He’s usually posed or captured in action wielding a sizeable piece of lumber that surely launched at least one of his 714 career home runs. While some are extremely valuable, photos of Babe Ruth batting are common. Not so for images of him throwing or fielding—even in warm ups.
Contrary to what some may believe, not everything Ruth touched with the New York Yankees turned to gold. Suspended for several weeks at the start of the season for participating in a barnstorming tour during the off-season, Ruth was coming off a huge season and his $52,000 contract for the 1922 season was the largest ever for a player and represented more than 40% of the Yankees entire payroll that year.
He struggled at times and even resorted to climbing into the stands to confront a heckler. He lost his role as a Yankee captain, then struggled in the World Series as the Giants beat them for the second straight year. His regular season numbers for 110 games weren’t bad: .315, with 35 home runs, and 99 RBI but his entire season led one writer to refer to him as “an exploded phenomenon.”
Ruth was able to take part in most activities during his suspension and it’s possible the photo may be from that early season period. The World Wide News photo contains the remnants of a caption on back and was distributed for newspaper use that season.
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