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The Marriage of Baseball and Cinema

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saturnwatcher View Drop Down
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Joined: July 14 2005
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    Posted: October 08 2008 at 2:32am

Baseball has inspired a lot of movies of varying quality. Those who tuned in to TCM late Sunday night had the opportunity to catch one of the earliest. The movie was titled Headin' Home,  which was made in 1920  and starred a very young and surprisingly trim real life player by the name of George Herman may have heard of him.

In this film, Ruth played a guy named "Babe," so it wasn't much of a stretch. Ruth actually appeared in a lot of movies, mostly cameos. This movie marked one of two films where he was the primarly attraction...the other being the 1927 production Babe Comes Home.  Viewing either film provides a pretty compelling reason why Ruth is remembered for his baseball exploits, not his acting career.

A couple of interesting footnotes to Headin' Home:

**The film was made shortly after the Babe was traded from Boston to New York. "Traded" isn't exactly the right word...Boston's owner actually sold Ruth's contract to the Yankees in order to finance the production of No No Nannette. Red Sox fans suffered the consequences of that deal for 84 years, while theater patrons will continue to suffer wherever and whenever a revival is staged.

**Headin' Home was partially financed by former prize fighter Abe Attell, a key figure in the infamous "Black Sox" scandal of 1919, in which the Chicago White Sox threw the World Series. Whether or not Ruth and Attell ever met face to face is unknown, but his involvement in the production must have been a very well guarded secret at the time. 

Nine times out of ten, in art as in life, there is no truth to be discovered, only an error to be exposed.--H.L. Menken
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