FanDuel - WFBC

May 04, 2006

Records may fall, but the Babe endures : That the focus is still on the Babe even in a hometown paper reveals exactly what the locals think about #25's pursuit of a legendary record.

posted by irunfromclones to baseball at 02:34 PM - 48 comments

Ruth was so far ahead of his peers, and the players to follow for 6 decades, that it is almost unbelievable. Bonds can preen, whine, and be a jackasss to get attention until the end of time, but his legend will never approach that of the Babe.

posted by whitedog65 at 03:24 PM on May 04

They say no man is bigger than the game, but one was, and still is. Babe Ruth understood that the game is entertainment and that he was it's biggest star and ambassador. Somebody on ESPN last night mentioned the fact that 100,000 mourners paid their respects when the Babe passed away. How many other personalities of any kind outside of world leaders can be honored with a similiar outpouring of grief.

posted by THX-1138 at 04:00 PM on May 04

No roids for Ruth.

posted by T$PORT4lawschool at 05:03 PM on May 04

That's exactly why no one will ever surpass him in popularity and in greatness.

posted by the Judge at 06:09 PM on May 04

the babe.. he was absolutely awesome.

posted by ktown at 06:41 PM on May 04

greatness.....hank aaron passed him in that...oh...and in home runs too.

posted by tommytrump at 06:45 PM on May 04

All the talk about the White Sox and the last time they won a world series opened my eyes up to the dead ball era of baseball (something I heard of but never understood) Ruth pretty much closed the book on that time and ushered in the new era of longball. Say what you will about Bonds, but he will never have that kind of impact on baseball.

posted by HATER 187 at 07:08 PM on May 04

That's exactly why no one will ever surpass him in popularity and in greatness. I'm guessing we are only talking about baseball, right? Because Muhammad Ali is so much more popular around the world than Babe Ruth ever was or ever will be. Pele probably surpasses him as well, if you decide to look outside North America. Heck, even Michael Jordan is more popular (and recognizable) than Ruth nowadays. This nostalgic "it was never better than it was back then" attitude is simply a case of one generation denying the greatness of the generations that follow it. How many other personalities of any kind outside of world leaders can be honored with a similiar outpouring of grief. Ali's funeral/memorial will blow that out of the water. Say what you will about Bonds, but he will never have that kind of impact on baseball. Really? Do you see how many stories are written about Bonds nowadays? Do you read how many times people want to blame the whole steroid kerfuffle on Bonds? If/when people look back on this era of baseball, Bonds' name will be front and centre for both his accomplishments and his notoriety.

posted by grum@work at 07:31 PM on May 04

"That the focus is still on the Babe even in a hometown paper reveals exactly what the locals think about #25's pursuit of a legendary record." I'm not a Bonds apologist, but I think it's worth noting that "the hometown paper" is the same one that employs the authors of "Game of Shadows." So, take the article with a grain of salt. And, nothing against Ruth or his adoring fans, but I think if you're going to admire a player, you should at the very least have seen him/her play. Not just heard or read about how great he/she was.

posted by forrestv at 07:42 PM on May 04

wow.....grum..........you said it!!!!!!!!! i got NOTHIN' to add.

posted by tommytrump at 08:17 PM on May 04

Hank Arron is the All Time Home Run Leader. BABE RUTH IS THE ALL TIME HOME RUN KING. barry bonds is the all time steroid abuser.

posted by The Toz at 12:42 AM on May 05

They say no man is bigger than the game, but one was, and still is. Two. Jackie Robinson.

posted by chicobangs at 02:17 AM on May 05

Nothing against Jackie or his monumental contributions to the game , but he definitely was NOT bigger than the game. Ruth played in a time in which baseball was the only professional team sport that was widely followed, and I daresay every American who could read or write knew of the Babe and his exploits. Ask half of the vapid generation X,Y, & Z who Barry Bonds is, and you will be met with a blank stare. Ruth was hitting more home runs than most teams were, for chrissakes. Comparitively, someone would have to hit upwards of 100 dingers a year to have the same impact as the Babe had. I agree with tommytrump, however, in that Aaron surpassed the Babe in greatness and home runs. Hammerin' Hank has been nothing but class and has given more back to the game than he ever took.

