More than seventy years after his death, Babe Ruth continues to fascinate generations of fans. His exciting adventures on and off the field have become essential reading for students of baseball and pop culture. While most Ruth biographies are filled with mundane facts, Lore of the Bambino is the equivalent of a greatest hits compilation. Ruth’s extraordinary (and at times incredulous) tales carry readers on an enthralling journey through the life of the most celebrated sports figure of the twentieth century. All of the most popular anecdotes (such as the Babe’s alleged “called shot” in the 1932 World Series) are thoroughly covered along with many lesser known narratives.
Ruth was a habitual smoker. At one point during his career, he had his own brand of nickel cigars, which featured a picture of him on every wrapper. A man of enormous appetites, he lived his life to extremes—especially in regard to women. Cigars became the measure of his sexual prowess.
During his time with the Red Sox, the Babe roomed with pitcher Ernie Shore. It was not a good fit. The mild-mannered Shore complained about a number of Ruth’s bad habits, which included bringing women back to the room after curfew. One night, as Shore was trying to sleep, the Babe engaged in multiple rounds of noisy coitis with a woman he had picked up. Shore finally drifted off as the sun was coming up. When he awoke, the woman was gone and his teammate was in a deep slumber. He noted that there were four or five cigars in an ashtray next to the bed. Ruth later explained that he was in the habit of smoking each time he had sex.
A similar story exists involving Yankee outfielder Bob Meusel. While sharing a suite with the Babe during a road trip, Meusel noticed a parade of women coming in and out of the room all night. True to his nickname, “Silent Bob” minded his own business and was eventually able to get to sleep. In the morning, he asked Ruth how many women he had been with. The Babe told him to count the number of cigars in the ash tray. Meusel was somewhat startled to see seven of them.
MY 9 FAVORITE BOOKS OF ALL TIME
I have been an avid reader since my grade school days. As with any of my passions, it’s difficult to compile a “best-of” list. But I thought it might be fun to try. Apologies to all the authors (too numerous to mention) I left out.
Number 9: WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE By Maurice Sendak
This book was released a couple of years before I was born. I vividly remember my mother reading it to me before bedtime. I’m not sure what captivated me most about it as child—the beautiful illustrations or the misbehavior of the protagonist, Max, who sails away to an island inhabited by monsters after his mother punishes him for being naughty. Sendak’s classic tale actually helped me learn how to read.
Number 8: A CHRISTMAS CAROL By Charles Dickens
What I like most about this book is the supernatural element—especially the visit from Marley’s ghost. I have probably watched the movie version with Alastair Sim around 25 or 30 times. When I was little, my father read this book to me and my sisters in several installments.
Number 7: THE DAVINCI CODE By Dan Brown
I have read all of Dan Brown’s books, but this one (in my opinion) is the most entertaining. I love a good historical conspiracy yarn!
Number 6: BEAR TOWN By Fredrik Backman
Hockey is my favorite winter sport. And Backman’s novel about a small town obsessed with its junior hockey team is one of the best sports books I have ever read. Good news: There’s a sequel!!
Number 5: LORD OF THE FLIES By William Golding
This book was required reading in high school. I enjoyed it so much, I re-read it several times as an adult. I love the question Golding hits us with: Are humans innately evil?
Number 4: PILLARS OF THE EARTH By Ken Follet
When I first picked this book up, I wasn’t sure if the story would hold my attention for 1,100 pages. I actually devoured it in the span of a week. This sweeping medieval tale inspired me to choose history as a minor in college.
Number 3: THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER By Mark Twain
This was one of my favorite books as a young adult. I enjoyed it so much, I actually wanted to be Tom Sawyer—or at least meet him in person. (LOL)
Number 2: NIGHT SHIFT By Stephen King
By the time this book was published in 1978, people already knew that King had a knack for writing scary novels. In Night Shift, readers got a first glimpse of his magnificent short story skills. Several of the stories in this collection appeared in movie form, most notably Children of the Corn. My favorite story was Quitters Inc., which tells the tale of a company utilizing brutal methods to get clients to quit smoking.
Number 1: THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak
Ever since I read The Diary of Anne Frank as a kid, I have always been haunted and strangely drawn to stories of the holocaust. Zusak’s book is the best I have ever read on the subject. Not gonna lie: The ending brought me to tears—literally.
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A lifelong sports fan, Weeks has published several non-fiction books on the topic of baseball.
Additionally, he has two novels to his credit--one of them a posthumous collaboration with his father. His latest project: Best of the Bruins: Boston's All Time Great Players and Coaches, is due out in 2021.