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Babe: The Legend Comes to Life
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on June 1, 2015
This book is a must read for lifelong baseball fans, or for anyone with a strong sense of American history. The history of baseball itself is inexorably entrenched in the fabric of American culture, and this book is worthy of being considered a historical work. Not that the experience of reading it is like absorbing some boring textbook. "Babe; The Legend Comes to Life" reads very much like a completely honest and straightforward biography. But more than that, the book is full of rich detail about the state of baseball itself, It's inner workings, it's role in culture, and the state of the country as a whole, during the life and times of Ruth. Rather than engage in a purely sentimentalist canonization of the man who is the ultimate baseball icon, the author allows you to meet the real "Babe", and to revel in his real life idiosyncrasies, mannerisms, tribulations, joys, victories, defeats, the bright side of his character, along with his undeniable shortcomings. This book will make you feel like you have met the Babe, and followed his career firsthand.
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on March 15, 2015
Well, this is a really good story. The Babe had a complicated life and was able to rise above it all because of his baseball talent. Not just a great hitter, but also a great pitcher. His private life was, as you might have heard, somewhat calamitous. During his relatively short life, he did it all with sports, money, women, alcohol, cars and good times. He wanted to be loved and for the most part, he was. It was sad at the end of his career, when he wanted to manage but none of the major league teams would trust him to run a club because of his past shenanigans.

Highly recommended. Great job by Robert Creamer. You can also see him on the Ken Burns video of Baseball where he talks extensively about the Babe.
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on April 9, 2014
I know that Babe Ruth is a baseball legend as a hitter but wasn't aware of his abilities as a pitcher.nor did I know much about the person or his life, on and off the field.
Robert Creamer does credible research and presents Ruth as a human being with all his shortcomings. Ruth, too, was no mental giant yet there is a humanity about him, an innocence and non-sophistication that endears him to readers who only know of the name but not the person. I also hadn't realized how short his life and career were and that his best days ended in the early 30'.
If you wish to k now more about this simple man who had devastating power as a baseball icon, you won't be disappointed.
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on October 27, 2013
I love good biographies even if I don't have much sympathy for the sport, the time or the man/woman. They can bring a person to life and a era unlike a novel or any other medium. This is a good one, if not a great one about a legend. Baseball people dwell on statistics and this bio has plenty of those, but they are woven into and around the life of a man that stands as the Everest of baseball legends. I'm not necessarily a base ball "freak" or addict, but I sometimes read a topical book in and around an event or place. I picked this book because it is a baseball book in the "Fall Classic" time frame of the year and I don't watch baseball. This book made me interested. The bio part of the Ruth story is described in a way that makes the stats from the ball playing really come to life just as the title states! How good was Ruth? Was he the best ever? How did he compare to the modern player? These are the questions I had when I began the book. This book helped me arrive at the answers to my own questions. How good was Ruth? So good even the greatest of the great were stunned by his baseball abilities. Was he the best ever? I think so, but you can decide. I can only be amazed that if it were not for his hall of fame hitting statistics, he might have become a hall of fame pitcher. Was he the best ever? Well, steroids have clouded the hitting stats and confused the comparisons, but overall I can think of no player to compare him to in all facets of the game, so my answer is "yes" he was the best ever. What kind of a person was he? Well, that is really what the book is about and I'll let other readers draw their own conclusions.
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on July 7, 2012
I'm a long time NY Yankee MLB fan. Growing up I had many Yankee MLB heroes. I was too young to see Babe Ruth but read about the greatest baseball legend. I wanted to learn more so I bought Babe The Legend Comes to Life.

Robert W. Creamer wrote a great book. Its 443 pages of interesting reading with no boring parts. Great B/W pictures too. I read the page burner in 3 days and had difficulty putting it down. The book reads smooth and the reader is given thousands of interesting baseball facts about George Herman Ruth growing up, his family and being put in a boys reform school at a young age for many years. With the help of one of the catholic brothers young teenager Ruth is disciplined, given an education, a small part time job and being allowed to play in sports especially baseball.

We see his natural ability as a pitcher, and the beginning of becoming a power hitter. Eventually we see him spotted as a player and getting a contract to the minor league. He does great as a pitcher and some hitting. The Red Sox give him a small contract and he is in MLB. May still do not know Babe Ruth was a great pitcher, who if would of stayed a pitcher would of eventually been a HOF pitcher.

