Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Happy birthday to Babe Ruth, who once made a barehanded catch after a dog stole his glove

On this day in 1895, Babe Ruth was born, and so too were many great baseball tall tales.
Some of them are so fun -- and seem to capture the essence of Ruth -- that they must be true, even if the historical record lacks visual evidence of their veracity. On the occasion of the 123rd anniversary of The Babe's birth, let's recall one of the best: The time a dog ran off with his glove in the middle of a game.
Legend has it that, during a game between the Yankees and White Sox at Comiskey Park on Aug. 20, 1923, Ruth got a bit bored in left field. From the SABR bio of White Sox pitcher Paul Castner, citing Daniel Okrent's Baseball Anecdotes: "Meanwhile, bored Yankee left fielder Babe Ruth had begun playing with a dog that had somehow gotten loose in the outfield. Seconds after Ruth had tossed his fielding glove to the mutt, Castner lifted a fly ball to left - which the Babe nonchalantly caught barehanded, much to the amusement of spectators."

Ruth hit .393 with 41 home runs and 130 RBIs in that 1923 season on the way to helping the Yankees to a 98-win season and the first World Series title in their franchise's history.
Regardless of whether it actually happened, he certainly earned the mid-game respite to play with a dog. After all, he went 2-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs in that 16-5 Yankees win. The world would be a happier place if this story were true, so let's choose to believe it.