Jane Leavy’s The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the World he Created is one of the best sports books I have ever read.
I love baseball. I have always been interested in Babe Ruth. I believe he is the greatest athlete team sports has ever seen. He played in a very different era, but Babe revolutionized baseball like no one has revolutionized a sport.
In the book, Leavy takes us on a ride with Babe and Lou Gehrig as they barnstorm their way across America after Ruth’s record-breaking 1927 season. Reading about the tour was interesting. The idea that baseball’s greats did that during the offseason to make extra money is hard to imagine today.
Throughout the book Leavy takes breaks from telling the story of the tour to tell us about Babe’s life. She doesn’t shy away from the controversial parts of his story. That’s something I appreciate.
The title comes from her telling of how Babe made the marketing of athletes business. How he used his unique celebrity to create a world of sponsorship and endorsement that has come to mark the sports landscape.
If you like sports and a good story, The Big Fella: Babe Ruth and the world he Created will not disappoint.