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The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created

The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created

Written by Jane Leavy

Narrated by Jane Leavy and Fred Sanders


The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created

Written by Jane Leavy

Narrated by Jane Leavy and Fred Sanders

ratings:
4.5/5 (4 ratings)
Length:
22 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 16, 2018
ISBN:
9780062865793
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as bookBook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

Description

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."

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.

Publisher:
Released:
Oct 16, 2018
ISBN:
9780062865793
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as bookBook

About the author

Jane Leavy, award-winning former sportswriter and feature writer for the Washington Post, is author of the New York Times bestsellers Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy, The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood, and the comic novel Squeeze Play. She lives in Washington, D.C. and Truro, Massachusetts.


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Reviews

What people think about The Big Fella

4.5
4 ratings / 4 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    I found this to be a marvelous book, an intricate interweaving of The Babe, Baseball and the general face of mid-'20's America in all of it's hoopla. The combination of what some may see as minutia with a rock-solid overview of the "Big Picture" worked exceptionally well for me, and the fact that this book is about more than just baseball is one of the reasons it worked for me.
  • (3/5)
    Jane Leavy takes a different approach to telling the story of Babe Ruth, whose colorful life could probably fill several volumes. Instead of a chronological approach, Leavy attempts to weave the pieces of Ruth's life around a barnstorming tour after the 1927 season. Each chapter is a city in the story, but then digresses in various directions to weave in other aspects of Ruth's life and times. I credit Leavy for trying a new approach, but unfortunately it didn't work for me. The result is abundant confusion, as the reader gets taken back and forward in time to various events in Ruth's life.
  • (5/5)
    It has to be the most comprehensive work written on the Babe yet. The details and research on Ruth’s life and the people that intersected his world are second to none. I also am very impressed with how Mrs. Leavy was able to take you back into past with her eloquent detail of everyday life in Ruth’s era from childhood to adulthood. I highly recommend this book.
  • (5/5)
    Reviews led me to believe this book is not up to the standard set by Jane Leavy in her biographies of Sandy Koufax and Mickey Mantle. In fact, this is the best examination of the life and impact of Babe Ruth I have read. Leavy carefully researched this book, interviewing hundreds of people and tracking down stories from contemporary local newspapers about Ruth's barnstorming appearances. It is one of the most enjoyable books I have read this year! Of course, I am a baseball fan and read a lot of books about baseball, but The Big Fella is head and shoulders above most other baseball books not written in the first person. Read it and enjoy!