For as many photos that were taken of the Babe during his time (see the Photos section), there were probably several times the number of articles written about him – both during his playing days and afterward. Let’s face it. Babe was a newsmaker in his athletic accomplishments. And, he was a newsmaker in the cultural sense for his celebrity lifestyle, his extroverted personality and his many, many public appearances. People were interested in the Babe. And the Babe made news.
Even today, Babe is still referenced in all sorts of contexts. People are often described as the “Ruth of” their field of expertise. There are many comments about “Ruthian” feats. And, of course, there’s the homerun, the Yankees and baseball history – topics that all frequently cite Ruth.
So, in this section of BRC, fans have the opportunity to browse a number of articles and cartoons about the Babe, most of which came from the pages of the Ruth Family scrapbooks. Unfortunately with the exception noted about certain cartoons below, the original newspaper sources for these clippings are not known by either the Ruth Family or BRC, so we are unable to properly accredit these items.
In this collection, BRC opens the family’s scrapbooks that contain historical articles and captioned photo features about the Babe from a variety of periodicals. This grouping is made up of clippings that Babe’s wife, Claire, cut out of local newspapers while at home or on trips around the country, as well as those received from friends and loving fans across the country. Everyone was always looking out for news of the Babe!
During Babe’s playing days, cartoons were a tremendously popular way to communicate important personalities and events in the pages of newspapers. Even today, cartoons are always an entertaining approach to editorializing some of the world’s biggest news stories. BRC is also happy to share some of the cartoons from the Ruth Family archives of the Babe that were cut of local papers or received from friends.
Of particular note, a few famous cartoonists, including Burris Jenkins and Reamer Keller, were happy to send their original cartoon work to the Babe and Claire The four originals that we can share with you, which are still in the possession of the Ruth Family, were the basis for what was published in the newspaper. You might notice some of the correction fluid used to hide drawn lines that the artist no longer wanted in his work.
You can also hear from one of New York’s more famous cartoonists, Bill Gallo, who used the Babe frequently as one of his subjects. Mr. Gallo still writes for the New York Daily News today.