The Voice of Babe Ruth
We need your help to digitize priceless treasures that have been preserved here in Cooperstown. Make a gift today to help ensure that fans around the world can have online access to the Museum collections and Library archive.
As the keepers of the Game’s history, the Hall of Fame helps you relive your memories and celebrate baseball history.
Evans's first job had been as a sportswriter, and eventually, he took to writing articles in addition to working as an umpire. His work – notably absent of the mannered, highly ornamented phrasing of the time – was published in the Sporting News and Collier’s, and he soon became sports editor for the syndication service Newspaper Enterprise Association. There he wrote a column called “Billy Evans Says” that was carried by over 100 newspapers. Evans often said that one of the keys being a good umpire was the "ability to study human nature and apply the findings" – a skill also apparent in his writing.
In a “Billy Evans Says” column, published in late November 1922, Evans gives an answer to a question he had been asked many times: “What kind of fellow is Babe Ruth?” He begins by puncturing any perception that Ruth “feels his greatness. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Ruth is a big likeable kid.” He adds that “Success on the ball field has in no way changed him. Everybody likes him. You just can’t help it.” Then Evans tells a story.
About 10 minutes before a Yankees game at the Polo Grounds in the summer of 1922, Evans came onto the field and stood near the Yankees dugout when a “youngster about 12 came through one of the exit gates nearby and said, ‘Mr. Evans, would you object to my taking a picture of Babe Ruth?’”
Evans sized up the child, a clean-cut boy holding a “very expensive” Kodak camera. Evans had no objections, but he told the boy that he really ought to ask Ruth himself. Evans describes how the scene unfolds:
Larry Brunt is the Museum’s digital strategy intern in the Class of 2016 Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development