Even if you know nothing else about baseball, you probably are aware that Babe Ruth is one of the game’s most famous players. Sure, if you grew up in the 1990s, then there’s a chance you were introduced to The Babe — aka the Sultan of Swat, the Titan of Terror, the Colossus of Clout, the King of Crash, the Great Bambino — in the movie “The Sandlot,” but that totally counts.
Born George Herman Ruth in 1895, he’s best known for hitting home runs as an outfielder for the New York Yankees, but got his start in Major League Baseball as a pitcher for the Boston Red Socks. Whether you’re curious to see him in action yourself, or have Little Leaguers of your own and want them to learn from the best, here’s how to access instructional videos made for kids, by The Babe himself.
How to have Babe Ruth teach your child to pitch
No time machine is required for this tutorial — just access to YouTube. That’s where you’ll find a roughly eight-minute video entitled “Perfect Control.” It was one of five shorts in the “Play Ball with Babe Ruth” series Universal Pictures produced in 1932 (and subsequently rereleased in the 1950s following Ruth’s death).
“Perfect Control” tells the story of a young boy who nods off during a boring arithmetic lesson and dreams that Ruth came to his school to teach his class how to pitch in a nearby sandlot. The King of Swat (as he is billed at the beginning of the film) then goes on to teach the boys how to throw a fastball, a curveball, and a knuckleball:
And this wasn’t Ruth’s only experience as an entertainer. Like many baseball players of the era, he spent time on the vaudeville circuit during the off-season, performing numbers like this little ditty: