From The Archives: A Century of Babe Ruth

Jul 9, 2014

George Herman “Babe” Ruth made his major league debut this week 100 years ago (7/11/1914) with the Boston Red Sox. He had just 10 at-bats in 5 games that season, pitching four, and earning $2,500

10 years ago The Front Porch (NHPR’s nightly arts program until 2007) went to Conway, NH to speak with Julia Ruth Stevens, the Babe’s adopted daughter. Stevens spoke to NHPR’s John Walters about living with the most famous man in America, “we never thought about it when we were all at home. He was Daddy and we were just like any other family.”

Ruth met Stevens’s mother, Clara Mae Hodgson, at a Yankees-Senators game in Washington in 1923. At a post-game party, she famously said “Mr. Ruth, you drink too much!” It was the start of a six year courtship that culminated with nuptials on opening day, 1929.

  Though she was a died-in-the-wool Yankees fan growing up, Stevens has since switched her allegiance to the Red Sox. In this interview she dismisses the Curse of the Bambino as a fabrication, saying “Daddy would never have done that.” This interview aired a month before the Sox put that curse – real or imagined – to rest by staging one of the most dramatic post-season come-from-behind victories against the Yankees on their way to winning their first World Series in 86 years.

 The 97 year old Stevens recently threw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field to commemorate her father’s “Called Shot”.