By the summer of 1948, most baseball fans down in Cuba knew that Babe Ruth was very sick. My father told me that the sports pages in the island updated fans on his declining health. He was very popular because of his home runs but also the Yankees were hugely popular. The photo above appeared in many Cuban sports sheets reporting the day that Yankee Stadium fans said goodbye to the ailing superstar.
Babe Ruth died on this day in 1948. “The Great Bambino”, one of his many nicknames, retired from baseball in 1935 but not with the Yankees. He actually hit # 714, or his last home run, with the Boston Braves.
Like other major leaguers, Ruth visited Cuba.
It was quite a story, as we see in this post. He was paid $2,000 per game and played 10 exhibition games:
On October 30, New York defeated Havana 4-3. Ruth hit a double and a triple in 3 at-bats.
October 31: New York won 3-0 against Almendares. Ruth had a triple.
November 3 : New York won 7-1 at Havana and Ruth struck out three times against Jose Acosta.
November 4 : New York defeated 10-0 to Almendares. Ruth had a hit and a double.
November 6 : The Cuban team trounced New York, 11-4. Ruth failed to get a hit but pitched in relief. The hero of the game was Cuban outfielder and future Hall of Famer Cristóbal Torriente, who hit a double and three homers!
Ruth came back in 1921 and loved visiting Cuba.