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Babe: The Legend Comes to Life Paperback – April 15, 1992

111 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Sports Illustrated The best biography ever written about an American sports figure.

About the Author

Robert W. Creamer is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and has been a member of that magazine's staff since its inception in 1954. He is also the author of Stengel and Baseball in '41.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Reprint edition (April 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067176070X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671760700
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530,997 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 73 people found the following review helpful By M J Heilbron Jr. VINE VOICE on September 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Although I suspect that most people who will read this book already know how BIG Babe Ruth really was to Americans, I wish those who do NOT realize his profound inlfluence on modern culture would take the time to check this out.

Creamer has fashioned an extraordinarily readable, concise yet fully detailed biography of this great ball player. There is enough journalism here to satisfy those seeking accuracy, enough analysis for those interested in perspective, and enough elegant writing to please pretty much everybody else.

Beginning at the beginning, and ending, abruptly, at the end, Ruth's life is presented within a vivid portrayal of early 20th century America. His tenacity, exuberance, lust for life is all here, including many unflattering incidents. Warts and all.

If I had to single out the best things about this book, I'd have to start with how Creamer places Ruth's achievements into context. Staggering and astonishing are the two words I keep coming up with. Winning the Home Run Crown is one thing. Winning it over and over again for nearly two decades is another. Setting a home run record is one thing. Doubling the record is entirely another thing.

It took forty years for Maris to break Ruth's record by one. When Ruth broke the record the first time, in 1919, he broke the old record by three or four, hitting 29. The next year, 1920, he hit 54. He averaged 40 a year for SEVENTEEN years.

Before Babe, the all-time home run king hit 136 homers. Ruth passed that in his first few seasons as a full-time (non-pitching) player. Every homer he hit after that extended it...when he hit 700, only 2 other players were in the 300's.

And don't get me started on his pitching. Wait till you read about how good he was.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
An engrossing, informative biography of baseball's greatest player. Some biographers make the mistake of rattling off facts and statistics, as if to impress you with how much research they've done. Creamer wisely focuses on the story, including descriptions of important games that make you feel like you're on the field with the Babe. Comments by Ruth's contemporaries add to the realism. "Babe" gets off to a slow start--a chapter dealing with Creamer's feelings about writing the book, and more details about Ruth's childhood than you probably want to know. But once Ruth starts playing baseball, the book grabs you and won't let go. One caveat: the discussion of Ruth's womanizing, while necessary and not extensive, makes this book inappropriate for young readers. If you like baseball and want to learn more about Babe Ruth, this is the book to get.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Daniello on March 31, 1999
Format: Paperback
Of the 200+ baseball books I've read, "Babe: The Legend Comes to Life" is my favorite. Creamer wrote the book while some of the old-timers were still alive, and this makes his story come to life. If you want to learn about Babe Ruth, this is the definitive book to read.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By K.A.Goldberg on April 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
This superb biography by Robert Creamer describes the life of Babe Ruth (1895-1948) from early boyhood on through to his untimely death from cancer. As the author shows, George Herman Ruth was the rowdy son of a Baltimore saloon-keeper, a young man that spent years in reform school. Gifted with incredible baseball talent, the Babe joined the Red Sox in 1914 and was soon the top left-handed pitcher in the American League. As the author shows, Ruth's prodigious batting eventually led him from the mound to everyday status as an outfielder. After Boston's owner foolishly dealt him to the Yankees prior to the 1920 season, Ruth exploded onto the scene in the nation's largest city by hitting 54 homers - more than any other team in the league. Creamer shows us how media attention, radio, movies, and Ruth's love of the spotlight helped to make him into a national icon. The author also spares little in showing the Babe's flaws; his rowdy volatility and his self-indulgent night life and skirt chasing. But we also see how the Babe loved kids and could be very warm and engaging.

Readers might also enjoy Creamer's biography on Casey Stengel and his narrative of baseball in 1941 (BASEBALL AND OTHER MATTERS). This is an excellent biography by a talented writer.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Westerby on July 13, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Originally published in 1974, Creamer's book was the first "serious" biography of Ruth and remains the standard work on the subject. The first few chapters are a bit slow as the author painstakingly chips away at decades of apocrypha and rumor to reconcile the many conflicting accounts of the Babe's youth. The pace picks up once Ruth reaches the big leagues and really takes off after he's sold to the Yankees. Creamer is frank about the Babe's ravenous appetites and the effect these had on those around him, notably his first wife. Ultimately, Ruth comes off as a jovial, well-meaning but rather selfish man who was fun to be around but not someone you'd want to depend on.

This Kindle edition has a hyperlinked table of contents and index but contains no photographs save the cover.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By R. J. Marsella on April 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
This a great book for baseball fans . sportslovers of all kinds and anyone interested in American history in the 20th century. Babe Ruth the icon is made human again for all of us who missed him when he played the game. The first sports celebrity in a nation that has gone on to become obsessed with celebrity and sports heroes. Babe paved the way in an era that saw tremendous change in American life. He is portrayed here " warts and all" and emerges as a warm hearted man with a huge appetite for living who was clearly in the right place at the right time.
This is one of the finest sports biographies I've read.
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