Zero Plus 338
The King Is Dead...No, Not
Elvis...The King Of Swat
Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News
GROUND ZERO, New York
City, August 16--Around the world, Elvis fans mourn the death of the
"King Of Rock 'n Roll" on this date. He died at age 42.
But his memory lives on--a tribute to the belief that the Spirit Of Rock
'n Roll Vigilance lives forever.
But this date is also the anniversary
of another King, the King of Swat, Hall of Famer Babe Ruth, who died on
August 16, 1948 at the age of 53, 29 years prior to Elvis.
Babe died a horrible death--of throat cancer. Elvis died a
horrible death too. While official reports say he died of a heart
attack, the real history of his death is attributed to his being injected
by drugs to keep him alive so he could perform and pounds of pills to keep
him going. His life was tormented by insecurities and
Terrorisms we may never know. But his reclusive nature, and troubled
life all point to a man who dodged his own shadow.
Babe Ruth didn't dodge his shadow. He
too was tormented, full of Terror. But he overcame his demons.
While Elvis taught the children of the world to bump and grind their hips,
and extol the virtues of histrionic dancing, The Babe taught them
something far more valuable--the ability to achieve far beyond their
Babe wasn't an orphan who made good as the urban
legend would have us believe. He was worse. He was the
product of a troubled home, where his parents neglected him because they
were too busy trying to make ends meet.
Babe was born on February 6, 1895, George Herman
Ruth, Jr. He was the first of eight children; six died in
He lived on the dirty, crowded streets of the
Baltimore riverfront, struggling to survive without attention from his
parents who were busy working, trying to survive themselves.
On June 13, 1902, they took seven-year-old George Jr. to St. Mary's
Industrial School for Boys and signed over his custody to the Xaverian
Brothers, a Catholic Order of Jesuit Missionaries who ran St. Mary's.
Little George was termed an "incorrigible youth."
His parents never came to visit him. St. Mary's was part
orphanage, and mostly a reformatory, housing 800 children and secured by
prison-like walls. Were it not for a man named Brother
Mathias, the main disciplinarian at St. Mary's, the future King of Swat
may have lived a life of obscurity and crime, as most who exited the
Brother Mathias is credited with helping Babe
Ruth learn to love baseball, and to offer him the love and care that his
parents denied him. He also taught him to love children, and to be
responsible for the legendary home runs that Babe Ruth swatted to help
inspire sick children to get well.
On February 27, 1914, at age 19, George Ruth, Jr.
was signed as a professional baseball player by Jack Dunn of the Baltimore
Orioles. His teammates said of the teenager, "Well, here's Jack's
newest babe," and the nickname, "Babe Ruth" stuck.
In December, 1919, Babe was sold to the New York
Yankees. Prior to the King of Swat's arrival, the Yankees had never
won a pennant. Babe changed that. From 1920-1933
the Yankees became the dominant force in baseball winning seven pennants
and four World Championships. Babe retired on
June 2, 1935. He left a distinguished record of 714 homes runs, 2214
RBI's and the only other man to hit three home runs in World Series Game.
After being diagnosed with
throat cancer in 1946 and spending nearly a year in unsuccessful treatment
to arrest it, Babe was released on February 15, 1947. April 27
was declared "Babe Ruth Day" in every ballpark in the United States and
Japan, a global tribute to the legend about to die.
George Herman Ruth, Jr. died at 8:01p.m. on
August 16, 1948--29 years prior to Elvis' death. Babe's body lay in
state at the main entrance to Yankee Stadium for two days.
Hundreds of thousands of people stood in line for hours to pay their
respects, many of them children who knew the "King Of Swat" was their
hero. A half-smoked cigar butt of his is included in his sacristy.
Throughout his career, the Babe never
refused a request to work with children. He often went to orphanages and
hospitals to visit and inspire the children, to remind them there was a
future. Where ever he went, he was swarmed by youth seeking his autograph, which he gladly gave.
Unlike Elvis, George Herman Ruth, Jr. sought to
give back to the children that which he was deprived as a child.
He became the Parent of Vigilance for countless youngsters who, like him,
suffered a sense of abandonment, a sense of lack of self worth. He
was a national hero for the underdogs of life.
America loves heroes. We seek them.
We want to believe that those idols or icons who rise above the "salt"
represent our ability to do the same, or, if we have given up on our own
ability to "achieve" we seek vicariously lives in the shoes of
our heroes, imagining ourselves like them, sometimes dressing like them,
collecting their memorabilia, learning their styles, their favorite foods,
their foibles and making their beings part of our our being.
Sometimes such transfigurations transfuse from the dark
side. Some pick the Hitlers to admire, or follow
Satan's historic course of evil, or, twist their thinking to become serial
killers or copy cats following the footsteps of prior Terrorists..
Today, our heroes aren't known for their
compassion or concern for children, but for their salaries, or their
tennis shoes, or their ability to make love to 20,000 women, or the
trouble they get into and out of because of their fame.
We don't see them pointing to the grandstands to hit a home run for a sick
child in a hospital, or hear about them sneaking away from the press to
quietly visit an orphanage and inspire the kids that someone cares
about them when they think no one else does.
