May 28, 2008

The Babe's Living Legend

Ruth's biographer tells Gelf about the dethroned home-run champ's life and times.

Michael Gluckstadt

Imagine the chaos in the sports universe if word got out that Babe Ruth used performance-enhancing drugs. Would he be vilified for sins committed during the Coolidge administration? Or would the moral posturing that has enveloped the Barry Bonds coverage finally subside? Maybe Mark McGwire would end up in the Hall of Fame. Or maybe the record books would get a whole fresh batch of asterisks.

In 1991, Wiley Publishing released a book called The Baseball Hall of Shame's Warped Record Book. The book, which is aimed at 8-12-year-olds, includes a fascinating story about the Babe:

The Bambino fell ill one year attempting to inject himself with extract from a sheep's testes. This effort by more than a few athletes of his era to seek the healing and strengthening properties of testosterone prefigured the craze for steroids. When Ruth fell ill from his attempted enhancement, the media was told that Ruth merely had 'a bellyache.'

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- Sports
- posted on Dec 21, 08
Michael Mauro

Just how many women did Babe Ruth sleep with on the barnstorming tour north from Spring Training in 1925? Who verified this information? Was locker room talk how it was verified? Who spoke to the women who Babe allegedly fucked? Or was this just the distant recollections of gossiping ball players from a bygone era? Was Babe ill with his annual bout of chest cold, flu and bronchitis when he collapsed in Asheville? Did Babe nix rest in order to make fans happy who expected to see him play in Chattanooga the previous day? Did Huggins insist that he rest or did Barrow insist that his card needed to draw? Who verify his excessive consumption of alcohol during Spring Training 1925? Actually, how DID Babe hit so many incredibly long home runs so frequently if he was drinking so goddam much bootleg hooch? This all does Babe a tremendous injustice. Who can verify how many hospitals, orphanages and benefits he did for charity? Can anyone detail the courage he displayed in undergoing experimental treatment for cancer? Those are much more worthy pursuits than enumerating, as some to do regularly, the cartoonishly exaggerated flaws in Babe's personality. Did anyone ever enumerate the times he sought counsel from the Xaverian Brothers and Catholic priests throughout his career? Did biographers count the times he attended Mass? Did they ask the club house men and batboys who took care of them? Where's that documentation? Or, that's not sex and scandal and it just doiesn't sell? To be sure, by all accounts, he did not live an exemplary life, but he sure as hell lived a courageous and giving life. He gave back much much more than he took from life. When are we going to start talking about the good he did? Or did the good get buried with him at the Gates of Heaven, New York? Why can't someone somewhere be as nasty about what Bonds did using steroids as they seem to be about Babe's alleged excesses? In spite of the continued attempts to denigrate Babe, throw him down into the dust heap of history, he remains the King of Swat. He's bigger than the game he played and loved. Despite how shabbily he was and has been treated by the Yankees and MLB (who don't even have a batting award honoring the memory of the guy who saved their collective bacon), Babe Ruth endures. He was a great man in every sense of the word great. He was, he is and he will always remain the greatest athlete ever to come off an American playing field.

- Sports
- posted on Nov 04, 09
frank george

so was babe ruth really such a man "whore"?

- Sports
- posted on Jan 21, 10

u ask 2 many damn quetsions

Article by Michael Gluckstadt

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