Babe Ruth: His Life and Legend
But, Ruth’s legend was more than just numbers. He became an oversized symbol of America’s power, a brilliant man with human flaws that made him seem more real than mythic.
The exhibit features artifacts that tell both sides of this story, such as a trophy presented to Ruth by his “Baltimore admirers” on May 20, 1922, the day Ruth returned to the Yankees after being suspended for the start of the season by Commissioner Landis for illegally barnstorming after the World Series.
Fans from his hometown made the nearly 400-mile trek to New York just to welcome him back to the big leagues. It’s stories like that which fill out the picture of his legend and what he meant to America.
The exhibit also contains one of the most famous jerseys Ruth ever wore – but one that never saw a big league game. It was featured in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Nat Fein photo of Ruth standing on the field on June 13, 1948, when Ruth’s No. 3 was officially retired. After the ceremony at Yankee Stadium, Ruth gave the jersey he wore to a Hall of Fame representative.
When cancer claimed Ruth’s life in 1948, he was only 53 years old. Yet the tales of his legend were enough to fill multiple lifetimes – and continued to grow along with the game itself.