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Better Than the Babe

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Randy,

    I feel for you, my friend. I really do. Of all the members here, you and I alone have a deeply passionate connection to a player. I should add Wesley Frick now. And formerly, Pete truly loved Mickey Mantle.

    I don't think Mark or Ubi or others have it in for Babe. I don't think they care that deeply on a personal level. It sounds as if we are all simply trying to measure Babe, (or Ty, or Honus or Teddy) as best we can, based on our readings.

    I seldom take it personally when members say the old clich├ęs about Cobb. Members start threads on who was the most disliked player, the biggest a**hle, etc. I just let it go. There is no need, when someone tries to measure Babe Ruth accurately, in increments, to feel as if someone offended your wife/girlfriend. No one spit on anyone.

    Mark raises Willie over Babe, I raise Babe over Willie. It's all good. I have never heard anyone imply that Babe was a bad guy. We pretty much all agree that Babe was a good guy, who may have been a little immature. Or a lot child-like in his innocent, undeveloped personality.

    Few think Babe was ever mean, like Ty could be. My guy could be such a ******* it was unbelievable. He could also be fair. He'd walk over to the enemy dugout and tell them that if no one blocked him off a base, it'd all be alright. But he could also be savage under other circumstances. Just like Babe could be mean to Leo Durocher and Miller Huggins. When Huggins died, his sister was bitter and said that Babe had taken 5 years off her brother's life. She was wrong, of course, and just venting her grief. That's understood.

    But this is only baseball chat, and we're all friends, or at least colleagues.

    Bill

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  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Originally posted by leecemark
    --Sultan, it seems we are both saying pretty much the same thing. Babe Ruth was an overgrown child. If you see that as a positive, more power to you. I see him as a great player despite his emotional and intellectual issues.
    Well, we aren't saying the same thing because we don't view this in the same manner. You choose to focus on the negative. I don't necessarily see it as all positives; I see his flaws, but I choose to view it realistically and taking everything into account to understand him as a person.

    By the way, you never answered how many stories you could name about him doing things that enraged people. You should admit that you were only referring to a couple instances which you chose to focus on, and those don't define him as a bad person. That those instances, which were later laughed about, were taken as they should have been; with a grain of salt knowing who it was done by. Those guys understood him better than we ever could and they had no problem him, yet nearly 100 years later we're gonna play keyboard psychologist and have skewed blanket views of him? Makes little sense.

    If you were going to move Mays ahead of him for legitamate reasons, then more power to you, but I can't understand using some of the reasons you gave. Being an overgrown child, not remembering names, not being a good teammate, not being a team leader, etc. He was a good teammate, he did instill confidence on his team, he was at the healm of many pennant winners; they didn't win inspite of him, they won in part because of him and him making those around him raise their level of play.

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  • leecemark
    replied
    --Sultan, it seems we are both saying pretty much the same thing. Babe Ruth was an overgrown child. If you see that as a positive, more power to you. I see him as a great player despite his emotional and intellectual issues.

    Leave a comment:


  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Ok Mark.

    You never used to word "retard," so you're correct. Let me help you explain how I could be lead to feel that way and be offended.

    Originally posted by leecemark

    my conclusion is that he had some serious developmental issues.

    not a normally functioning adult.

    I think he was developmentally challenged.
    Dictionary...

    Retardation:

    lack of normal development of intellectual capacities

    slowness in development or progress

    Retarded:

    adj : relatively slow in mental or emotional or physical development

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

    Originally posted by leecemark

    Many Ruth stories are the kind which may well have irritated or even enraged people when they happened, but got funny after the fact, much like parents are able to laugh at childhood misdeeds in retrspect.
    Can you name 5 such instances? I can only name 3 or 4 after all the research I've done on him.

    I think it's sad that you get sad about something like this. It's apparent that you have a distorted view of Babe the person. The fact that in his world, it was easier to apply a nickname to teammates, or to simply call people Doc, or Keed, or Pop, is lost on you. His world is difficult to comprehend because we're so far outside of it, but Mark, no matter where he went he was the center of a whirlwind. People here, people there, everybody wanting to be in his presence, and instead of acting like one of todays stuck up premadonna athletes, he was available. He took the time that you wouldn't expect of someone of his stature, of his ability. Who else would take their own time before the first World Series game in Chicago to drive out and visit a blind kid in the country. He didn't do it for press, in fact he probably made three times as many "appearances" without press as with press. He preferred they not be there.

