Thursday, February 19, 2004

The Babe

Growing up on the west coast, I always discounted the talk about Babe Ruth. Characters in movies like The Sandlot were always in awe of Babe Ruth the way I was in awe of Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire. So, I naturally assumed that they were all on about the same level. Later, Willie Mays took the place of the Bash Brothers in my mind as the Babe's equal. My dad wasn't a huge baseball fan, and I didn't know any Yankee fans yet (thank god). There was no one around to correct my faulty assumptions.

But as I've gotten older and started reading more baseball books and actually looking at the numbers, I've been forced to readjust my perspective. Reluctant though I was to give a Yankee his due, Ruth's performance cannot be ignored. As Rob Neyer points out in his article, Nobody better than the Babe, Ruth is head and shoulders above everyone else. He's incomparable.

But those other guys Neyer mentions are alright too...


  1. As a Yankee fan, I find your overlooking of the greatest sports figure of the 20th century (yes, greater than Michael Jordan)to far exceed the typical anti-Yankee bias that clouds the minds of otherwise rational thinkers. For anyone at any point in their baseball lives to mention the likes of Jose Canseco and Mark Maguire in the same sentence as the Babe is indicative of a very narrow perspective. I'm glad to see that you can give a HOF hitter AND HOF pitcher who single handedly saved baseball from the Black Sox scandal his due. Jose Canseco?! You have to be kidding.

  2. Irrational thinker, narrow perspective. I won't argue that. I would guess that irrational, narrow-minded eight-year-old baseball fans are fairly common, no?