Baby Ruth's daughter says her father would have broken baseball's color barrier if he managed

By Daniel S Levine,

Julia Ruth Stevens, the 97-year-old daughter of the most famous baseball player in history, Babe Ruth, explained in a new interview why her father didn’t get to manage a team. She said that the real reason why he couldn’t fulfill his dream was because it was feared that he would break the color barrier.

The Bambino retired from baseball in 1935 and hoped to stay in the sport as a manager. Fox Sports notes that it has long been assumed that the reason he never got the chance was due to his raucous lifestyle. But while speaking with The New York Times, Stevens gave a new explanation.

She said that MLB owners feared that he would pick black players for the team, long before Jackie Robinson played for the Dodgers in 1947. “Daddy would have had blacks on his team, definitely,” she told the Times.

Stevens pointed out that Ruth was a long-time supporter of African Americans, bringing entertainer Bill Robinson to the clubhouse in 1932. Robinson was also a pallbearer at Ruth’s funeral in 1948. He also revered the legendary Satchel Paige, who didn’t play in the MLB until he was 42. “Daddy thought Satchel Paige was great,” she added.

“He really thought he deserved to manage,” Stevens said of her father. “Daddy knew baseball. He always felt he would be a better manager than Joe McCarthy. He always talked about that.”

Stevens goes into detail about her father, talking about the many myths that surround him. She was particularly hurt by the idea that her father was not smart, saying that he really cared about social issues of his time.

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

 
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