Babe Ruth Saves Baseball! (Step into Reading 3)
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Batter up! It’s 1919 and baseball is in trouble! All across the country, people are throwing down their bats, and giving up America’s national pastime. It’s up to Babe Ruth to win back fans and save baseball! Can he do it, or will he strike out?
For the two coolest Yankee fans I know: my brother-in-law and friend John Gisondi and my colleague and friend Jim Kinkead —F.M. For Viria, so passionate about her Yankees —R.W. Author acknowledgments: Thank you to Shana Corey’s magical eye as an editor. Thanks to Freddy Berowski, library associate at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, for his assistance and expertise. Babe: The Legend Comes to Life by Robert W. Creamer, The Yankees by Phil Pepe, A Yankee Century by Harvey
people said. Babe was changing people’s minds about baseball. And Babe’s home runs changed baseball. Now every team tried to hit more home runs. Other players even tried to copy Babe’s swing. That meant more runs and more excitement! Babe loved children. So he did something fun for them. He signed hundreds of baseballs. Then he hid them. Children raced around town to find them! More and more fans came to watch Babe! People were too crowded. The Yankees needed more
1895–1948. 2. Baseball players. 3. Baseball—History.] I. Walz, Richard, ill. II. Title. III. Series. GV865.R8M87 2005 796.357’092—dc22 2003027464 eBook ISBN: 978-0-385-37347-0 Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-0-375-83048-8 STEP INTO READING, RANDOM HOUSE, and the Random House colophon are registered trademarks of Random House, Inc. v3.1 Dedication Copyright Title Page First Page Author’s Note Almost everyone knows something about George Herman Ruth. You probably know him as Babe—
that was his nickname. Babe played for the New York Yankees. He hit hundreds of home runs. Most people think he was baseball’s greatest player. But do you know the best thing about Babe Ruth? He saved baseball. He did! Here’s how it happened. The story starts off in 1914— Babe Ruth’s first year in the major leagues. Baseball was America’s favorite sport. Fans read about games in newspapers. Kids collected cards of their favorite players. And people filled ballparks to
Let’s play ball!” he said. People wondered, could Babe hit 29 home runs again? “I’ll hit 50 this year,” he promised. “Impossible!” people said. The season started. Game after game, Babe clubbed home runs. The more Babe hit, the more people paid attention. “That Babe Ruth sure can hit!” they said. Newspaper boys shouted out the news. “Babe hits another! Yankees win!” And Babe was right! He hit a lot more than 29 that year—he hit 54! “Wow! Babe Ruth really keeps his word!”