History In Full Color | Politics | Babe Ruth with Yale baseball Captain #41 George H. W. Bush 1948 - [186375]
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Babe Ruth with Yale baseball Captain #41 George H. W. Bush 1948 - [186375]

Babe Ruth with Yale baseball Captain #41 George H. W. Bush 1948 - [186375]

"Oh, we were so excited, it was a great day for us." George H. W. Bush

In an iconic image, baseball legend Babe Ruth meets future President George H.W. Bush on June 5, 1948. The crowd was there to see Babe Ruth present a copy of his autobiography to the Yale Library before a baseball game. As team captain, Bush was selected to receive the book at Yale's ballpark.

As part of the ceremony, Ruth spoke to the crowd in a special public address system that had been installed for the day.

"I have been to New Haven many times over the years, but this one is the best," Babe Ruth said, drawing an ovation from the crowd. "I am proud and happy to present 'The Babe Ruth Story.'

It has a lot of fun and a lot of laughs and a lot of crying too. I hope that whoever gets a chance to read it will get something of the pleasure out of it which I got in doing it. If it isn't good, I know you will appreciate I was trying to do the best I could."

It was one of Ruth's final public appearances. He had a rare form of throat cancer. "He was dying," Bush recalled years later. "He was hoarse and could hardly talk. He kind of croaked when they set up the mike by the pitcher's mound. It was tragic. He was hollow. His whole great shape was gaunt and hollowed out."

A few weeks later, Bush, the left-handed first baseman, would lead the Bulldogs to a second place finish in the College World Series.