Saturday, June 20, 2009

Catching Up on the Babe

One of the great things about the times spent on our Florida sabbaticals is the chance to read. With the business to run and the blogs to write and life in general in the way, little time is left for the pure joy that is reading. Mom lives in a small condo, the type that was built by the hundreds forty years ago to accommodate the middle class refuges from the Northeast that retired down here. It's not a fancy place, but it has a pool that no one uses. The Fan spends every day down by that pool under and umbrella reading good books.

Mom had a book about Babe Ruth sitting on the shelf. There have been dozens of books about Ruth over the years. This one was written by Leigh Montville in 2006. Montville does a really good job and describing just how much Ruth revolutionized the game as it went from a small ball world with strategy to a game of strength. Imagine a player coming up to play now that could do things nobody in the game had ever been able to do. Imagine a player so different with results so breathtakingly new that there was no correlation to go by. Imagine that the 58 homers he hit in 1921 were more than all but two other teams hit as entire teams.

We have no understanding of how he changed the game. We have no understanding of how good Ruth was in comparison to his peers in the early part of his career. Montville also does a great job in not only painting the warts on Ruth, but giving him more credit for his intelligence and innate handling in the art of negotiation that Ruth displayed.

It's a really good book and if you ever want to know more about the myth that is Babe Ruth, search for Montville and Ruth on Google and go find a copy. It's worth the read.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

I rarely say anything bad about Red Sox fans because I'm sort of one of them, but you might get a kick out of this.

Someone on a Red Sox forum actually thought Ruth wouldn't be as good as someone like Jerry Hairston Jr. in this day and age. True story. I shit you not.