    I'm getting off track here. I could literally spend two entire pages posting about the good he did out of genuine affection for people and children in general. But instead you want to focus on negatives. He wasn't perfect by any means, but who is. You fail to give him even the slightest break and consider what impact being at St. Mary's had on him. To expect him to "outgrow" being uninhibited and "outgrow" living life to the fullest; well that shows you don't understand it's impact or him the person.

    Waite Hoyt:

    "While I can easily recognize this (crudities) and admit it freely, yet there was buried in Ruth humanitarianism beyone belief, and intelligence he was never given credit for, a childish desire to be over-virile, living up to credits given his home run power - and yet a need for intimate affection and respect, and a feverish desire to play baseball, perform, act and live a life he didn't and couldn't take time to understand."

    Creamer:

    Along with an abiding interest in Ruth the hero, Ruth the outsize man, I found in the people who knew him, most of whom are elderly now, a warm affection. You would ask about Ruth, and the first thing they would do, remembering, looking off into the past, would be to smile.

    Bob Shawkey:

    People sometimes got mad at him, but I never heard of anybody who didn't like Babe Ruth."

    Creamer:

    I told this to Jim Russell at lunch and said that I had found the same sense of affection in all the oldtimers I talked to. Many of them had been specific- sometimes startlingly specific - in discussing the details of the things Ruth had done: the fights, the drinking, the eating, the girl chasing, the arrogance, his "indigestion" in 1925, his hypochondria late in his career, his bitterness and almost maudlin self-pity when he could not get the jobs he wanted in baseball after he was through as a player, the disastrous mistakes he made; but through it all there was a flow, a warmth, a delight as they talked about Ruth. He had been fun to be around. They liked him.

    Creamer:

    "A considerable part of his headline-making propensity was the result of his extraordinary visibility. He could not hide. Ruth incognito was a contradiction in terms. Even in that era before television and mass circulation picture magazines, everyone knew and recognized Ruth's huge, round, flat-nosed, wide-mouthed face, his hulking body, his beaming grin, his unhappy pout. Wherever he went, the Babe was on public display, and few, if any, of his peccadillos went unnoticed."

    Creamer:

    "Ruth's tendency to get into trouble, particularly during his first decade in the majors, gave rise to a fairly widespread opinion that he was subnormal mentally (Ban Johnson said he had the mind of a fifteen year old) or else was so primative that he could not accept a moral code. 'He was an animal,' Dugan said. 'He ate a hat once. He did. A straw hat. Took a bite out of it and ate it.'

    But Ernie Shore said, 'You have to remember, he had grown up in the Catholic reformatory. When they let him out it was like turning a wild animal out of a cage. He wanted to go everyplace and see everything and do everything.'

    'Ruth recognized the difference between right and wrong,' Frick said. 'What he did not recognize, or could not accept, was the right of society to tell him what he should do, or not do.'

    He had a perceptive understanding of things in certain areas and, in his own way, a refreshing sense of taste. When he met Red Grange after the Illinois football hero turned professional in the middle of the 1920's, Ruth said to him 'Kid, don't ever forget two things I'm going to tell you. One, don't believe everything that's written about you. Two, don't pick up too many checks.'

    He liked seeing children the best. He enjoyed them. He was comfortable with them. 'He's just a big kid' was a common description of him, and perhaps the only time he was truly at ease was when he was with children. With them there were no rules, no authority, no need to apologize, to explain, to explode, to drink, to f*ck, to prove himself over and over. Without thinking about it, he knew who they were and they knew who he was. They got along. Like a child, he did not like to wait or plan for the right moment. He did not like to wait for anything. 'It might rain tomorrow,' he would say.

    He did things impulsively, the way a child does. Children are emotionally neutral to things that deeply affect adults. Without malice, they casually hurt the feelings of a close friend. Without love, they do an act of exceptional thoughtfulness for a casual acquaintence."
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-21-2006, 02:12 PM.

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Heck, I cut everyone a lot of slack, not only Babe.

    Look at how much slack I cut Ty? Never stopped using the n word.

    Look at how much slack I cut Joe Jackson? Took $5K to throw the series, and then double-crossed them and played to win.