posted by mjkredliner at 07:22 AM on May 05

hammerin hank was great,but babe was and is still the king...like elvis is to rock'n'roll or marilyn munroe is the queen to sex appeal...these people are what all others are measured by,compared to..but nobody has yet to fill their shoes..and mjk is right, someone will have to hit 80-90+ homers or even a 100 homers to be in the same playing field as babe ruth...

posted by ktown at 07:41 AM on May 05

Nothing against Jackie or his monumental contributions to the game , but he definitely was NOT bigger than the game. Babe Ruth: possibly the best player of all-time in a sport that was the only game in town when he was king. One of the first media superstar celebrities. Jackie Robinson: furthered the progress of racial integration (and humanity) in America and probably, by extension, the world. Made people take an honest look at themselves and their attitudes. You're right. They're not really comparable at all.

posted by yerfatma at 09:02 AM on May 05

Go to Japan and ask one of their baseball players if they know who Babe Ruth is. He IS recognized around the world.

posted by volfire at 09:09 AM on May 05

Branch Rickey deserves at least as much credit for the attributes ascribed to Jackie Robinson in your comment, I believe, yerfatma. And don't get me wrong, I am not in any sense downplaying Jackie's role, as he was a great ambassador for his race, AND baseball, in the face of unrelenting bigotry and disdain. But was Jackie bigger than the game? I think not.

posted by mjkredliner at 10:09 AM on May 05

the king is dead. LONG LIVE HAMMERIN' HANK. LONG MAY HE REIGN!

posted by tommytrump at 10:58 AM on May 05

Anyone catch the story about the Babe on Sportscenter last night? Most interesting was the contrasting approach to journalism between then and now - how reporters went out of their way NOT to delve deep into Ruth's personal life to exploint his womanizing, or his drinking, or any of his other flaws. I take nothing away from the guy - yes he is the king of kings in baseball lore - but it does make you wonder what we would think of him if he suffered through the prying, conniving, media scrutiny that today's players face...

posted by MW12 at 11:31 AM on May 05

Because Muhammad Ali is so much more popular around the world than Babe Ruth ever was or ever will be. Heck, even Michael Jordan is more popular (and recognizable) than Ruth nowadays. Disagree. greatness.....hank aaron passed him in that...oh...and in home runs too. And it only took him a couple of thousand more at-bats to do it. No one doubts the greatness of Hank but give me a break. I guess Marilyn Monroe was just average looking compared to Pamela Anderson and Tom Cruise is a better actor then James Dean. Simply pathetic.

posted by TOASTY POSTY at 11:49 AM on May 05

Ruth played at at iime of no relief pitchers and inferior competition. If he had to compete against black, latino, and asian players like they do now! He'd be about as good as Jim Thome.:)

posted by Big Dookie at 11:51 AM on May 05

Ruth was a great player and he did more for baseball than any other ten men from his time. But time's have changed dramatically. Bonds surpassing Ruth does not, in any way, diminish Ruth's accomplishments. Big Dookie, Jim Thome's pretty damned excellent at baseball. And funny you compare the two, I've always thought Thome carries himself alot like the Babe. volfire, go to South Africa and ask them who Babe Ruth is? Or go to Kiev? Now ask them who Muhammed Ali is? Yes, Ruth's fame is wide reaching but he's not the top of the list.

posted by fenriq at 12:16 PM on May 05

Branch Rickey deserves at least as much credit for the attributes ascribed to Jackie Robinson in your comment I agree that Rickey and the Dodgers' owner (Walter Alston?) deserve credit, but neither of them had to listen to the racism or endure the treatment of racist players. See if they could handle one bus trip down South, then we can decide what they were made of.

