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

4.4 out of 5 stars 121 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, April 15, 1992
$7.46 $1.60

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Sports Illustrated The best biography ever written about an American sports figure. -- 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; Second Edition edition (April 15, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067176070X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671760700
  • ASIN: B001PO69AA
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (121 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,815,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M J Heilbron Jr. 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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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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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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I only have two images of Babe Ruth. The first is the slightly silly 1920's baseball videos where all the men run around in high-speed motion, and the whole thing looks somewhat comical. The second is of Babe Ruth at Yankee Stadium on his final visit, suffering from terminal cancer, taking the last waves of the fans while propping himself up with a bat. This book fills in a lot of the missing pieces

---The Good Stuff

* Babe lived a fascinating life. Starting out in a combination prison/orphanage, Babe never really had things easy. The book does a very credible job of relating the trials of Babe's youth, and his efforts to use baseball to lift himself out of a bad situation.

* Creamer presents a fairly unvarnished look at Babe's life. The man could be uncouth, crass, borderline uncivilized, and yet generous, gentle and respectful. He could spend money like water, and while he was the highest paid player in the league by a considerable margin, would be broke by the time the next season started.

* By the end of the book, I was very moved by Babe's story, and you almost can feel the tragic hero dying on the battlefield at the end of the last great battle.

* One thing I had never realized was that Babe was an excellent athlete. I always had the caricature of an overweight player whose only real skill was whacking a ball over the fence. Turns out Babe was an excellent pitcher, a reasonable fielder, and was an order of magnitude better than any hitter of his day. The book does an excellent job of presenting those parts of Babe's life that seem lost to history.

----The Not So Good Stuff

*Once again the Kindle edition of a book sets new records for typos and misspellings.

* There are no photos in the book.
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