When the White House announced last week Babe Ruth would be a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom at a ceremony this Friday, Jane Leavy couldn’t help but tweet out: “ ‘Bout time. Only been dead 70 years.”
Comparably, it took Leavy just eight years of ruthless research, reflection and refinement before her 600-plus-page book entitled “The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World He Created” started thumping itself down in best-seller lists and renewing conversation about how media-based star power can be construed over the last century span.
Historical tomes about the Ruth as recently as Leigh Montville’s “The Big Bam” in 2006, playing off Robert Cremer’s “Babe: The Legend Comes to Life” in 1974, were not able to exhume as much about his true childhood or debunk mythology as much as Leavy could do with modern forensic techniques.
Did this book’s well-received publication bring new veritas toward some Trump-endorsed recognition? If anything, it confirms Leavy’s refreshed narrative of how we continue to learn and marvel at Ruth’s launch angle for athlete/entertainer more than 100 years later.
Here’s the rest of the story we posted at the L.A. Times.
Here’s also more Q&A we have with Leavy at FartherOffTheWall.com.
And here’s an excerpt of the book from SI.com.
Also did you know: Barnes & Noble has a special edition/signed copy of “The Big Fella” that includes an essay after the index about Leavy’s relationship with the late, great Red Smith. Order that one here or visit your local store.
The college football gods have determined that the 88th edition of what we once declared to be “The Hood vs. The ‘Wood” — USC (5-5, 4-4) taking it upon themselves to go to the Rose Bowl and have an extended tailgate with UCLA (2-8, 2-5) – shall begin at 12:30 p.m., and be televised by Fox (KTTV-Channel 11).
While not officially the “can’t miss” game of Week 12, it certainly comes very early in the calendar year that we can remember for one of the nation’s top rivalry contests. For the record, only four other times has this been played on a Nov. 17.
USC leads the all-time series with 47 wins, 37 losses and seven ties, even after vacating wins in 2004 and 2005. USC has also won the last three in row, including 28-23 at the Coliseum last Nov. 18 when Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen decided to participate against each other.
There’s more anniversary games to savor at this link, which also includes info on the week ahead for the NFL, the local college hoops, the Lakers and Clippers, the Kings and Ducks, and NASCAR’s final race of the season.
Not much gets lost in translation during a Kings Spanish-language radio broadcast.
Especially on a call like the one Francisco X. Rivera delivered on KWKW-AM (1330) during the second period of last Thursday’s Kings-Philadelphia Flyers game from Staples Center:
“Kovalchuk con el pase, el disparo que es interceptado, una vez mas Carter, otra vez Carter y el gol! Gol … Gooooool … Gooooool … anotado por Jeff Carter … Y que bonito se siente cantar el gol de los Kings!”
Got it? In the span of a couple of seconds, Ilya Kovalchuk takes a pass, a shot is blocked, Jeff Carter shoots again, then another shot, and Carter … puts the biscuit in the basket, right?
So there’s no confusion, Rivera holds that final note in an extended primal punctuation that mirrors Andres Cantor during a World Cup soccer match.
Listen to the full call here, and then read how Rivera explains the thinking behind it with our latest L.A. Times sports media column story.