The Black Sox Scandal: Eight White Sox banned for throwing 1919 World's Series.
The Babe is Born: A biography of George Herman Ruth, Jr.
Career Statistics: Babe Ruth's career by the numbers.
A Hero to Save the Game: Babe Ruth's links to the American folk hero tradition.
The Written Word: A look at the sportswriting culture that spawned the Babe.
Changing the Game: From science to slugging. How Babe Ruth changed the way baseball was played.
The Tying Game: See how sportswriters turned the Babe into a legend in a 1923 sports article by Heywood Broun.
Reflecting the Times: A look at Ruth as a product of his era.
The Splendid Era: A brief history of the prosperous 1920s.
A Marketable Commodity: Advertising and its impact on Ruth's image.
Selling the Game: Babe Ruth ensured baseball's continued success by publicizing the sport.
Selected Ads: A gallery of advertisements that featured the Babe.
Biography: A list of works consulted.
The Author: A little about me.
American Studies: Link to the American Studies program at U.Va.
Email Us: Email the American Studies program at U.Va.

"Who is this Baby Ruth, and what does she do?" With this simple question, George Bernard Shaw drew the ire of Americans everywhere in the 1920s. A baseball legend and an American icon, Babe Ruth single-handedly changed the way baseball was played and rescued the game from the dark days that followed the Black Sox Scandal of 1919.

This American Studies project studies how and why Babe Ruth became a hero. Though Ruth's deeds on the field were great, he needed the help of sportswriters and advertisers to spread his legend across the land. Baseball needed a hero following the 1919 season, and Ruth delivered. In turn, the Americans in the 1920s were more than happy to welcome an uncompromising, showboating hero like Ruth. He was a reflection of the affluence and overconsumption of that decadent decade. Ruth became an American legend because he was doing the right things at the right time.

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