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Old 10-06-2006, 05:37 AM   #18
Ring of Famer

Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 31,806

This passage in particular details the way Ruth's legend has been somewhat distorted over time.

This is a completely spurious argument. Ruth's moral failings - excessive
appetites for women, food, drink, and tobacco - were common to his era,
and arguably undergird the way he is celebrated as a hero, because he rose
from a horrific childhood to become adored internationally not only due to
his athletic successes, but because of the kind of person he became. Ty
Cobb was arguably as or more successful a baseball player than Ruth, yet he
wasn't adored. Ruth was charitable, noted for his frequent fundraisers for
orphanages and visits to hospitals to see sick kids (these are documented
facts), and reformed himself from womanizing after his second marriage. He
did train in the off-season to get himself into playing shape. He was one
of the first players to have a personal trainer, Artie McGovern of
McGovern's Gym. He was accessible, approachable, kind-hearted, and not
one to hold a grudge.
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