Happy Birthday, Babe

Today is Babe Ruth’s birthday. I thought it was only fitting – on the eve of the Super Bowl – to post audio of his final words at Yankee Stadium. His voice was hoarse and scratchy, due to his cancer, but his message came through loud and clear: baseball, not football, is America’s Pastime. I couldn’t agree more.


  1. dschaub@gpo.gov

    Hi there. Nice to say anything, after 2+ FEET of snow has made us housebound — no power for 20 hours, so no phone, no stove, and of course no internet. And New York got nothing?!?!
    Anyway…how apropos, yet again, Jane…there is, was, and will be nobody like The Babe — Jidge (that’s the nickname, I was slightly off) — The Big Bam. I’d quote you another passage from Montville’s book, but it’s upstairs and I don’t want to risk wakening an exhausted spouse.
    He dominated the sport like nobody ever has in any sport — and it’s so amazing that even in today’s jaded, ultra-informed age…there’s still no argument. And in the greatest game ever invented. You read his legend, and he is still larger than life, in every way imaginable. People still wear his uni number (3), even though he had it for only the last seven-or-so years of his career, just to honor him…

  2. diane.anziano@gmail.com

    Quite moving, Jane. I don’t think I every heard this before now. Thanks, and Happy Birthday, Baby. My dad’s birthday was February 6th — a big baseball fan, although he was a national league fan, and the greatest man who ever walked this planet.

    Baseball is undoubtedly the national pasttime, but football has become huge because it is a faster paced sport and because the championship comes down to just one game, allowing for big parties, like we have every year. BTW, as a Jets fan and in honor of our coach, Rex Ryan, we are only serving “finger” food at this year’s party. LOL.

  3. dschaub@gpo.gov

    Good one, Lady Diane…and as for the Jets, too-shay (so to speak)! My bride is cookin’ up some pork ribs, courtesy of Son #1, who brought ’em with him to visit…he deserves it after helping with the Big Dig-out (still in progress).
    I was watching a video (!) of the Yanks in the ’43 World Series this morning (long story), and since it’s mid-WWII, they start it with an announcement from…The Babe. He’s shown in front of a BBC microphone(!!) giving encouragement to the troops, and hoping that the Series gives them some respite, and a little encouragement too — Jane, wasn’t that the year your mom got his autograph? Gotta go…more shovelin’ awaits…

  4. ooaooa

    The Babe clip reminded me of some info I though you’d like to read. Babe had a daughter with a women named Juanita from Mexico in the early 1920’s. Her name was Dorothy and Babe and his first wife, Helen, raised her and Helen was her adopted mother. Babe had a second adopted family with his second wife Claire. His fathered daughter, Dorothy Ruth Pirone, lived in Durham Ct., the next town over from me and had several children. One is Linda Ruth Tosetti who has been interviewed and done many appearances talking about her grandfather. The Pirone family owned a junkyard in my hometown, Meriden Ct., and one of my first customers when I entered the Insurance business was Dorothy’s husband who ran the junkyard. His son, Babes grandson, worked in the yard. If you put Richard Pirone in a 1920’s Yankee uniform he was the Babe. I haven’t seen or heard of him for many many years. His sister Linda has a web site called “The Official Family Web Site of George Herman Ruth”. It’s very interesting. Check it out.

  5. welikeroywelikeroy

    Nothing says hotdogs, beer and baseball like Babe Ruth. I wonder if we will ever see a player of his iconic pop culture status again? Certainly none of the present players.

  6. Jane Heller

    His voice is tough to listen to, Mike, but it’s gripping in a way no broadcaster could ever recreate it. Such a larger than life man, wasn’t he?

    Thanks, Cat. I hope he’s up there in baseball heaven having a birthday bash with his buddies.

    He did tell it like it is, Christine. Football may be king on this day, but baseball is #1 with me.

    Oh, Dave. Poor you with all that snow. People in CA had mudslides but your blizzard was monstrous. Glad you have power again. What a memory you have. Yes, 1943 was the year on the menu Babe signed for my mother. He was such an amazing figure. Never mind that he also pitched! I still can’t get over that simple fact.

    Happy Birthday to your dad, Diane. How wonderful that he and the Babe shared a birthday. Have a great time at your Super Bowl party and, while your Jets aren’t in it, I hope your favorite team wins, whoever they are! Enjoy the finger food. I can taste the nachos and chips now.

    That’s quite a tangled family tree, John! I will check out Linda’s web site for sure. Thanks for letting us know about it.

    I don’t think we’ll ever see a player of his iconic status again, Jeremy. Given the media scrutiny, we know too much about each player’s human foibles now. And they all try to be so careful about fitting in and not being larger than life characters. On top of all that, how many home run kings also pitch nowadays? He was amazing.

  7. mel.tmottbg@gmail.com

    Thanks for posting that Jane. That was the speech he gave on June 13, 1948 that my dad stayed in the taxi to listen to as he and my mom started their honeymoon. (No wonder my dad kept saying “Emily, he’s dying!”)
    I hope my dad is spending today with the Babe at his party.

  8. Jane Heller

    Oh, I remember that story about your father in that taxi, Melissa. It still chokes me up. As for the party, of course he’s with the Babe at the party. They’re having a great time!

  9. bklyntrolleyblogger

    I’m glad the Babe is safely in our past. I believe his number should be retired from all of baseball. That’s for another day. I say “safely in our past” because by today’s Politically Corrected Media **** Ivory Tower Holier than Thou coverage standards…the Babe would be ripped apart repeatedly, with verve and vindictiveness, and followed by the relentless pack mentality p’razzi. Good for him he’s part of a different era and doesn’t have to deal with today’s nonsense. HAPPY 115 BABE!!! Say what “you” will about the Babe and his personal behavior issues and how he dealt with adults. He loved the kids everywhere he went and teated them like gold. Every kid he ever came within 5 feet of, was a friend of the Babe for life. That’s what everyone should remember about the Babe. From one adult to another…I’d tell you to stick it, too.
    But kids were always his gig! Keep your drunkard stories to yourself! Long live the Babe.
    Great post Jane….thanks for an opportunity to rant.

  10. Jane Heller

    Ooooh, Mike. Looks like you got censored by MLBlogs! I can only imagine how Babe would have been picked apart by the media. His picture would be on the front page of the NY Post every day – and not for his baseball feats or exchanges with kids. He was quite a guy and we’ll never see another like him. I’d love it if his number could be retired.

  11. mel.tmottbg@gmail.com

    Funny you should mention Meridan, CT ooaooa (sorry can’t remember your name!). That was where my parents went on their honeymoon. A place called “Captain Jack’s Happy Acres.” (I know, it sounds like a mental institution.) It was a sort of dude ranch and each “room” was a refurbished trolley car.

  12. Jane Heller

    Bad boy, Mike. The MLB police are after you now. Can you hear the sirens in Brooklyn?

    Captain Jack’s Happy Acres, Melissa? Lol. Great name for a honeymoon spot – if you’re a pirate! I bet John from CT has heard of it.

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