posted by yerfatma at 12:18 PM on May 05

For what Jackie Robinson personally (not Branch Rickey or Walter O'Malley or Pee Wee Reese or anyone else) had to endure, and for the example he set for tolerating and quietly refuting ignorance of the worst kind everywhere he went, and for the magnitude of the change he effected, and the first small bridge of communication he was central in building across not just baseball but modern culture, he is not just bigger than baseball, but frankly he's one of the central cultural, social and political figures of the 20th century. The fact that people don't know about what he had to deal with, or chooses to not see it, barely a few decades on from that time, is frankly saddening and a little frightening. No dis on Branch, who did a great and brave thing, but as far as I'm concerned, Jackie Robinson doesn't belong on a stamp. His face belongs on currency. (And yeah, Ali's death will bring a worldwide mourning period as major as that of any pope.)

posted by chicobangs at 12:59 PM on May 05

Records are meant to be broken I remember when my nephew was 7 or 8 he's 15 now his favorite baseball player was Babe Ruth it struck me as odd but I wonder how many kids of today have Babe Ruth down as their favorite player what a legacy he left on Baseball Bonds could not even fit into the bambino's jock

posted by luther70 at 01:11 PM on May 05

Go to Japan and ask one of their baseball players if they know who Babe Ruth is. He IS recognized around the world. So ask an athlete of a sport if he recognizes the name of a famous athlete of the same sport? And that is supposed to be an indication of world-wide fame? I wonder how many kids of today have Babe Ruth down as their favorite player I'd be very surprised if kids aged 7 or 8 would even know who Babe Ruth is, nevermind make him their "favourite" player. If the parents of the child make an effort to teach him the history of the game, then MAYBE he'll know. However, if based on who they may have watched on TV, then my guess it'll be Jeter, ARod, Pujols or Andruw Jones.

posted by grum@work at 01:33 PM on May 05

Why would I want to go to South Africa?

posted by volfire at 01:39 PM on May 05

(I don't know, volfire. Maybe to see a part of the world you've never seen before? Knowledge and perspective can be their own reward.) Kids around the world (or at least anywhere where they play baseball, which nowadays covers quite a bit of ground, including South Africa) would at least recognize the name Babe Ruth, even if they didn't understand what he did and its context in baseball or in culture. Sure, Pujols and A-Rod are on the posters, sneaker ads and SportsCenter, but that only makes sense. They're doing their thing now. God love him, but the Babe's best years are kind of behind him at this point.

posted by chicobangs at 01:57 PM on May 05

Why would I want to go to South Africa? Surfing, jewelry, etc. I hear they have lovely necklaces.

posted by yerfatma at 02:01 PM on May 05

yerfatma: I agree. I did make an effort to describe Jackie's courage, though not in so many words. And chico, Ali is absolutely, (or was at one time), the world's most widely recognized athlete, I don't think anyone can argue that point, and I certainly would not try. Does Jackie deserve to be spoken of in the same breath as Mandela and King? That, as someone said in a not to distant thread, is beyond the scope of this forum.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:04 PM on May 05

Then again, maybe not. After some careful deliberation on my part, I guess he does deserve to be mentioned in their company. Thank you for enlightening me. P.S. you all are pretty tough to rassle against, but it's always fun.

posted by mjkredliner at 02:28 PM on May 05

One more indication about the relative effect on the sport of Babe vs. Jackie: Mark Loretta wears Babe's old number for his old team. Mark Loretta. You know who wears Jackie's #42, don't you?

posted by chicobangs at 02:47 PM on May 05

Go to Japan and ask one of their baseball players if they know who Babe Ruth is. He IS recognized around the world. And, of course, they'd have no idea who Barry Bonds is, right? Right? 'Cause, otherwise, you really don't have a point at all. Bonds could not even fit into the bambino's jock If I had any conclusive proof that Bonds used/uses steroids, I would have something very snarky to say regarding that comment. /saving it for another day

posted by The_Black_Hand at 03:05 PM on May 05

I believe that number is retired, is it not? If not, it should be.

