Saturday, September 19, 2009

Babe Ruth Is Even More My Hero

Steroids? Nah. HGH? Nah. As the signs in the bleachers put it: “Babe Ruth did it on hot dogs and beer.” I don’t follow sports much (that is, zero) but I think all “records” by people who used any kind of body-building drugs and such should be erased. Nothing stronger than hot dogs and beer should count.

Guy grabs a bat, stands at the plate; pitcher throws a ball; guy with a bat hits the ball as far as he can. Nothing injected or swallowed. Man with bat vs. man with ball.

I was too young to know much about Babe Ruth, but I did realize he was a great force with the Yankees. In 1947, probably around Babe Ruth Day at The Stadium (is there really any other?), I remember the big deal about him. I even wrote his name in my attic room where I was residing at the time.

The picture of him pointing to where he was going to (and did) hit a homerun was, as he later pointed out, a pure coincidence. He was as surprised as anyone: “I just wanted to show that I was going to hit a homer,” to paraphrase his words. “I never thought it would go right where I was pointing.”

The “Curse”? Never mentioned in print until 1986, it was based on the sale of Ruth from Boston to NY to finance the play, “My Lady Friends,” later to become the musical, “No, No, Nanette.” It wasn’t until 2004 that “the curse” was broken; during that time, the musical has played to packed houses every time it was revived.


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