NPR

'The Big Fella' Highlights Babe Ruth's Spot As First Celebrity Sports Star

Jane Leavy tells the story of Ruth as the first baseball superstar — but also of his roles as movie star, vaudeville performer, barnstormer, pitchman for every conceivable product, and columnist.
Source: Bettmann

As the New York Yankees prepared to play the Boston Red Sox in the first round of this year's playoffs, the staff at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York, braced for cleanup duty.

The grave in Section 25, Lot 1115, gets plenty of traffic. But the playoffs are always extra busy and, as The New York Times reported, a Yankees-Red Sox playoff series sends the visits to George Herman Ruth's grave into overdrive. And standing at Babe Ruth's grave apparently isn't enough — people feel compelled to leave not just bats, hats, balls, and gloves, but also a lot of alcohol and food.

"People leave them all the time — a hot dog in a bun," the cemetery. At the modern peak of the Yankees-Sox rivalry, the 2004 American League Championship Series, someone delivered a pizza to Ruth's grave.

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