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UP CLOSE: BABE RUTH by Wilborn Hampton


by Wilborn Hampton

Age Range: 10 & up

Pub Date: March 19th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-670-06305-5
Publisher: Viking

Celebrating his subject as “the greatest player ever to step on a baseball diamond,” Hampton ably reports the “comic opera [and] grand drama” that was the career of George Herman Ruth. Though never an orphan, as baseball legend often has it, Ruth was a bad kid from a bad part of Baltimore. He was sent to a Catholic reform school and he did grow up to be “the idol of every kid in America.” Without mythologizing Ruth, this volume tells a no-holds-barred tale of the Babe’s playing-field heroics, womanizing, publicity stunts, the legendary “called-shot,” ten World Series, 22 seasons and 54 records. The writing is more encyclopedic than dramatic, but it does portray Ruth as a flawed hero, a likable athlete who would sign baseballs and visit orphanages and hospitals but who was always ready to react to criticism by punching someone in the nose. The “big, moon-shaped, snub-nosed face” of Babe Ruth will forever be a part of baseball lore, and this work does credit to the player of legend. (foreword, bibliography, index) (Biography. 10 & up)