|Assessing Babe Ruth
'Never-mind the pictures of George Herman Babe Ruth with his large belly of later years, when his appetite got the better of him, the Babe was a fine athlete for most of his legendary years. Ruth was a top base runner for much of his career, opportunistic and quick from first to third on almost any single.
Ruth could reach and catch more the normal share of drives to his field. The Babe had an arm that matched anything of the Furillo-Clemente-Evans-Parker post war crowd.
Babe Ruth was a marvelous pitcher who won 94 games and lost only 46 with an exquisite ERA of 2.28. Ruth career batting average of .342 is the 7th highest mark in history. One cannot bat .342 and be a slow-footed, pot-bellied ballplayer. He stole 123 lifetime bases though it was his home runs, 714, that made him famous.
These words were spoken by Bill Morrissey, a 88 year old fan, during the 1986 World Series at Fenway Park in Boston.
Morrissey, a real estate assessor had attended over 3,500 games, mostly Red Sox games but also many Braves' games before they left town.
Bill Morrissey could remember the 1916 World Series when Ruth, the pitcher, beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, and he remembered 1918 when Ruth beat the Cubs in the 1st and 4th games. 'Babe Ruth was the best pitcher the Red Sox ever had. But he hit so well, I suppose he had to become an outfielder'. The record books attest to the 714 home runs and 17 shutouts in 148 starts.
Morrissey recalled Tris Speaker, Cy Young, and he praised Don Mattingly, the contemporary star of the Yankees. But most of all he raved about Babe Ruth.
Where There Is No Wood, The Fire Goes Out... So, Where There Is No Tale Bearer, History Ceases - baseballhistorian.com Archives