“I was a bad kid.”
Those are the first words of Babe Ruth’s autobiography. Ruth tells readers this not so that they will imitate him, but so that they can understand him. He wants us to know that people (like him) can learn from their mistakes and still do great things. When he was alone at school, shut off from his parents and misbehaving, it seemed almost impossible that he’d ever amount to anything good.
Babe Ruth wasn’t perfect, and he knew it. He could be loud and rude and he broke the rules. But he never forgot where he came from. He never forgot people like Brother Mathius, his high school baseball coach who helped him turn his life around. The Babe always went out of his way to give back to children and fans.
It’s interesting to consider what would have happened if Babe Ruth had not been sold to New York. Perhaps the Red Sox would have won more World Series. Perhaps the Yankees would not have become such a great team. But I’m sure that Babe Ruth would still have become a star.
And the Boston Red Sox would still be exciting. After 86 years of heartbreak, the 2004 season was truly amazing. After losing three games (out of seven) to the New York Yankees in the playoffs, it seemed impossible for Red Sox to come back and win four straight. It seemed impossible for them to go on and win the World Series.
But like Babe Ruth, they found a way to believe in themselves. They found a way to try their best. They found a way to overcome great odds and do something that no team had ever done before.
No matter who you are, you can’t always control what happens or where you come from. Things don’t always happen the way you want them to. But I’ve found that the more you learn about Babe Ruth and the 2004 Boston Red Sox, the easier it is to understand why its important to work hard, treat other people with respect, and believe in yourself.
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Images Copyright © 2009 Tim Jessell. All Rights Reserved.