FEB: THE BASEBALL GURU ARTICLE
.and there were plenty
of them! The man had huge appetites which extended to food, liquor, life,
As far as women are
concerned, its only been
in the last 15 years or
that we have
begun to get a clearer picture
of his relations with women
and that would also include his two daughters.
Lets start with Helen
Woodward. How does a man with the gargantuan zest for living it up
up with marrying
Woodward? Ruth loved to
party, was a gregarious, outgoing, people friendly guy, who was always in
the spotlight and enjoyed being so.
Helen was a different
story. Shy and retiring, she
kept to herself as much as she could,
shunned publicity, frowned
on the lifestyle that Ruth favored and she made him aware of it early on
in their marriage.
awhile it was obvious to the both of them that the marriage was a
mistake. Since divorce was
impossible (they were both
Catholics) they decided to live
apart from each
other. They did try to keep
it to themselves because it was felt the publicity might have been harmful
to Ruth. While the Babe was married to Helen he did have several affairs,
one of which was with a woman named Juanita Jennings. The affair culminated
in a child which they named Dorothy and put into an adoption agency. Ruth
then payed for an apartment for Juanita to live in on
Helen and Ruth were separated from 1920 to 1928. In 28 Helen
died in a farm house fire and that brings us to Claire Hodgson.
When Claire Hodgson was a young teenager she flirted with an up and
coming young ballplayer and had several dates with him. In his memoirs the
ballplayer mentions that he just
met a girl named Claire Hodgson and for awhile it got interesting.
The player was Ty Cobb and whats
pertinent about all this is
that Claire later went on to marry Ruth, and to make it even more interesting,
Ruth and Cobb hated each other.
Claire Ruth was quite a woman. She was brought up in wealth, had cut
quite a figure in Society, and before she met the Babe had been divorced
and had a child (Julia) of her own. They married soon after Helen died (Claire
had been seeing Ruth while Helen was alive) and in many ways she was just
what he needed. Strong willed, with a mind of her own, she tamed many of
his habits. By the time his playing days were over, he had curbed his womanizing,
gave up his gargantuan eating habits and became some-what of a
Early on in their marriage, Claire went to Yankee owner Jacob Ruppert
and persuaded him to pay for a hotel room for the both of them when they
were on the road and she would keep an eye on him. It worked for awhile but
eventually Claire missed her family and friends and gave it up. Ruth then
went back to sleeping with a different woman whenever he was traveling.
All in all though she was
successful in toning down his rough, hurly-burley way of life. The babe adopted
Julie as his own daughter. There was friction between both girls and certainly
between Claire and Dorothy. A story concerning Ruths last few days
before he passed away illustrates that. While the Babe was in Memorial hospital
of cancer Claire came to
his room one week before he died. Armed with a Lawyer she made him sign over
all his assets to her name including a $400,000 trust fund that he had set
aside for Dorothy. In essence then she stole the fund from Dorothy and that
of course caused more friction between both women.
As a follow up to that
we should mention another woman that he had an affair with named Loretta
Carson. Ms. Carson came to say goodbye to Babe two days before he died. He
mentioned what Claire had done with Dorothys trust fund. She then went
to Claire in the hospital and threatened to reveal the whole story to the
NY Times. Claire then offered her $20,000 to remain quiet. Good sport that
she was, she took the bribe and has faded from history.
To talk a bit more about Claires relationship with Dorothy we
have to bring in Lou Gehrigs mother. One day Dorothy visited Gehrigs
mom and after she left
mom Gehrig mentioned to her
friends that whenever she saw Dorothy she was always dressed like a ragamuffin
but Claires child Julia from her first marriage was always dressed
in the latest fashions. The remark got back to the Yankee wives who in turn
told Claire about it who in turn told Ruth to tell Gehrig to tell his mom
to mind her own business. Ruth went to Gehrig with Claires message
and that was the end of their friendship until a year or so before Gehrigs
One last story about Ruth and his proclivity for women Involves one
of his early roommates, Ping Bodie. In several interviews after Ruths
death Bodie mentions that there was one period where the both of them went
to a Philadelphia Bordello two nights in a row and the Babe went through
all the girls both nights. That was some accomplishment because in those
days houses like that usually had at least 10 to 15 women.
Quite a man was Babe Ruth.