Just in case you didn’t know it, today is National Babe Ruth Day
- It commemorates the event held on April 27, 1947, which was proclaimed Babe Ruth Day and the Babe sick with cancer spoke briefly to a crowd of almost 60,000 people at Yankee Stadium.
- Baseball Commissioner, Albert “Happy” Chandler Sr., aware of Ruth’s rcondition, designated “Babe Ruth Day” at Yankee Stadium, where Ruth (out of the public eye) would address the fans that loved him the most, 27 years after first donning pinstripes.
- This is something that was so amazing: His address would be piped into baseball stadiums across the country.
- Newspapers never used the word cancer when describing Ruth’s condition. The New York Herald Tribune reported that Babe Ruth had been sick all winter with a “throat infection.”
- The New York Times reported about Ruth’s appearance: “Just before he spoke, Ruth started to cough and it appeared that he might break down because of the thunderous cheers that came his way. But once he started to talk, he was all right, still the champion. It was the many men who surrounded him on the field, players, newspaper and radio persons, who choked up.”
- In a strained raspy voice, he slumped forward and whispered:
You know how bad my voice sounds—well it feels just as bad. . . . The only real game, I think, in the world is baseball.
As a rule, people think that if you give boys a football or a baseball they naturally become athletes right away. But you can’t do that in baseball. You’ve got to start from way down, at the bottom when the boys are six or seven years of age. You’ve got to let it grow up with you. And if you try hard enough you’re bound to come out on top, just as these boys have come to the top now.
There’s been so many lovely things said about me. I’m glad I had the opportunity to thank everybody. Thank you.
At the age of 53, on August 16, 1948, at 8:01 pm, Babe Ruth died in his sleep
In honor of the Babe, go out have a catch, eat a half dozen or so hot dogs with a six-pack and salute one of the greatest in baseball history.