    Or McGraw? Probably ordered more brides of enemy players to throw games to his Giants, than any man outside of Chase.

    Hornsby? Rudest SOB outside of Cobb/McGraw.

    Anson? Raging racist who might have started the color ban.

    Rose doesn't bother me. Dick Allen/Al Belle don't bother me in the least.

    Barry Bonds? Sold out for glory. Lots of angst there, & yet I discount him and forgive him.

    Like I said, abuse is something I must have a high treshhold for. I cut all the jerks slack. Maybe there's something wrong with me.

    Bill

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Babe did have some issues. Randy's not denying that. I think he's objecting to Babe's issues reaching the clinical level.

    Babe himself admitted, and so did Claire in her book, that Babe had trouble remembering people's names. I personally think that was merely laziness, and not an inability. Could be wrong.

    But Babe did remember what players could do on a field, even if he could remember their names.

    There are many issues one could have in development that are not clinical. Impulse Control, Knowing and acknowledging borders/boundaries of others, accepting socially acceptable behavior, etc. Dr. Phil. (McGraw) discusses this stuff all the time. So does Oprah.

    Babe did pull some boners. Once when with the King of Sweden, he said something like, "Asparagus gives me gas!". When chided later, he said, "Hell, I didn't say FART, did I?!"

    It was stuff like that that he was known for, and most cut him slack, realizing that he was not the most sophisticated person in the room. But most have some issues like that, including me and most here on Fever. Most of us think we're cute, or amusing when we puncture a border or two. Others might not, depending on how much slack they're willing to cut us. But we don't go around seeing how much slack the world will cut us, cuz we already know, it won't be as much as we want.

    Bill

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  • Bill Burgess
    replied
    Originally posted by leecemark
    --Except I don't think it was an affectation with Ruth. I think he was developmentally challenged. An idiot savant of baseball .
    But if even Rube Waddell could remember his team mates names, and we have no indications to the contrary, . . .

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  • leecemark
    replied
    --I've said in virtually every post that people liked the Babe. Arguing that people did is not proof that he was an intelligent or even normally functioning person. Ruth didn't do things out of malice, he just didn't know any better.
    --What we have he is a man who had as much natural talent as anybody who ever lived and who did things no one had ever done before on the ballfiield. He also did all kinds of amazing and amusing things off the field. Naturally his teammates and everyone who encountered him has lots of stories to tell (and telling Ruth stories made them the center of attention later). Many Ruth stories are the kind which may well have irritated or even enraged people when they happened, but got funny after the fact, much like parents are able to laugh at childhood misdeeds in retrspect.
    --When I was younger I was very impressed by the Babe's uncontrolled appetite for booze and women and his general lack of regard for what anyone else thought of his actions. I am less impressed now. His lack of self control and awareness that others (as well as himself) were negatively affected by it just gets sad as I get older (and particularly since he never grew out of it).
    P.S. Sultan, you must be unaware of this since you keep throwing the word around but retard is a derogatory and offensive term. Please stop attributing it to me, as I have never used it as a description of Ruth or anyone else.
    Last edited by leecemark; 03-21-2006, 06:53 AM.

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  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    Originally posted by leecemark.
    --Ruth's forgetting his teammates names is, in and of itself, unimportant. However, the fact that he couldn't even be troubled to learn the names of men he had played beside [B
    for year after year [/B]suggests he wasn't particularly concerned about being a good teammate. .
    Now we're getting a little silly. Because he couldn't be troubled to learn the names of men he played beside ( your words) suggests he wasn't concerned about being a good teammate. How did you determine that. How do you know that he was not concerned about his teammates. They didn't view him that way, they often spoke of how much they cared about him and what it meant to take the field knowing he was one of them.

    Please lets not play Dr. Phil ( what a phony he is) and explore the inner workings of the mind of another and expect any to believe that can be done.

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  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    Originally posted by leecemark
    --He said things that every civilized person would find crude and he never outgrew enjoying his freedom from StMarys, which most people would have after a few years. The Babe was just an overgrown child right up to the end of his days. A rough childhood doesn't get you a lifetime pass to act like one.
    --Don't get me wrong, he was a likeable child, but he was never fully functional . You said yourself, only minutes ago, that he rarely had a serious thought in his head. On that we can agree.
    That didn't seem to bother those that new him well, were in his company, teammates and players from other teams. Maybe if one were to know him in those times instead of looking back on him as you are you might place a higher value on him. Rare that any who speak of him, who had contact or knew him came away not liking him.

