The greatest slugger of all-time, the Sultan of Swat, the Great Bambino. To the schoolboys he was a mythical figure, a Paul Bunyan. The older folks remember him as an aging sick man, a big, enormously heavy man who occasionally visited the baseball park and was immediately the center of attraction. The name, of course, is Babe Ruth. Those who were fortunate enough to see him play may not remember the year was 1927 when George Herman Ruth hit 60 home runs, but they know there will never be a slugger like him.
Babe Ruth lived his life in the same colossal manner in which he hit home runs. He was a simple, great-hearted, man of lusty appetites who was loved not only by the kids of his day but by his fellow players, writers who reported his deeds in the press, and thousands of men and women in the stands. Ruth lived on a lavish scale, gargantuan scale. He could get into more trouble, curse louder and more profanely, drink, smoke, eat, and enjoy himself more, than any other athlete of his time. Few ever resented what this large hulk of a man did. That was Babe he could do everything wrong, he could live up to the hilt, knock around in such a manner that would kill an ordinary man and go on, day after day, busting down fences with those powerful home run balls. He pleased the crowds, and the crowds loved him. For 22 years he gave the fans every nickel of their money’s worth. Even when he struck out,
the Sultan of Swat did it with such enormous gusto and anger that it was a wonderful thing to watch.
It was Ruth’s mighty appeal that brought thousands through the turnstiles. People call Yankee Stadium “The House That Ruth Built” but Ruth was more to his team than just a glamorous attraction. When they won a pennant it was usually because Ruth was teeing off that day, with those long balls.
Babe Ruth saved baseball. In his first season with the Yanks Babe was spraying home runs a...