June 24, 2010

Good Thurs. It started out sunny and still this morning, then morphed to gray and breezy. Possible rain. Yokel news is nothing much. We watched part of the Ken Burns series on baseball, the episode featuring the 1920s and Babe Ruth. If you enjoy baseball history, this is very good. Lots of still photos and motion films of great players and quite a bit of material on baseball as a business, the Black baseball leagues, changes in the ball, the introduction of radio broadcasting of games, etc. Huge crowds in Times Square NY to watch a scoreboard register developments in World Series games. It was another time. Ruth’s personal life was interesting. His father was a saloon keeper. Ruth was probably ADHD, always getting into trouble, throwing rocks at policemen at age 7, etc. His parents put him into an Catholic institution for “incorrigible” children. He spent 10 or 12 years, most of his childhood, there. He also learned baseball there and soon became a standout. He played varsity baseball at age 12. He was an excellent left-handed pitcher. The Baltimore Orioles signed him as a pitcher at 19, then sold him to the Boston Redsox, where he quickly became the best left-handed pitcher in the American League. He was such a good hitter, they had him play outfield when he wasn’t pitching. He hit 29 homeruns one season when the previous best was 7. Later he hit 49. Then 59, then the magic 60. It changed baseball, which had been a pitcher’s, bunter’s, and base stealer’s game up till then. Interesting factoid: up through the 1920s outfielders left their gloves in the field when their team was up to bat. When old-timers were asked about it, there was no recollection that anyone ever tripped over a loose mitt. Factoid: Rogers Hornsby hit over .400 three times, including .424 one season, still the record.

Comments are closed.