1935: Kid in Hospital Gets Signed Ruth Ball

 

Babe Ruth, 1935 The End of Days

Babe Ruth, 1935
The End of Days

By April 12, 1935, 40-year old Babe  Ruth was beginning his short-lived National League career with the Boston Braves after 21-seasons and 733 (714 regular season; 19 World Series) home runs in the American League. By this time, the Babe was telling people that 750 career home runs had always been his goal and that he hoped to accomplish that feat in 1935. As we now know, Ruth fell far short of that goal, hitting only 6 HR by the time age and his .188 batting average led him into retirement after his May 30, 1935 final MLB game appearance.

Babe only his 6 homers in 1935, and three of them came in a single game a few days earlier in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, “The Babe” did not have a scriptwriter, as actor William Bendix who played him in the 1948 movie, “The Babe Ruth Story.” Otherwise, Ruth would have done what Bendix did – taken himself out of the famous Pittsburgh game for a pinch runner after a single got him to first in the 9th following his three earlier homers. And it would have been the rookie on th Boston bench that Babe would have requested as his replacement, picking the very kid who had earlier complained alous about Ruth being a washed-up has been. Oh yeah, and Bendix as Babe also through in a quick verbal salvo to complete the kid’s drenching in shame for those earlier critical remarks. “Take care of the game, Kid,” Bendix as Ruth said. “Take care of the game – and the game will take care of you.”

Many of the Ruth movie legends were based in fact, but were not quite as dramatic as the movie instance in which Ruth’s promise to a dying boy in St. Louis that he will hit a World Series home run for him and he should be listening for it from his bed at home over the radio. In the Bendix movie version, the dying kid looks just about gone when the home run is announced. Then the kid opens his eyes and breaks into a smile of gratitude. What I never understood is how the dying kid in St. Louis was brought back from the dead by a Ruth home run against the Cardinals in one of their World Series matches of 1926 or 1928. As a Cardinal fan, one would think that a Ruthian home run would have just about finished him off, even if it were promised.

At any rate, Here’s a poor quality newsprint photo that accompanied a true story about Ruth paying attention to a sick kid in the hospital:

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Jefferson City Post Tribune April 12, 1935 Page 9

Jefferson City Post Tribune
April 12, 1935
Page 9

“A real tonic that brought a smile to the face of bed-ridden young Jay Boy Richelson was an autographed baseball received from Babe Ruth. Jay, recovering at a Camden. N.J. hospital after four operations, is shown holding the prized horsehide on which is inscribed: ‘To My Pal, Jay Boy Richelson. Get Well Quick. From Babe Ruth’.”

~ Jefferson City Post Tribune, April 12, 1935, Page 9.

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Don’t Forget! The Houston Babies play vintage 1860’s baseball in Sealy today (See yesterday’s column in The Pecan Eagle.) We’d love to have your support, so come on out to watch us shine among the bluebonnets.

 

 

 

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