October 9, 2009

WOW CUBED!:

Babe Ruth the Way You’ve Never Seen Him Before (JOHN BRANCH, October 8, 2009, NY Times)

Babe Ruth has struck out looking. Displeased, he leans on his bat, right hand on his hip, and looks back at the umpire. He utters something that can only be imagined. Lou Gehrig, on deck, leans on his bat, too, as if he has seen this act before. Ruth finally shuffles away, head turned to the umpire, dragging his bat through the dirt.

The scene, along with eight seconds of footage never publicly seen of Ruth playing the outfield, was part of an 8-millimeter film found by a New Hampshire man in his grandfather’s home movie collection. It provides a rare look at Ruth, a showman even in defeat. [...]

The latest Babe Ruth film, unseen publicly until now, is part of a 90-second clip shot from the first-base stands at Yankee Stadium. There is no sound. But there are sweeping views of the park. And there is Ruth, obvious by his shape and waddle.

He is shown in right field, hands on his knees, glove on his right hand. To a casual fan, it appears unremarkable. But it represents the archive’s only game action of Ruth playing in the outfield — where he spent more than 2,200 games — other than a between-innings game of catch.

Nick Trotta, baseball’s manager of library licensing, took a look at the newly arrived Ruth clip first. He quickly realized it was something he had not seen before.

When others saw it, it was “wow, wow, wow,” Mr. Trotta said.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 9, 2009 6:37 AM
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