The Babe

Below you will find a short (for me, very short) story that I envisioned when I first heard the prompt for episode number 64 (I think) of the wonderful Great Hites podcast. The prompt was “modesty”. I didn’t get it written, let alone recorded, in time. It wouldn’t have placed highly, but it would have been fun regardless. Anyway, I’m glad to be back to writing again, and I hope you can find something to smile at!

Modesty

Not long before his death on August 16, 1948, George Herman Ruth, Jr., “The Babe”, sat down and talked with a beat reporter for the New York Times in his hospital room. The following is a transcript of that conversation.

“Mr. Ruth, thank you for meeting with me today.”

“Sure, sure. I am always happy to meet with my fans. The world can’t get too much of the Babe!”

“Well sir, we’re sure going to try to give them more of you and your story. Can you tell me a little about your life before baseball? Your childhood perhaps?”

“Sure, sure. Whatever you want.”

“Thank you sir. Can you tell us, is it true that you learned to play baseball at an orphanage?”

“Yeah, you got that right. Ya see my pop sent me to St. Mary’s when I was 7. It was an orphanage, but also, well like a place for kids with problems. Now, ya see it wasn’t me that had them issues, but pop couldn’t… well, he just couldn’t. So yeah, he gave me to them priests. It wasn’t all bad. Brother Matthias, we called him Matty, he taught how to play ball. Best thing that ever happened to me.”

“Well, whatever he taught you, it seemed to have worked. You are arguably one of the finest baseball players ever. What are you the most proud of?”

“Arguably you say? He would argue differently? Boy, I AM the best ballplayer this world will ever see. Let me tell you, there isn’t much that I’m not proud of. I can out hit, out field, out pitch, and heck, just out play any two guys out there today.”

“As far as what am I the most proud of? Well, when you hold as many records as I do, it would be hard to choose just one.” Let me see, well, I have a career .690 slugging percent. I hit 714 homeruns son. 714. NO man will ever do better than that. I have 2,217 RBI’s. Not only that, but my lifetime average was .342. If you don’t get that, it means over my ENTIRE career I hit the ball more than a third of the time. They built me a stadium of my own just down the street. They just let the others play in it.”

“I’m also a movie star. They made a movie called Pride of the Yankees a few years back. They even got Gary Cooper to be my costar. I’m sure they’ll be asking me to put my hand in that cement stuff over at the China place in Hollywood before long.”

“Yeah, ain’t much I ain’t proud of. I’m every boy’s hero and every girl’s dream.”

“Well sir, as a final question, I would like to know, is there anything you wish you had done differently?”

…..

“Well, I guess, after thinking about it, well…. I wish I hadn’t been so modest.”

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