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Babe Ruth: Playing It Big
Evening Program with Book Signing
Monday, May 20, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
Babe Ruth in his first year with the New York Yankees, 1920
In the 1920s, Babe Ruth was the biggest thing in baseball—and in America’s galaxy of celebrities. He swung the heaviest bat, earned the most money, and incurred the largest fines. After hitting his 60th home run in September 1927, he embarked on the mother of all barnstorming tours, a three-week victory lap across America that one newspaper called “the biggest show since Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey, and seven other associated circuses offered their entire performance under one tent.”
Aided by his crucial partnership with Christy Walsh—business manager, spin doctor, damage-control wizard, and surrogate father—Ruth drafted the blueprint for modern athletic stardom.
Drawing on her new book, The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created, Jane Leavy discusses Ruth’s journey from Baltimore to the big league to the center of the nation’s adulation. In conversation with local sports attorney Phil Hochberg, she goes behind the mythology to uncover the man whose approach to the game and to life was always to hit it with all you’ve got.
The Big Fella (Harper) is available for sale and signing.
Both Babe Ruth and Lou Gherig found themselves no match for a 17-year-old female pitching phenom from the Chattanooga Lookouts, a Double-A minor team. Smithsonian.com reports on the 1931 game that proved Jackie Mitchell was in a league of her own.
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)