Cover image for The Big Fella : Babe Ruth and the world he created
Title:
The Big Fella : Babe Ruth and the world he created
Author:
Leavy, Jane, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
[Large print ed.]
Publication Information:
New York : HarperLuxe, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2018]

© 2018.
Physical Description:
xxxvii, 926 pages (large print) : illustrations ; 23 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
1927 Barnstorming Tour -- Introduction -- Prologue: June 13, 1902, Baltimore -- Oct. 10, Providence -- Oct. 10, Aboard the New York Central to Manhattan -- Oct. 11, Trenton -- Oct. 12, Cityline -- Oct. 13, Asbury Park -- Oct. 13-14, Aboard the Manhattan Limited to Lima -- Oct. 15, Kansas City, Missouri -- Oct. 16, Omaha -- Oct. 17, Aboard the Rock Island Line to Des Moines-- Oct. 18, Sioux City -- Oct. 19, Denver -- Oct. 21-22, Bay Area -- Oct. 23, Bay Area II -- Oct. 25, Marysville -- Oct. 26, San Jose -- Oct. 28, San Diego -- Oct. 29, Fresno -- Oct. 30, Los Angeles.
Personal Subject:
ISBN:
9780062860255
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From Jane Leavy, the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of The Last Boy and Sandy Koufax, comes the definitive biography of Babe Ruth--the man Roger Angell dubbed "the model for modern celebrity."

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2018

"Leavy's newest masterpiece.... A major work of American history by an author with a flair for mesmerizing story-telling." --Forbes

He lived in the present tense--in the camera's lens. There was no frame he couldn't or wouldn't fill. He swung the heaviest bat, earned the most money, and incurred the biggest fines. Like all the new-fangled gadgets then flooding the marketplace--radios, automatic clothes washers, Brownie cameras, microphones and loudspeakers--Babe Ruth "made impossible events happen." Aided by his crucial partnership with Christy Walsh--business manager, spin doctor, damage control wizard, and surrogate father, all stuffed into one tightly buttoned double-breasted suit--Ruth drafted the blueprint for modern athletic stardom.

His was a life of journeys and itineraries--from uncouth to couth, spartan to spendthrift, abandoned to abandon; from Baltimore to Boston to New York, and back to Boston at the end of his career for a finale with the only team that would have him. There were road trips and hunting trips; grand tours of foreign capitals and post-season promotional tours, not to mention those 714 trips around the bases.

After hitting his 60th home run in September 1927--a total that would not be exceeded until 1961, when Roger Maris did it with the aid of the extended modern season--he embarked on the mother of all barnstorming tours, a three-week victory lap across America, accompanied by Yankee teammate Lou Gehrig. Walsh called the tour a "Symphony of Swat." The Omaha World Herald called it "the biggest show since Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey, and seven other associated circuses offered their entire performance under one tent." In The Big Fella, acclaimed biographer Jane Leavy recreates that 21-day circus and in so doing captures the romp and the pathos that defined Ruth's life and times.

Drawing from more than 250 interviews, a trove of previously untapped documents, and Ruth family records, Leavy breaks through the mythology that has obscured the legend and delivers the man.


Author Notes

Jane Leavy is an American writer who grew up on Long Island, New York. She is a graduate of Barnard College and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Early in her career she was staff writer for womenSports and Self magazines. From 1979-1988 she worked for the Washington Post covering sports, and later the style section which included sports, politics, and pop culture. Her writing has also been published in The New York Times, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and other prominent publications.

Her books include Squeeze Play: A Novel, The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood, Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy, and The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Few sports analysts explain the sabermetrics certifying Babe Ruth's baseball achievement more lucidly than Leavy. But readers will thank her for focusing on the personality colorful and complex behind the gaudy statistics. The same insight and verve that attracted readers to Leavy's portraits of Mickey Mantle and Sandy Koufax manifest themselves here as she traces the improbable transformation of the insecure Little George surrendered by his father to a Catholic school for incorrigibles into the imposing Sultan of Swat, master of the diamond and unparalleled national celebrity. Readers see the culmination of this transformation in Leavy's richly detailed account of the sensational October of 1927, when fresh off a phenomenal 60-home-run season and a World Series sweep Ruth joins forces with teammate Lou Gehrig on a barnstorming exhibition tour electrifying crowds from Providence to Los Angeles. Leavy recognizes in this tour Ruth's transformative assault on normal limits in sports and in life. This assault opens opportunities for Ruth's agent, Christy Walsh, to amplify the Babe's lucrative stardom, but also compels him to defuse scandals, including those generated by the slugger's unruly romantic life. Leavy, however, skillfully illuminates how the bad-boy traits of the swearing, boozing, brawling, womanizing Ruth ultimately intertwine with his explosive strengths. An American icon brought to life.--Bryce Christensen Copyright 2018 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Sportswriter Leavy (Sandy Koufax) energetically narrates Ruth's larger-than-life story in an entertaining and colorful biography. Troubled by their son's misbehavior, Ruth's parents sent the seven-year-old Ruth to St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, across town from their home in Baltimore. There, Ruth developed his baseball skills thanks to Brother Matthias, who showed Ruth how to hit. Ruth joined the Baltimore Orioles in 1914, was sold to the Boston Red Sox a few years later, and a year later was traded to the Yankees. In his career Ruth had 2,873 hits, 714 home runs, and a lifetime batting average of .342, and as Leavy points out, Ruth lived as hard as he played; he "imbibed whatever life had to offer." Ruth's accomplishments and his appetites for drink and women (he had several extramarital affairs) coincided with the rise of sports journalism and marketing, and his manager, Christy Walsh, was instrumental in creating his public image. In 1927, Ruth slammed his 60th home run of the season, led the Yankees to a four-game sweep of the Washington Senators in the World Series, and embarked on a publicized three-week barnstorming tour of the country with Lou Gehrig to celebrate. Leavy's captivating biography reveals Ruth as a man who swung his bat with the same purposeful abandon that he lived his life. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Babe Ruth, born George Herman Jr. (1895-1948), is one of the most famous names in baseball. Even more than a century after his major league debut, he remains one of the most celebrated baseball players of all time. Following his 60th home run and winning the World Series in September 1927, Babe Ruth decided to do a 21-day victory lap around the country along with fellow teammate Lou Gehrig. Leavy (Sandy Koufax) offers a more personal understanding of the baseball star through this lens, brilliantly describing his barnstorming tour and cross-country adventures. Readers experience the journey alongside the players, while also learning about the impact they left on the country, both positive and negative. VERDICT Well researched and well written, this book about one the most famous baseball seasons and players in history, is truly one of a kind. All baseball fans will enjoy. [See Prepub Alert, 4/23/18.]-Gus Palas, Ela Area P.L., Lake Zurich, IL © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.