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Advice from the Babe….

In 1930, Dan Daniel; sports writer for the New York Telegram, published a book titled Babe Ruth: The Idol of the American Boy.

The forward of the book is attributed to Babe Ruth. In this, he gives advice to his young readers. I will quote excerpts from that passage here:

Be it baseball or office or factory work…go at the job with everything at your command. Nobody has ever succeeded through half-hearted effort.

The great pitcher is great because he worked hard and long perfecting his control and developing his stuff. The great fielder worked for years building up his style. The top-notch hitter got that way through years of practice.

Thomas Edison, Herbert Hoover, the famous Mayo Brothers, our great surgeons, Chief Justice Hughes, Christy Mathewson, Ty Cobb, the principal of your school, the man who runs the most important factory in your town- all got there through hard work and strict attention to duty.

As I look back on my years of experience in baseball, as I look back at boys and men I have known since the days when I joined the Baltimore club, I find that I have compiled a sort of Boys’ Bible which consists of just ten commandments, which I have copied down as follows:

Get at least eight hours of sleep and realize that early to bed and early to rise is still sound advice for a growing boy.

Keep away from tobacco in any form until you have attained your full growth and are in position to debate its use with yourself.

Do everything in moderation. Even good things can be overdone. It is as much of a mistake to study too hard and too long at the expense of sunshine and exercise and recreation as it is to ignore your class work.

Do not abuse your God-given powers. Exercises and athletics are wonderful, but too many of our youngsters burn themselves out with too much competition while they are still growing.

Always remember that your eyes are all-important. Do not strain them with too much use, especially by artificial light. And never lose sight of the fact that all great ballplayers have had perfect sight.

Train yourself to obedience. That means to obedience at home, as well as in school and on the ball field. Complaining about decisions means the wood shed or the bench.

Remember that it is important to be able to “take it.” Gameness is vital in baseball, and in your lifework.

Love and respect your home ties. Nobody in this wide world can match your mother and your father in deep personal interest to you.

Be neat in everything you do. That goes for action and dress and language too.

The truthful boy goes farthest. He who is square with others will be square with himself.

With these words, I’ll wish you all success and health and luck, and a home run record in life’s game.


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