The Bustin’ Babes and Larrupin’ Lous
The definitive history of the 1927 barnstorming tour featuring Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig
by Rick Cabral
In 1927, Babe Ruth had reached baseball’s pinnacle when he led the New York Yankees to a World Series victory and in the process set the single-season record for home runs with 60. For much of the season, the “Sultan of Swat” was challenged by one man—teammate Lou Gehrig, who finished with 47 round trippers.
At the time no one in sport was more famous—or more beloved—than the Babe. So, when the “Thumpin’ Twins” set out on a one-month barnstorming tour as “The Bustin’ Babes and the Larrupin’ Lous” America came out in droves to watch 21 games in 20 cities—from Rhode Island to California.
The mastermind behind the tour was Ruth’s representative, Christy Walsh, who was the first sports agent. He booked the Yankees stars in such cities as Providence, Rhode Island, Lima, Ohio, and Sioux City, Iowa, along with many towns and cities in California.
Ruth and Gehrig performed hitting exhibitions that thrilled hundreds of thousands of fans who had the rare chance to watch their heroes up close in an era when radio was the social media of the day. But it was much more than just baseball that drew the kiddies. A kind-hearted soul always devoted to children, Ruth and his 24-year-old partner made visits to hospitals, orphanages and other places where children could get an autographed baseball and a lifetime memory.
This ebook contains personal anecdotes and memories from people who vividly remembered watching the Yankee stars, including one who got to sit in the dugout with Ruth and another who served as the team’s batboy. Dolph Camilli who was then a 20-year-old minor leaguer before becoming the National League MVP in 1941, watched in awe at San Francisco’s Recreation Park as Ruth peppered ball after ball over a 50-high chicken-wire fence, “hittin’ ‘em over those houses,” he recalled.
Read how Ruth hit home runs out of ballparks that had never been cleared before. And how Chicago Cubs pitcher Charlie Root ignored Ruth’s braggadocios promise to propel the horsehide out of the yard, and held him homerless at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, at the time the finest minor league ballpark in the country.
After that magical season of 1927 when the Spanking Yankees led what many still consider is the greatest baseball team of all time, Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were heroes of the highest order. And America couldn’t get enough of them on this barnstorming tour.
This work by author Rick Cabral is the most definitive and accurate representation of the 1927 tour ever written—and that’s saying something considering all the wonderful biographies that have been written about the great Bambino.