When your parents are gone you still remember special days. March 23 was a notable date in the Amernic family because it was my mother’s birthday, but this year on that day we have a Babe Ruth connection.
One hundred years ago he was a young pitcher with the Boston Red Sox and during a spring-training game in March, 1918 he slugged a home run that went well over 500 feet. It was the first 500-foot home run anyone ever hit, and it took place in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
The Hot Springs Baseball Weekend is a two-day event over March 23-24, and members of Ruth’s family will be on hand, including his grandson Tom Stevens and great-grandson Brent Stevens. Tom wrote the foreword to my book BABE RUTH – A Superstar’s Legacy, and Brent was a big help with family photos. The book, which is not a biography, explores the enduring legacy of Mr. Ruth and goes far beyond baseball.
An important thing to mention is that Tom will have the very first print copy of the book, soon to be available on Amazon, with him in Hot Springs. Two other people who will be at that event are baseball historians Tim Reid and Bill Jenkinson. Both of them, longtime Ruth aficionados, were most helpful to me as I learned more about the Ruth mystique.
So this Hot Springs celebration is a family affair which, for me, is only fitting. My personal trip with Babe Ruth began years ago with my novel Gift of the Bambino. I wrote it after my father died when I was left wondering how my two young children were going to remember their grandfather. The novel, about a boy and his grandpa, was dedicated to him.
And it all comes together on my mother’s birthday, so Happy Birthday Mom. By the way, you will never guess her name.
It was Ruth.