Eye Injury Handicapped Young Babe Ruth

This article was written by Al Kermisch

This article was published in 1989 Baseball Research Journal

When Babe Ruth broke into Organized Baseball it didn’t take him long to establish himself as an outstanding pitcher and a hitter with exceptional power. But was the young Babe satisfied with his batting? Apparently not. On April 25, 1919, the following item appeared in C. Starr Mathew’s column “Playing the Game,” in the Baltimore Evening Sun:

“Once upon a time before Babe Ruth became famous, a newspaperman complimented him on hi batting and the Baltimore slugger said: ‘I’m handicapped in batting because on of the boys at school smacked me in the eye with a brick. If I could see better I could hit better.’

“Few persons ever guessed that Babe was handicapped to such an extent. It is a very sad thing, of course, but there are many American League pitchers who just hate to think what Ruth would do but for that ‘bad’eye.”

The above item appeared about a week after the Babe had culminated a sensational slugging spring by hitting six home runs in six official times at bat in two exhibition games between the Red Sox and Orioles in Baltimore.