• Hangin’ With Mr. Bambino

    Posted by on November 29th, 2006 · Comments (4)

    I just saw this story in Newsday:

    Almost 60 years after Babe Ruth’s death, there’s still no problem identifying him in a picture taken at the Hot Springs Country Club. But who is the man standing next to the famous New York Yankees slugger?

    That’s what the Hot Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau would like to know before it opens a collection of historic photographs taken in the resort city.

    Ruth occasionally visited Hot Springs during the offseason and was photographed at the country club in 1923 wearing knickerbockers _ pants also known as plus-fours that ended just below the knee, with long socks below _ as he held a golf club in his right hand. Beside him stands a man in topcoat, gloves and hat who no one has been able to identify.

    The picture is one of 19 never before displayed that have been added to the collection called “Hot Springs: A Journey Through History.” The exhibit is to open Dec. 13 at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

    “It’s a great photo of Babe Ruth in Hot Springs,” said Steve Arrison, executive director of the convention bureau. “This and three more photos of the Babe in Hot Springs settings have never been part of a public exhibit. We got the photos from our friends at the Garland County Historical Society, but no one on their knowledgeable staff knows the identity of the man standing next to Ruth.”

    This story caused a flashback for me. During the Spring of 2004, a unique picture of Babe Ruth came into my possession. My wife’s uncle met a woman who had a family member that played golf with “The Bambino” back in 1939. At which time, the family member (Frank Verna) had this picture taken with Ruth:

    babesots.jpg

    The woman graciously provided my wife’s uncle with some copies of the photo so that he could share it with some baseball fans in the family – one of them being me. Even at age 44, Mr. Ruth was an imposing figure – as the picture shows. No wonder he hit all those homeruns.

    I would bet that Babe Ruth had his picture taken with roughly 15,000 different people. It probably would have been more if they had cell phone cameras back in the day.

    Comments on Hangin’ With Mr. Bambino

    1. MJ
      November 30th, 2006 | 12:06 am

      That’s a really cool picture. What I think is even cooler about it is that back in 1939, I’m sure they didn’t have those super easy-to-use cameras so what seems like a little snapshot must’ve taken several minutes to actually pull off. The Babe seems so natural with random folks. He was one of a kind.

      The only type of memorabilia I have of this nature is a photocopy of a letter Ted Williams wrote to my physician when he was a little boy back in 1946 or 1947. My doctor was sickly as a young child and Williams was his favorite ballplayer (he grew up in northern Connecticut). Anyway, Williams took the time to write back to my doctor and, knowing that I’m a baseball fan, he made me a copy shortly before he stopped practicing medicine, as a thank you for being a regular patient who would talk ball with him.

    2. November 30th, 2006 | 9:34 am

      Cool story MJ

    3. Raf
      November 30th, 2006 | 11:02 am

      Very cool.

      Seems that stars were much more accessible back then, which is nice. Not like today where you have all kinds of nuts and crazies running around…

      15,000 Steve? That seems kinda low.

    4. November 30th, 2006 | 11:57 am

      40 years * 365 days a year
      was the way I came up with that

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