Richards: My dream game: The Babe’s last hurrah

From Lawrence Richards at The National Pastime Museum on February 26, 2015:

The attendance at Forbes Field was about 10,000; not a very large crowd. They were enjoying a balmy Pittsburgh afternoon with clear skies on May 25, 1935. The Pirates were hosting the Boston Braves, and most had come to see Babe Ruth.

Ruth was in terrible shape. To refer to him as a mere shadow of himself would be an understatement, an overly kind description. Age 41 and grossly overweight, his knees were killing him. He hadn’t modified his patented wide and up-arc swing; in his last 44 at-bats he managed only six hits. His deteriorating eye-hand coordination prevented him from turning on an even mediocre fastball; he was batting .155. Mentally depressed, he was angry and very, very tired. He was a shill, and he knew it.

A father and his young son located their seats in the upper grandstand. They arrived well before the game began at 3:30. The Bucs were still taking batting practice. His dad excitingly pointed out the ballplayers, the different ballpark features. In truth, his son would have preferred staying home, playing with his friends. Anyway, the hot dog vendor was close, so things were looking up. “Just wait,” his father smiled. “You’ll be able to tell your children you saw Babe Ruth.” “Uh huh,” the kid replied. “I’d like extra mustard.”

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Originally published: February 26, 2015. Last Updated: February 26, 2015.