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  • four tool
    replied
    How bout a case for DiMaggio?

    What if we give him back '43, '44, and '45 and insert his career averages and give him a slight boost; maybe 5% or whatever because it was in his prime. We could also give '46 a slight increase from what it was, because he was a bit rusty when he came back.

    We could also add on another 3 years of decline to end of his career, and give his entire career a slight era adjustment.

    So if we do all that, and consider that he was a righty hitting against mostly righties, and put him in a better HR park, his numbers would be pretty dang impressive. He gets the nod defensively because of ability and because of a more valuable position. His arm wasn't as good as Babe's, but that doesn't count so much as a negative when you're in centerfield. His arm was strong enough to pass. Baserunning is a wash, and they both have championships.

    DiMaggio's incredible strikeout/HR total has got to say something.

    Any thoughts?[/QUOTE]

    If we're doing that, we'd have to make a case for Ruth playing OF full time before 1919--we can't only what if one half of the equation.

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  • SHOELESSJOE3
    replied
    Originally posted by leecemark
    --Don't get me wrong, he was a likeable child, but he was never fully functional . You said yourself, only minutes ago, that he rarely had a serious thought in his head. On that we can agree.
    Is that a sign of some sort of mental deficiency, because you just don't give a damn about world events. Maybe a bit in the minority but hardly cause to question anyone's mental capability or intelligence level.
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-21-2006, 07:36 AM.

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  • four tool
    replied
    The gibson numbers have been posted on the Gibson/OH thread-Gibbie has fewer thqan 3,000 NL ABs to work with--in those his HRs come out to 43/550, or 37 per 162--really good but not near Babe on many fewer ABS. At peak, Foxx etc, had similar numbers to 43/550

    Gibson/Oh Thread: http://baseball-fever.com/showthread.php?t=38028
    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 03-21-2006, 07:38 AM.

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  • Sultan_1895-1948
    replied
    Originally posted by leecemark
    --He said things that every civilized person would find crude and he never outgrew enjoying his freedom from StMarys, which most people would have after a few years. The Babe was just an overgrown child right up to the end of his days. A rough childhood doesn't get you a lifetime pass to act like one.
    --Don't get me wrong, he was a likeable child, but he was never fully functional . You said yourself, only minutes ago, that he rarely had a serious thought in his head. On that we can agree.
    I fail to see how being extremely uninhibited and enjoying life to the fullest, constitutes a retard label. I could type out a story about him having a couple over to his apartment. He showed them around and pointed out a trophy he won in a farting contest, and told stories that were a bit "colorful." The lady wasn't offended at all, she found Babe to be very interesting. You'd be surprised how much people appreciate a genuine person who is honest. Enough about that though, it's just one of many "reasons" you gave for moving Babe down, which is fine. Another bunk in the Babe camp just opened up. No worries.


    How bout a case for DiMaggio?

    What if we give him back '43, '44, and '45 and insert his career averages and give him a slight boost; maybe 5% or whatever because it was in his prime. We could also give '46 a slight increase from what it was, because he was a bit rusty when he came back.

    We could also add on another 3 years of decline to end of his career, and give his entire career a slight era adjustment.

    So if we do all that, and consider that he was a righty hitting against mostly righties, and put him in a better HR park, his numbers would be pretty dang impressive. He gets the nod defensively because of ability and because of a more valuable position. His arm wasn't as good as Babe's, but that doesn't count so much as a negative when you're in centerfield. His arm was strong enough to pass. Baserunning is a wash, and they both have championships.

    DiMaggio's incredible strikeout/HR total has got to say something.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by Sultan_1895-1948; 03-21-2006, 12:29 AM.

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  • leecemark
    replied
    --He said things that every civilized person would find crude and he never outgrew enjoying his freedom from StMarys, which most people would have after a few years. The Babe was just an overgrown child right up to the end of his days. A rough childhood doesn't get you a lifetime pass to act like one.
    --Don't get me wrong, he was a likeable child, but he was never fully functional . You said yourself, only minutes ago, that he rarely had a serious thought in his head. On that we can agree.

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