However we see Ruth hitting monstrous deep home runs. Many are amazed at the distance and frequency. The Red Sox had money flow problems and would not offer Ruth a fair contract so they sold him to the Yankees.

We see his partying life style, drinking, huge eating and having sex with many women. He marries a young 16 year old women but is unfaithful to her. We see him not listening to his managers, missing curfew, etc. and getting numerous fines and suspensions. His first wife died in a fire after being separated from the Babe for about 3 years. He remarries but still is not faithful to his second wife.

The reader is shown Babe never really grew up and consistently disliked someone telling him what to do and controlling him. This may have been partially because of his locked up, imprisonment at the reform school. He got out and went crazy grabbing life with two hands and doing as much as he could when he could. The Babe is shown not deliberately wanting to hurt people but he would do what he wanted and got many people offended by his larger than life lifestyle. The reader is shown Babes kindness especially to children, spending hours signing autographs, playing games with kids and his family and going to hospitals to see sick people and cheer them up. We do see his kind side.

We see him hitting 714 home runs the home run king till hammering Hank Arron broke his record and Roger Maris broke his 60 home run single season record. What is remarkable is Ruth played much of his baseball years in the dead ball years and a few times hit more home runs than entire teams did. He had a great average, slugging percentage,rbi, etc. MVP,led baseball in many statistics year after year, playing in many World Series and the first group elected in the Hall of Fame! You name it,the Babe did it!( Except manage in MLB...he desperately wanted that).

Because of his crazy almost inhuman off field antics and high cost no one wanted to let him manage. The Boston Braves did a crappy deal with him as an assistant manager/player. The owner really put the screws to him for the gate (money). The Babe quits.

We see his physical collapse with cancer. The book has a sad, sad ending of Ruth suffering in super pain and using morphine and other drugs to combat the pain.

What a great player. I don't approve of his off field lifestyle but in a way I can understand his grabbing life with both hands after being stuck in a reform school for so many years. INMO The greatest ball player of all time because of his tremendous offensive power and his early great pitching ability. INMO no one comes close to the complete ball player (offensive player with so many records and super great stats and earlier a super great pitcher). The baseball player/steroid users of today INMO don't even count in the stat records.

Babe The Legend Comes to Life a great baseball book and a great read for anyone wanting to learn about a man who lived life in high gear on and off the field. 5 stars
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on August 18, 2014
This is a very readable biography of the great ballplayer. However, if you're not into baseball then you will probably find it uninteresting. Creamer does make the Babe three dimensional but I finished the book thinking that the Babe was one of the luckiest SOBs that ever lived. Sure he had talent and didn't have the best childhood but he ended up going to a place (St. Mary's) where the brothers recognized what he could do on a ballfield and we're able to steer him there.
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on December 22, 2016
I first read this book when it was first published in the mid-1970s and it was just as good the THIRD time! After reading this book it will be fun to sit around with alleged baseball fans and discuss who is the second greatest player ever. There is no argument among people with fully formed brains: George Herman "Babe" Ruth.
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on November 24, 2016
Recommended to all fans of baseball - and those who love U.S. History. Babe Ruth was as great as you may have heard and as big as life itself in the early part of the 20th century. Most Americans know the name and the legendary stories. The author helps to shed light on all of it, filling in so many gaps.
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on May 26, 2014
This book is an example of why Kindles are so good for readers. We can order many books, many for free and let the writing keep our interest or lose it. This book owned me from the beginning with its honesty and matter of fact approach to the hedonistic life that was Babe Ruth's.

You can't help but feel you were right there in every episode of his life and you can't help but wonder and imagine how magnificent that swing of his must have been or how it would be in today's game one hundred years later. Great read or should I say, "a home run."
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I first read Mr. Creamer's book on Babe Ruth when it was published in 1974. To me, it was one of the first modern biographies that I read, and I loved it. I have learned that many biographies published prior to the mid-1970's just don't read as easily as those since, and are not as "in-depth" as we now expect.

This winter, I re-watched Ken Burns' "Baseball" for the sixth time, and enjoyed the comments from Mr. Creamer. I decided to buy his book once again. Unfortunately, I was slightly disappointed. Yes, it is still a fascinating story. However, at times, I found it slightly shallow in places. To be fair, this may be due to the times that I've heard Mr. Creamer tell the story on my DVD. However, if you haven't read any books on Babe Ruth, I'd start with this one.
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