Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dad's a Babe (Actually, The Babe)

Even though it is a newspaper interview, you can almost hear the wonder in her voice as an adopted daughter marvels still at her father. "He could get away with things nobody else could," says Julia Ruth, the nonagenarian daughter of the famous Babe, King of Swat. (Although her daddy will always be a Yankee, she's come so side with the Red Sox Nation.)

"I wanted Daddy to hit a home run every time he was up, and I loved to see him trot around the bases. One time he hit one over the wall, and another Yankee who was on first just flew around the bases because he wasn’t sure it was going out. And when Daddy got back to the dugout, he said, 'Hey kid, when I hit a home run you don’t need to run.' "

That adulation is what every father is after. It goes beyond reality and means that even though Babe Ruth might never have made it to the big leagues or thrived in the modern game — poverty stricken in Baltimore, overweight, undisciplined and living a life that would have given a field day to blogs and gossip mags — his daughter still believes that 100 home runs a season would have been nothing for daddy.

Not every father can be The Babe to his child, but then I Admire My Father suggests he doesn't have to be in order to create the same level of love and adoration.

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