Early in 1921, enterprising agent/publicist Christy Walsh scored the biggest client of his career: George Herman “Babe” Ruth. Walsh had watched in awe as he witnessed the Babe’s triumphant move to New York and how the fans were fascinated by him like no other celebrity before. After weeks of unsuccessfully angling to meet with Ruth, Walsh finally gained access to the young star by posing as a beer delivery man and being invited into his apartment. The agent quickly convinced Ruth that by signing with him, the slugger would keep financial awards the likes of which had never even been dreamed of. The following day, Walsh returned with a contract forming a mutual arrangement and friendship between the two men that would last for decades.
Walsh arranged licensing and endorsement deals, syndicated newspaper columns, planted positive stories and staunchly defended the Babe’s public persona. Part of Walsh’s 1921 agreement was to collect and bind all of Ruth’s newspaper and publicity pieces. At the time, putting together a scrapbook of some newspaper clippings might not have seemed like a big deal - however due to the Babe’s unrivaled talent and Walsh’s magical publicity skills, Ruth became the most written about man in America. This massive volume covers just three weeks of the Babe’s 1922 season, May 18 to May 31. Articles from Goshen, Indiana and Gallup, New Mexico join those from Brooklyn and San Francisco really illustrate how well-reported Babe Ruth’s life and career was back in the Roaring’ Twenties. That the 1922 season was the most controversial of the Babe’s career makes this volume all the more interesting. After his record-shattering 1921 season, the Babe embarked on a long barnstorming trip against the wishes of new Commissioner of Baseball Kennesaw Mountain Landis. Thinking he was bigger than some desk-bound commissioner, Ruth went ahead with his tour and spent the early part of the 1922 season suspended by Landis.
The initial days of this volume record the repentant Ruth trying to get reinstated as the Yankees struggle to stay in the pennant race. Tension mounts as a new home run hero - Ken Williams of the Browns - begins a home run hitting production that rivals Ruth’s epic 1921 season. When Ruth is finally reinstated by Landis, 40,000 fans packed the Polo Grounds to see their repentant hero. This incredibly comprehensive book records it all as it unfolds. Walsh meticulously clipped each article and pasted it neatly on each page, along with a typed strip recording the newspaper and date. The massive volume is bound in green covers with “BABE RUTH” stamped in gold on the front and “BABE RUTH MAY 1922” stamped in gold on the spine. The cover and binding has come loose with age and the pages are brittle. The majority of articles are firmly affixed to each page and all are perfectly legible. An amazing three weeks in the life of baseball’s greatest ball player.
LOA from the Ruth family.