Thank you for printing Dr. Rafael Medoff’s article in the Jan. 4 Jewish Times on Baltimore native Babe Ruth’s participation in a 1942 declaration denouncing Hitler’s “policy of cold-blooded extermination of the Jews,” I wish to note a minor error. The advertisement was published on Dec. 28, 1942, not Dec. 22, as stated in the article. It should also be noted that the Baltimore Sun was among the 10 daily newspapers that carried the advertisement.
Although Ruth’s playing career ended in 1935 and he died in 1948, he was widely known in 1942, remaining a hero to sports fans. His participation in denouncing Nazi Germany was recognized at the time.
A short article published in several newspapers, including the Jan. 4, 1943 Palm Beach Post under the title “Another Home Run” states, “Babe Ruth is in the news again, and in company of which he may well be proud. Baseball’s greatest hitter is one of 50 signers to a newspaper advertisement sponsored by the Loyal Americans of German Descent. This denounces the Nazi oppression of the Jews and other peoples and calls on the German people to overthrow the Hitler regime … Many eminent names are included … Few, however, will be known as far and wide as the poor Baltimore orphan who broke the record for home runs, and now in his retirement is doing one of the finest deeds of his career.”
Babe Ruth is honored in Baltimore with a statue outside the Baltimore Orioles ballpark, and his legacy is kept alive at Babe Ruth Museum on Emory Street, where he was born. The annual “Babe’s Birthday Bash” will take place on the evening of Friday, Feb. 8 at Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards. The event celebrates the 118th anniversary of Ruth’s birth in Baltimore on Feb. 6, 1895.
Fred B. Shoken