posted by mjkredliner at 03:20 PM on May 05

rhetorical question n. A question to which no answer is expected, often used for rhetorical effect.

posted by HATER 187 at 03:23 PM on May 05

Ah, thank you HATER187. Your assertance of superiority made this all perfect.

posted by mjkredliner at 03:36 PM on May 05

It's a little hard to see, but it was all in the question mark.

posted by njsk8r20 at 03:36 PM on May 05

Mark Loretta wears Babe's old number for his old team. yeah, but ruth didn't even wear a number when he was with sox.

posted by goddam at 03:41 PM on May 05

I will forever have a negative association with Jackie Robinson because of a horrific car accident I had on the Jackie Robinson Memorial Parkway.

posted by HATER 187 at 03:57 PM on May 05

True, but you'd think, given that the Babe is, well, the Babe, that the Red Sox would at least -- eh, maybe not.

posted by chicobangs at 03:58 PM on May 05

I believe that number is retired, is it not? If not, it should be I don't think Babe Ruth's number will ever be retired by the MLB simply because that is an honor only held by Jackie Robinson, a player whose importance goes beyond the game. Robinson's story is told in American history clases around the country. He is the only person who has done enough to have his number retired league wide, and it should stay that way.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:52 PM on May 05

You know who wears Jackie's #42, don't you? Mariano Rivera?

posted by grum@work at 07:49 PM on May 05

The only other players I remember wearing it after the league-wide retirement were Mo Vaughn and Butch Huskey. So Rivera's the Craig McTavish of MLB. The similarities are eerie: 1. Last player grandfathered-in on a rule change 2. Weird death in the past history 3. Never wear helmets

posted by yerfatma at 08:56 AM on May 06

Does that mean Mariano will wind up managing the Edmonton Trappers someday?

posted by chicobangs at 01:07 PM on May 06

Barry Bonds isn't even a pimple on Babe Ruth's ass. The Babe revolutionized the game and his legacy will live forever. Bonds' legacy will always be shrouded by the steroid problem. Simply put, he is a cheater. He shouldn't be praised for his accomplishments, even if he hits a 1,000 home runs. He needs to take his whiney ass home and never step foot in a major league park again. Babe Ruth will always be remembered for his tremendous bat, no matter how many players pass his 714 homer mark. Hank Aaron broke the record never hitting 50 or more homeruns in a season. He did it with talent, not roids. Cheaters never win and Bonds will never recieve the support he thinks he deserves.

posted by SoonerLes at 04:30 PM on May 06

The Babe revolutionized the game and his legacy will live forever. Babe Ruth did not "revolutionize" the game. Hitting a home run was something that happened before Ruth did it. Hitting that many home runs in a season was simply an excellent performance. The first pitcher to throw a split-finger fastball was more "revolutionary". The first manager to adopt the idea of "platooning" was more "revolutionary". The first player to bunt was more "revolutionary". As well, Babe Ruth's legacy will eventually fade away, much like that of Dan Brouthers and Roger Connor before him. Time and progress are unstoppable. Simply put, he is a cheater. So was Babe Ruth. He was caught using a modified baseball bat.

posted by grum@work at 12:16 AM on May 07

I agree with a lot of your points there grum, but I don't think that Babe Ruth's legacy will just fade away. When he was playing he was more than just a baseball player, he was an icon, somebody who intergrated themselves into culture as well as there sport.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:02 AM on May 07

Babe Ruth did not "revolutionize" the game. uh huh...neither did henry ford (didnt invent the wheel)...or archimedes (didnt invent math or physics)...or sir humphrey davy (didnt invent light) yeah, i guess hitting more homers than every other team in the league isn't very revolutionary

posted by bar_mangled_banter at 09:34 PM on May 10

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