McMurray: Babe Ruth exhibition at Smithsonian explores his life on, off the field

From SABR member John McMurray at Sports Collectors Digest on April 25, 2017:

An array of photographs and vintage items that help explain Babe Ruth’s star power, commercial appeal, personal story, and place in history are on display through May 21 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery. The exhibit, titled, “One Life: Babe Ruth” is a one-room display best suited for those who want to appreciate how Ruth’s legend grew and endured.

The vivid images of Ruth included in the exhibition are a particular highlight.  

A 1915 photo shows Ruth, then 20, posing with fellow Red Sox pitchers George Foster, Carl Mays, Ernie Shore, and Dutch Leonard. Another shows Ruth warming up in 1921 with the Yankees. A 1920 studio portrait (now a reproduction since the original has been returned to the Library of Congress) along with an image where he is pictured kissing his bat prior to the 1926 World Series and Nickolas Muray’s well-known 1927 portrait are among those which capture Ruth’s presence as a player. Some images are well known and others, less so. Together, they effectively capture Ruth’s slugging as well as his fun-loving persona.

But the exhibition is as much about how Ruth was perceived than it is about his on-field accomplishments.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: April 25, 2017. Last Updated: April 25, 2017.