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What's So Weird About Babe Ruth?

The Strangest Stories About One of the Yankees' Greatest Players

By

Babe Ruth Hits

Babe Ruth's famous swing led to 714 regular-season home runs... most of them for the Yankees.

National Photo Company Collection (Library of Congress)

NEW YORK -- Babe Ruth may have been one of the greatest ballplayers of all time... but was he also one of the weirdest?

Presented for your consideration are some of the most unusual true stories about the Yankees' all-time home run leader. He's already in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown... but you can decide if he also belongs on the Weird Hall of Fame.

Chased Off the Field... By an Alligator

During spring training in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1925, Babe Ruth suddenly ran in from his position in the outfield, which was next to a lake. Ruth said there was an alligator in the field -- and refused to go back out.

Palling With the President

Babe Ruth met President Calvin Coolidge in Washington on a hot day. Wiping the sweat from his brow, he said ""Hot as hell, ain't it Prez?"

Babe Ruth: Sex Machine

Babe Ruth's roommate, centerfielder Bob Meusel, tells of the time the Bambino came back with a female companion for some repeated intimacy. After each round behind closed doors, Ruth would come out into the living room, smoke a cigar, then return to his companion. The next morning, Meusel counted seven cigars in the ashtray.

Turkey Shoot

The Babe may have seemed like the instant-gratification type... but he was also a patient hunter. One companion says Ruth stalked a wild turkey for seven hours during a hunt in Georgia, waiting for the perfect shot. The Babe got his bird... eventually.

King-Size Uniform for a Home Run King

When Babe Ruth joined the New York National Guard, he couldn't find a uniform in his size. When the Yankees traveled to Washington to play the Senators, Ruth made a side trip to the quartermaster-general, who finally got the Babe his uniform in the right size.

The Babe's Temper

During one game, the Babe threw dirt on an umpire and ran into the stands to confront a heckler. Later, he regretted only part of his tirade. "I didn't mean to hit the umpire with the dirt, but I did mean to hit that bastard in the stands," Ruth said.

Yankee Pinstripes Didn't Hide His Size

One weird rumor about the Babe just ain't true. An often-repeated story suggests that the Yankees added pinstripes to make Ruth look slimmer. In fact, the Yankees had worn pinstripes for years before the Bambino was purchased from the Red Sox.

No Good With Names

The Babe didn't remember names very well... sometimes forgetting even his own teammates. He found a way around this problem by simply called everyone "kid," which he pronounced "keed."

Keeping Cool... With Cabbage

Babe Ruth had his own way of cooling off on hot days. He would put a wet piece of cabbage under his hat.

The Called Shot

Legend has it that Babe Ruth called his own shot during a World Series game against the Cubs in 1932. Footage shows Ruth apparently pointing, but it's unclear what he was doing (or saying). Some say he called the shot, some say he was threatening the Cubs' pitcher, who had thrown a quick pitch and still others say he was gesturing that he had one strike remaining.

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