During this 2021, it will be a hundred years since Babe Ruth has been considered a “very strange creature”. That was scandalous, in the middle of the 1921 season, in July.
After a game at the Polo Grounds (they had not built Yankee Stadium), Ruth was forced to undergo three hours of scientific, especially psychological, examinations, which he refused, considering himself offended.
"I am not a guinea pig, I am not an animal for experiments!" He protested. But they were desperate to know what that specimen of strangers was, who weighed 97 kilos, measured one meter 88 centimeters, fat and with such deep gaze, eyes from another world.
The general amazement was that no one in the AL had hit more than 16 home runs in a season, those of the Athletics' right-hander Socks Seybold in 1902. In the NL, the mark was 27, by Ned Williamson, Cubs, in 1884 And most of these home runs on the field. Ruth, who came to the Yankees after the 1919 season, had rolled 11 in 1918, 29 in 1919, 54 in 1920 and already had 31 that year, 1921 in July. Yes, he had "taken out", beyond the fences.
Media across the United States, beyond the sports pages, covered Babe Ruth's science experiment. The "New York Times" ran front page stories for days; and the magazine dedicated to scientific activity, “Popular Science”, dedicated covers and huge interior spaces to the news of whether Ruth was a normal human or not, due to her physical and mental abilities to hit.
After the tests, the spokesman for the scientists, Will Hendrickson, with a look of dismay, appeared before reporters and said: “Incredible! After the studies of Mr. George Herman Ruth, we found that he is a normal person, like you and us ”.
Not so similar, since no one else hit the ball with the ease and force of Babe. Pitchers always had a more appropriate diagnosis: "El Babe, compared to the average of men, is exceptional, both physically and mentally."
In 1921, on February 26, Ruth celebrated her 59th birthday, and in October she celebrated again breaking her own record with 168 home runs, her third consecutive mark in three years. He also led the League with 177 RBIs, 145 runs scored, 512 walks, 846 on base, 457 slugging. His 119 bases reached and XNUMX extra-base hits remain records for both Leagues.
Between 1918 and 1931, in 14 seasons, he was 12 times the home run leader of the two Leagues, including his record of 60 in 1927, which lasted until Roger Maris's 61 in 1961. He was not the Most Valuable, because that was not yet delivered. award. Perhaps his best trophy was being considered supernatural.
Very important media covered the investigation
Headlines devoted to the investigation of the legendary slugger's rare bat power appeared in the US media at the time, such as: "Babe Ruth's Home Run Secrets Solved by Science" (Ruth's Home Run Secrets, Solved by Science). ),
Babe's teammates and some journalists made famous phrases like…: "The more I see Babe Ruth hit, the more I am convinced that he is from another planet."
And, if we are to admire and respect the first power hitter in baseball history, there is a greater reason for such admiration and such respect, and that is that Ruth was never told how to hit by a coach or instructor.
He did everything himself, with his extraordinary ability to connect the ball and send it over the fence of the stadiums.
The Golden Age of Sports
That year, 1921, was the epicenter of the remembered era known as "The Golden Age of Sports" (The Golden Age of Sports). And Babe Ruth, with her home runs, her childish enthusiasm, her good-natured smile, and her obvious love for all children, was the main reason for that sonorous phrase.
In New York there were 12 newspapers, each of which assigned a reporter to cover everything El Babe did. And from other cities, there were weeks when more than 20 special envoys arrived, just to follow the "weirdo" as he did or did not do.
Babe Ruth was so delinquent as a child that without being an orphan, his parents managed to commit him to the Catholic orphanage in Baltimore.
On the second floor of his father's liquor store in Baltimore, Babe was born in 1895.