I’ve always felt that the month long period between the middle of January and the middle of February is easily the slowest period of time for baseball news. It would seem then that in God’s infinite wisdom, when he created Babe Ruth, he did it on February 6th knowing full well that baseball writers and bloggers alike would need to have SOMETHING to talk about on this day dominated by football…an often overlooked factor in Ruth’s legendary greatness.
Babe Ruth would have been 116 today, had he just laid off the cigars and booze. His greatness is that of legend, and has become a part of American folklore. While many of his once seemingly untouchable records have been broken, decades later, the fact that he was able to help develop a platform to reach them says enough about who he was and what he accomplished.
Yankee Stadium and the crowds it drew were largely funded and made possible by his presence on the team. It was, after all The House That Ruth Built. The size of the venue combined with the enigmatic star power which Ruth had helped charge baseball, and with it professional sports, into the forefront in the United States.
Today we will watch a football game which celebrates everything that has happened in-between Ruth’s last at bat and today. The Super Bowl in itself is a game that not only figures out the champion of the NFL, but also celebrates the institution of professional sports. We can thank in many ways, Mr. Ruth, for the rise of pro sports in America.
So Thanks Babe, and happy 116th. To try and quantify your on the field success in this post would not do your justice. Instead we will just thank you for your contributions to sports in America, and for a slight baseball tid-bit in the heart of the cold-cold football season.