BABE by Robert W. Creamer


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Fortified by an admirable amount of research, the author, a Senior Editor at Sports Illustrated, has chiseled out a compelling, eminently readable composite of the titan slugger ne George Herman Ruth. Without demystifying the Bambino -- ""a man who did things impulsively, the way a child does"" -- Creamer's narrative nevertheless manages to take the Babe out of the confines of his legendary swaddling clothes. The reconstruction of Ruth's early years -- growing up in a Baltimore saloon before being exiled to a reform-minded industrial training school for boys -- is most effective at depicting some of the embryonic environmental factors which would make him -- once liberated on and off the playing field -- into a ""great misbehaver"" and his life ""repressed, explosive, truncated."" A worthy retrospective of a time when the ball was less lively -- but the game itself was single-handedly enlivened by those classic swings from the left side of the plate.

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 1974
Publisher: Simon & Schuster