Monday, November 5, 2018

Review of "Baseball Legends: Babe Ruth," by Norman L. Macht

Review of
Baseball Legends: Babe Ruth, by Norman L. Macht ISBN 079101195

Five out of five stars
 While this is the sanitized version of the life history of Babe Ruth, it does convey his incredible achievements and star power. In my opinion, the most incredible statistic in all of professional sports is Ruth’s performance in 1920, when he hit 54 home runs, more that all the other teams in the American League. He truly transformed how baseball was played. Before his arrival as a hitter, the home run was considered an unnecessary fluke. When the fans began to appreciate Ruth’s ability to hit the ball great distances, other players began modifying their approach and the equipment modified.
 While there were a few great athletes before Ruth that garnered a great deal of fame, Ruth was the first true superstar celebrity of sports. Everyone knew his name and followed his performance any way they could. Other than describing his incredible appetite for food, there is no mention of Ruth’s many vices other than smoking. This book maintains the façade of Ruth the unflawed hero that was the norm in sports writing up until the late sixties. Nevertheless, it is a good introduction to what will always remain the most transformative figure in all of American professional sports history.

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