anyone have Ruth's park by park numbers? That's info I've been looking for for years.
                I've never seen Ruth's home runs broke down by parks. I did take a quick look at some numbers, have to check these but I believe them to be correct.

                Yankee Stadium--------259
                Fenway-----------------38
                Tiger Stadium-----------60

                Polo Grounds----------- no less than 75 and I would say no more than 80. He hit 75 home runs as a Yankee in 1920-21-22 when it was his home park and I am estimating around 5 more at the Polo Grounds as a Red Sox.

                Forbes Field at least 3, his last 3 all in one game. Have to check where he hit the other 3 home runs he hit as Boston Brave in 1935.

                Sultan:
                posted this a long time ago on the other babe thread:

                HR's in cities

                New York ---- 346
                Philadelphia -- 68
                Detroit ------ 59
                Boston ------ 57
                St. Louis ---- 55
                Cleveland --- 46
                Chicago ---- 46
                Washington - 34
                Pittsburgh --- 3

                Opposing AL clubs

                Detroit ------ 123
                Philadelphia -- 108
                Chicago ---- 98
                St. Louis ---- 97
                Cleveland --- 92
                Boston ------ 90
                Washington - 88

                Pitchers

                Righties - 493
                Leftie --- 221

                By Months

                April ---- 48
                May --- 133
                June --- 140
                July - --148
                August - 124
                Sept -- -115
                Oct. ---- 6
                Last edited by Bill Burgess; 08-06-2006, 12:14 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  He was old, out of shape sick with a cold the first month of the 1935 season but they still came to see him play. The Boston Braves pulled in more money in the first 8 exhibition games in 1935 than they did in 27 exhibition games in 1934.

                  On his return to New York as a Brave 50,000 fans attended the opening game at the Polo Grounds the largest ever number for an opener at the Polo Grounds. He was not himself, sick and with his legs bothering him all of April and May till he gave it up. He made some errors that cost the Braves a couple of games. At times he made some great defensive plays in the outfield one of them a bare handed catch after a long run.

                  When he hit his third home run of the game at Pittsburgh his legs troubled him so much that after he crossed home plate he went and sat in the Pirates dug out, it was a shorter walk to his position in the outfield after his team finished batting. His comment to the Pirates, "that one really felt good boys."

                  Too bad he did not take wife Claire's advice. She wanted him to quit after that big game, a single, three home runs, the last one over the roof and into Schenley park, what a way to go out.
                  Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 12-28-2005, 08:54 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Joe and Sultan-
                    I wanted to commend both of you on the amount of time and effort that you put into the cause of getting the most accurate, in depth information on George Herman Ruth.

                    Both of you have been a pleasure to debate with (and learn from).

                    -Chris

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by csh19792001
                      Joe and Sultan-
                      I wanted to commend both of you on the amount of time and effort that you put into the cause of getting the most accurate, in depth information on George Herman Ruth.

                      Both of you have been a pleasure to debate with (and learn from).
                      -Chris
                      The Babe makes it easy, seldom does he do anything ordinary. It takes some time and effort but one can always find something of interest that he did.

                      I usually try to find some of his deeds that are out of the ordinary or not well known to most.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        September 27, 1914 the Chicago Cubs play an exhibition game against the minor league Providence Grays.the game is played at Rocky Point and the Grays win 8-7. Pitching for the Grays 19 year old Babe Ruth. At the plate Ruth hits a triple and a home run. The home run is described as a long home run, a "splash", ( take that Barry) the ball comes down in the Narragansett Bay. The Cubs are paid 400 dollars for their days work.

                        1934 Babe Ruth does three 15 minute radio commercials a week for 13 weeks for Quaker Oats. He is paid 39000.00 dollars, almost 3000 dollars more than the Yanks pay him to play.

                        September 24, 1931 at a benefit exhibition game to help the unemployed at the Polo Grounds, a running, a throwing and a fungo hitting contest are part of the days activities.

                        Lefty O'Doul was timed at 3.3 going to first base.
                        Ben Chapman made the longest throw, 392 feet 10 inches.
                        Babe Ruth hit the longest fungo fly, 421 feet. According to the Baseball Library web site Ruth chose to bat right handed in that event.
                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 04-14-2006, 09:15 AM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Taken from a Buck O'neil PBS interview:

                          Is there one moment in all of baseball you wish you could have seen?

                          I wish I could have been there when Babe Ruth pointed and hit the ball out of the ballpark in the 1932 World Series. I wish I could have seen that. But I did see something I admired just about as much, with Satchel Paige and Babe Ruth. This was in Chicago, after Ruth came out of the major leagues. He was barnstorming, playing with different teams, and he played us. Satchel was pitching and Ruth was hitting. Satchel threw Ruth the ball and Ruth hit the ball, must have been 500 feet, off of Satchel. Satchel looked at Ruth all the way around the bases and when Ruth got to home plate, you know who shook his hand? Satchel Paige shook Ruth's hand at home plate.
                          They stopped the game and waited, he and Satchel talking, until the kid went out, got the ball, brought it back and Satchel had Babe Ruth autograph that ball for him. That was some kind of moment.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by blackout805
                            Taken from a Buck O'neil PBS interview:

                            Is there one moment in all of baseball you wish you could have seen?
                            That was a great story. I saw that clip of Buck and have it saved some where. I believe it was on a CD I have, "The All Century Team" or on that Ken Burns special. Buck is some guy, some great stories, always interesting to listen to.
                            Last edited by Bill Burgess; 02-27-2006, 04:42 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Anyone see Unsolved Mysteries this morning? They showed a segment about stolen baseball memorabilia, including Babe Ruth's uniform. They showed footage of Ruth's 60th home run as both the teaser and to begin the segment itself. Also includes a stolen Mickey Mantle uniform, Pete Rose silver bat, Honus Wagner baseball cards and lots of rings.

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