There’s probably a couple of other reasons why Babe Ruth never became a manager but one in particular seems to shine through thanks to the words of his daughter. Babe Ruth would have gladly signed on colored athletes had he been a manager for the pros. Considering the era in which he played that would have been a big no-no to a lot of those in charge around that time. White and colored players did not start playing together in the pros until Jackie Robinson effectively broke the color barrier in 1947 when he stepped onto Ebbot’s field for the Dodgers. It sounds like Babe Ruth would have done that all on his own had he been given the chance.
We look back at things like this now and thumb our noses at the past and their ignorance as well as racist attitudes. Well, a lot of us do. There are still those backwards-thinking individuals that feel that the races should be separated and kept that way. But in baseball if a person can hit they can play. If they can catch they can play. If they can stand on the field and perform just as well as or even better than anyone else then they can play. I really believe at this time that if baseball had been left to white men throughout all this time that it might have died off a while back, long before the current era.
The idea of Ruth being for a desegregated league is a little hard to understand or even accept since he was known more for hitting the ball a ton and then partying until the night was done and over with after the game. But Ruth was still a practical man and obviously saw the worth of bringing in other players despite their color and/or race. Whether he felt this way about men of all races and their ability to contribute is kind of unclear, but according to his daughter he would have brought in colored players without hesitation had he been allowed to do so. That obviously would have shaken up a lot of people but it wouldn’t have been the first time that Ruth had done such a thing.
However that very idea was what could have kept him from the manager spot. If anyone in a seat of authority had heard even a whisper of what Ruth might have done as a manager it would have been enough to keep him from that position. People can talk all they want and say that such things don’t happen but the reality of it stands. If a person speaks out against the status quo and doesn’t have enough support from those that will be listened to or can elevate the individual then their dreams of changing anything will be squashed without hesitation. The status quo doesn’t like to change all that often and will protect what they think is a sound investment even if it’s detrimental to their own institution.
It’s as true now as it was back then, and it manages to keep a lot of people from effecting the changes we’d like to see.