Julia Ruth Stevens, the 97-year-old daughter of baseball legend Babe Ruth, says that he father didn’t become a manager in Major League Baseball because there was a fear that he would bring in black players, years before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947.
Ruth really wanted to manage a team after his retirement in 1935.
New York Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert said that Ruth calmed down after getting married, which explains away the notion that he wasn’t made manager because of his once-unrestrained lifestyle.
Instead, Stevens says that Ruth wasn’t made a manager because he would have brought in black players.
“Daddy would have had blacks on his team, definitely,” Stevens told the New York Times.
Stevens and her father in an old family photo. (AP Photo)
Ruth was known to hang out at Cotton Club in New York City and counted black athletes and celebrities among his friends.
“I remember him talking about Satchel Paige,” Stevens said of the black baseball legend who wasn’t able to play in the major leagues until he was 42 years old. “Daddy thought Satchel Paige was great.”
“He really thought he deserved to manage,” she said. “Daddy knew baseball. He always felt he would be a better manager than Joe McCarthy. He always talked about that.”