Watch Babe Ruth Teach A Kid To Hit

Agi Taralas, YouTube
Agi Taralas, YouTube / Agi Taralas, YouTube

If you're a down-trodden sandy-haired boy in the 1930s looking to impress the bullies back at the orphanage, who better to give you some hitting pointers than the Babe?

Ruth—who was himself essentially raised by monks at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys from the age of seven on—stars in this 1932 short. The film is produced by Christy Walsh, who has earned a place in history as baseball's first agent for his role in helping Ruth to monetize his fame.

Sure, the unintentionally deadpan dialogue from the kids isn't gonna win them any Oscars, but it's worth it for a few minutes of the Sultan of Swat explaining the mechanics of his tremendous swing.

If you're curious how else to be more like the Babino, consider the 1921 Popular Science article by Hugh S. Fullerton that claimed to unmask the "secret behind his superhuman swing." The pseudo-scientific piece was set up by Walsh as a PR stunt for his famous client. In it, Ruth is sent to Columbia University to undergo a number of tests to reveal any physical or psychological advantages. It's not just his swing that is superhuman, Fullerton ends up claiming:

The scientific ivory hunters of Columbia University discovered that the secret of Babe Ruth's batting, reduced to non-scientific terms, is that his eyes and ears function more rapidly than those of other players; that his brain records sensations more quickly and transmits its orders to the muscles much faster than does that of the average man. The tests proved that the coordination of eye, brain, nerve system, and muscle is practically perfect, and that the reason he did not acquire his great batting power before the sudden burst at the beginning of the baseball season of 1920, was because, prior to that time, pitching and studying batters disturbed his almost perfect coordination.

Oh, and apparently he used a 54 ounce bat.