We've glamorized heroism so that it glitters and
sparkles, and is measured by rating points, commercial endorsements.
Babe Ruth's death 54 years ago didn't make the
front page of most newspapers yesterday. Many didn't even list in on
their sports page.
But in a world of Terrorism, it would seem we all
owe Babe Ruth a special tribute on this day--one that far exceeds what we
drumbeat for Elvis.
Babe was a Sentinel of Lost Children Vigilance.
He didn't try to wash their minds with music, and drive their groins to
gyrate into a new wave of sexual and anti-parental freedoms, but rather
swung his bat to show the world that anything is possible--even for an
"incorrigible child." Below, I've listed a series of quotes from
Babe's official website
(link to the site), which represent his
outlook on life, baseball, and the children.
Today, we have thousands of kids who feel "lost"
in a world that drives its parents to neglect them emotionally.
The richest child living in the most grand home, can feel the same
Terrorism of not being loved by his or her parents as Babe Ruth did on
Baltimore's riverfront. Times may change, but a child's
need for love doesn't. Neither does the duty of a parent to be
Vigilant about a child's Terrorism--whether it be the bogeyman in the
closet, or that the child doesn't feel smart enough, good looking enough,
liked enough, popular enough, worthy enough.
Terrorism feeds on Fear, Intimidation and
Complacency. In a child, these demons are seeded in its early years
by the lack of Vigilance on the part of parents and loved ones.
Unfortunately, many parents and guardians believe a child should "learn to
deal with their Terrors" as part of their maturity--to "fend for
themselves." Others are just too damn busy to care. The
Terrors of Childhood--Fear, Intimidation and Complacency--left unchecked, take root;
they burrow deep into a
child's marrow. They choke off a child's spirit of growth, stunt the
youth's ability to stand
up for itself in the face of life whose shadow often dampens the spirit of
self achievement and offers
reinforcement that the worthlessness of one's thoughts carry some
Babe Ruth & Kids
But a Parent of Vigilance, or a Loved
One of Vigilance, such as Brother Mathias at St. Mary's, can pull the
weeds of Terrorism from a child. He or she can fertilize the
soil of a child's self worth with Courage, Conviction and teach the child to take Right Actions
rather to become victim of the Complacent attitude that "this is my lot.".
Babe Ruth took his Seeds of Vigilance and
transformed his life through the caring of another.. He became a Symbol of Vigilance over
Terrorism to countless thousands around the world, proof one can't worry
about striking out in life if one sees a home run in the future.
Guardians of children who tell them Elvis is the
"King," might want to reconsider whom they celebrate on August 16.
Maybe they should sit down with their seedlings and tell them the story of
Babe Ruth--share with them how he overcame the Terrorisms of
Fear, Intimidation and Complacency. How he learned to use
Courage, Conviction and Right Actions to make decisions not for himself,
but for the children, and their children's children's children.
And how striking out in life is only a step to becoming a home run hitter.
The Babe, pointing to
the grandstands, Wrigley Field, 1932 World Series
And, perhaps when such a guardian, parent
or loved one is in a quandary
about what to do in life, maybe he or she can don Babe Ruth's Number 3 Yankee
shirt, and squint up into the grandstands, and point you finger toward a
home run deep in the grandstands, and swing the bat not for himself or
herself, but for all the children, and
their children's children's children.
As Babe would say, "You can never strike out
doing the right thing."
QUOTES FROM BABE RUTH
"Never let the fear of striking out get
in your way"
"The only real game, I think, in the
world is baseball."
"Itís hard to beat a person who never
"I thank heaven we have had baseball in
this world... the kids... our national pastime."
"I've never heard a crowd boo a homer,
but I've heard plenty of boos after a strikeout."
"Just one (superstition). Whenever I hit
a home run, I make certain I touch all four bases."
"I won't be happy until we have every
boy in America between the ages of six and sixteen wearing a glove
and swinging a bat."
"Baseball was, is and always will be to
me the best game in the world."
"All I can tell them is pick a good one
and sock it. I get back to the dugout and they ask me what it was I
hit and I tell them I don't know except it looked good."
"Every strike brings me closer to the
next home run."
"The way a team plays as a whole
determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of
individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the
club won't be worth a dime."
"To my sick little pal. I will try to
knock you another homer, maybe two today."
"If I'd tried for them dinky singles I
could've batted around six hundred."
"How to hit home runs: I swing as hard
as I can, and I try to swing right through the ball...The harder you
grip the bat, the more you can swing it through the ball, and the
farther the ball will go. I swing big, with everything I've got. I
hit big or I miss big. I like to live as big as I can."
"As soon as I got out there I felt a
strange relationship with the pitcher's mound. It was as if I'd been
born out there. Pitching just felt like the most natural thing in
the world. Striking out batters was easy."
"Watch my dust."
"Baseball changes through the years. It
"All ballplayers should quit when it
starts to feel as if all the baselines run uphill."
"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've been a boy, and grow up to
know how to play ball, then you come to the boys you see
representing themselves today in our national pastime."
"I know, but I had a better year than Hoover."
...Reported reply when a reporter objected that the salary Ruth was
demanding ($80,000) was more than that of President Herbert Hoover's
Go To Aug 15--The
Terror Of Organ Transplants
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