Thursday, June 13, 2013

June 13, 1948: The Babe Makes His Final Appearance at Yankee Stadium

On June 13, 1948, The Great Bambino made his final appearance at Yankee Stadium, it came on a day that the organization proclaimed to be "Babe Ruth Day" which was a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the opening of  "The House That Ruth Built". The Yankees legend was visibly ill and could hardly speak as he was introduced with several other members of the 1923 Championship squad. As he used a bat as a cane, he stood before those that loved him the most and said "Thank you very much ladies and gentlemen. You know how bad my voice sounds. Well, it feels just as bad. You know, this baseball game of ours comes up from the youth. That means the boys. And after you're a boy and grow up to know how to play ball, then you come to the boys you see representing themselves today in your national pastime. The only real game I think in the world is baseball. As a rule, some people think that if you give them a football or a baseball or something like that they naturally become athletes right away. But you can't do that in baseball. You've got to start from way down at the bottom, when you're 6 or 7 years of age. You can't wait until you are 15 or 16. You gotta let it grow up with you. And if you are successful, and you try hard enough, you're bound to come out on top just like these boys have come to top now. There have been so many lovely things said about me and I'm glad I got the opportunity to thank everybody. Thank you." As he wrapped up the speech Ruth stood before the crowd and listened to them cheer him one last time. He passed away on August 16, 1948, instead of a traditional funeral his casket was taken to Yankee Stadium where more than 75,000 paid their respects to the man who had brought them so much joy in the past.

You can listen to his speech here:

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