I have written a couple of times about Babe Ruth and I dare say I will write of him more, because you see when it is all said and done, there is nobody better to have played the game. Oh, there are those who will put forth this one or that one was a better “all around” player. All worthy discussions and part of the joy of baseball however the simple reality is that nobody who has ever played in the major leagues has enjoyed as high a level of success both as an everyday player and pitcher than Babe.
The sale of Babe to the Yankees has been chronicled ad nauseam.
The nonsense of the curse flourished following the 1986 World Series and it was finally put to bed following the Red Sox 2004 World Championship. The ramifications of all of this was staggering when it came to how the Red Sox perceived themselves and their history. In the mid 1990s when cyberspace was in its infancy, the Boston Red Sox produced a website. In that website was a section on Red Sox legends in which there was no mention of Babe Ruth. Imagine, the man whom the Fenway Faithful elected the franchise best left-handed pitcher in their history just a decade before was left off the original Red Sox legend list.
When it came to Babe Ruth, the Red Sox seemed ashamed that they had sold him, and appeared to ignore his years in Boston.
Red Sox owners Lucchino, Henry and Werner.
When the current ownership took the reigns in 2002, their committment to Red Sox history was clear and was exhibited in their decision to renovate, not raze Fenway Park. And they set forth on a course to bring a World Championship back to the city, the ball park that had been the seat of excellence in the nascent days of the American League.
The 2004 World Series liberated the Boston Red Sox and the Fenway Faithful and the culmination of that liberation will take place in 2012, the 100th birthday year of Fenway Park. For the “Banners of Glory” which wave proudly on Van Ness Street, proclaiming the greatness of Red Sox who have gone before will, for the first time, include the name Babe Ruth!
The Boston Red Sox will formally embrace Babe Ruth’s time spent toiling at Fenway Park and it is long overdue. For with all that he achieved in New York wearing the pinstripes of the Yankees, the fact is and will forever be that when Babe Ruth left Boston he did so as the greatest player in the game and that is something for the Boston Red Sox, the Fenway Faithful and indeed all of baseball to celebrate! The banners of Fenway Park will now forever proclaim it so!
And so it is on this day in Fenway Park history, February 20, 2012.