In late November we introduced Pinstripe Alley’s offseason reading list. The intent was to give the PSA community the chance to pick up or review some of the Yankees related books out there and join in a community discussion on a specific book. The first book chosen was Jane Leavy’s The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World he Created. Now we are looking for your feedback on the book, and we have some questions to get the discussion going.
1. If the Yankees never acquire Babe Ruth, where does the franchise go? His financial impact on the organization is discussed in the book, without him does the franchise still emerge from the pack, or is it all built on the Babe’s shoulders?
2. What is something new that you learned about Babe Ruth and/or the 1920’s and early 1930’s Yankees?
3. In your opinion was Babe Ruth blackballed, or did teams have very legitimate reasons for not hiring Ruth as a manager or coach?
4. At times, the book seems to be as much about Christy Walsh as it is about Babe Ruth. I was not very far into the book when I was comparing Walsh to Scott Boras in my mind. Do you feel they are cut from the same cloth, or is Boras a whole different animal when it comes to the client/agent relationship?
5. How would Babe Ruth have fared in the TMZ, and overall social media era?
6. As Gehrig and Ruth engaged in the “Great American Home Run Derby” of 1927, it is described that after hitting his 56th home run “he made his way around the bases, carrying his bat as he often did” … a few days later he said “Sixty! Count ‘em, sixty. Let’s see some other sonofabitch do that!” Last season baseball ran with a commercial during the playoffs with the motto, “We play loud,” has anyone ever played the game louder than Babe Ruth? How does he stack up to the image of modern baseball players?
7. How much fun would it be if modern day players got together and went Barnstorming after the season? Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and a few other guys show up at a near-by minor league stadium to play alongside some local talent, have a home run derby and sign autographs... that would be fun, right? Who if anyone would have the drawing power of Ruth and Gehrig to essentially close down a town for a game?
8. Ruth was one of the first players to have his salary made public and scrutinized by press and public. In your opinion was he treated fairly by the press and public?
9. After considering all the records he set and the performances he delivered, what is your favorite Babe Ruth stat?
10. How did you like the book in general? Do you recommend it to other Yankees and Baseball fans?
Give us your take on these question, and feel free to pose your own for discussion.