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Babe Ruth takes batting practice at the Polo Grounds, 1935

By Dan Holmes    May 30, 2018

This remarkable photo shows Babe Ruth taking batting practice at the Polo Grounds in New York on April 23, 1935. The occasion was opening day against the New York Giants. Ruth was 40 years old and making his first trip around the National League with the Boston Braves after 21 years in the American League. The Bambino was returning to Boston, where he began his career with the Red Sox in 1914.

Ruth’s time with the Braves was not pleasant. He quarreled with manager Bill McKechnie, he tired of playing the outfield, and he bristled at being a “sideshow” expected to take one mighty swing, doff his cap, and return to the dugout. Ruth desperately wanted to be a manager, and Braves’ owner Emil Fuchs told Ruth he could be “co-manager” of the Braves and hinted that Babe would be installed as the sole manager in 1936. But Ruth quickly figured out that Fuchs was using him to try to prop up his poor attendance. Ruth hit six home runs, including three on May 25th, and retired five days later.

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About the Author

Dan Holmes is an author and baseball historian. He previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and Major League Baseball. He once defeated George Brett in Texas Hold Em poker and faced Phil Niekro's knuckleball. He has two daughters and he writes regularly about baseball and many other topics.

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