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cheaptrick77

'anyone see the INTERESTING Babe Ruth photo in Sunday's Dallas paper ???

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'My claim to fame'

(by Kevin Sherrington | Dallas Morning News)

Nearly 60 years ago, Ruth made a boy's day

Jim Williams of Garland bought a photo of Babe Ruth visiting Dallas and naturally wanted to know the story behind it.

He didn't have many facts other than the picture itself: Ruth sitting in the front passenger seat of a convertible, shaking hands with a boy standing next to the car.

Williams was told the picture was taken in 1934, perhaps in front of Fair Park.

Wrong on both counts. First, Ruth appears considerably older in the photo than the man who played his last season for the Yankees in '34 and retired from Baseball the next season. The background isn't Fair Park, either. It's Dealey Plaza, which wasn't built until the late '30s.

Another thing: Archives of The Dallas Morning News show no record of Ruth visiting Dallas until 1947. You'd think a sighting of the world's most famous athlete would rate a mention.

Ruth's arrival certainly was front-page news in Dallas on July 10, 1947.

Only three months after "Babe Ruth Day" at Yankee Stadium, where, gray and thin and hoarse from the cancer that would kill him, he reminisced on boys playing the game he loved, Ruth came to Dallas on a national tour promoting American Legion baseball.

Here's Felix McKnight's account in The News of Ruth's visit, in particular his encounter with boys at the old Baker Hotel.

It isn't easy for Babe Ruth to get around the country and see his boys. He is tired and the long fight to live left sad marks on Mr. Baseball.

The eyes that once picked out home run pitches are deep pools. The bull shoulders that rocketed 714 home runs out of major league parks are bent and sloped. The massive frame is slender and stooped and the hair is grey. The voice is raspy and the slight coughs frequent.

But the heart? Bigger than ever!


McKnight goes on to record Ruth's exchange with Carlton Crittenden, 5, from Detroit, Texas, way up in Red River County.

Slowly the big man knelt and wrapped his hand around the boy's arm muscle.

"Gee, fellow," exploded The Babe, "that muscle is just the size of the handle on my old bat!"

Carlton's eyes bulged.

"I'll betcha play Baseball, too – don't you?"

"Yeah – chekun base!"

"Good boy, good boy."


Carlton Crittenden is 64 now. He lives in Waco. His memories of his big day are largely based on what others have told him: his mother reading about Ruth's pending appearance and taking her sons and another Detroit boy to the Baker ... Ruth passing in the hallway ... a reporter asking if they'd like to meet him ... his brother, Tommy, pleading with their mother.

Carlton doesn't know what's going on. He doesn't need to go.

Carlton went and, for a while, anyway, became a celebrity. But as time went by and his own Baseball exploits advanced no further than high school in Paris, Texas, he didn't talk about his conversation with Ruth. He didn't want to brag.

Even now, he doesn't display his framed copy of that front page, picture and all. But it still means something nonetheless.

"That's my one claim to fame," he said.

He would be one of the last of Ruth's "boys" to make the claim. On Aug. 16, 1948, little more than a year after his Dallas appearance, Ruth died at 53.

He left a legacy far greater than his numbers. Col. Alvin Owsley put it into perspective at an American Legion luncheon the same day, before Ruth left Dallas for good.

"It must be wonderful to be a champion," Owsley said, "but it must be greater to be a champion of America's youth."

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Champion of America's youth. That is a huge title to have and even harder to live up to.

 

The Babe was that larger than life figure in America and still is to me and others who can fathom the enormous impact that the Babe had.

 

Hit one for all of us who are or have been youth (which includes us all) today in The Field Of Dreams, Babe. Thanks for the memories that we all still enjoy when we hear or think about George Herman Ruth.......!!

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I knew Ruth was in Dealey Plaza that fateful day !! :whome:

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Guest bleedsbluengold24
Originally posted by cheaptrick77

I knew Ruth was in Dealey Plaza that fateful day !! :whome:

 

That fourth shot they heard on the police radio was just him taking a little batting practice.

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Babe cared, George Herman may have been alot of things, but at least he gave a something Yankee, about people.

 

The best computer generized photo I've ever seen, if you want to go to that fateful day, is Lee Harvey crouched in a singers croon, Jack Ruby holding a guitar(not gun),and the Dallas police officer (who passed last year)stepping back playing keyboards.

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