CLOSE
Original image
Agi Taralas, YouTube

Watch Babe Ruth Teach A Kid To Hit

Original image
Agi Taralas, YouTube

If you're a down-trodden sandy-haired boy in the 1930s looking to impress the bullies back at the orphanage, who better to give you some hitting pointers than the Babe?

Ruth—who was himself essentially raised by monks at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys from the age of seven on—stars in this 1932 short. The film is produced by Christy Walsh, who has earned a place in history as baseball's first agent for his role in helping Ruth to monetize his fame.

Sure, the unintentionally deadpan dialogue from the kids isn't gonna win them any Oscars, but it's worth it for a few minutes of the Sultan of Swat explaining the mechanics of his tremendous swing.

If you're curious how else to be more like the Babino, consider the 1921 Popular Science article bythat claimed to unmask the "secret behind his superhuman swing." The pseudo-scientific piece was set up by Walsh as a PR stunt for his famous client. In it, Ruth is sent to Columbia University to undergo a number of tests to reveal any physical or psychological advantages. It's not just his swing that is superhuman, Fullerton ends up claiming:

The scientific ivory hunters of Columbia University discovered that the secret of Babe Ruth's batting, reduced to non-scientific terms, is that his eyes and ears function more rapidly than those of other players; that his brain records sensations more quickly and transmits its orders to the muscles much faster than does that of the average man. The tests proved that the coordination of eye, brain, nerve system, and muscle is practically perfect, and that the reason he did not acquire his great batting power before the sudden burst at the beginning of the baseball season of 1920, was because, prior to that time, pitching and studying batters disturbed his almost perfect coordination.

Oh, and apparently he used a 54 ounce bat.

Original image
Great Big Story, Youtube
arrow
video
Seattle Mariners Fans Are Going Crazy for These Crunchy Grasshopper Snacks
Original image
Great Big Story, Youtube

Seattle Mariners fans have more than warmed up to the newest, offbeat addition to the Safeco Field concessions menu: toasted grasshoppers covered in chili-lime salt.

The crunchy snack, which sells for $4 and comes packed in a small container, has only been available for less than a season but has already sold 300,000-plus orders to date. That's about 1000 pounds of grasshoppers. 

Frequenters of Seattle's popular Mexican restaurant Poquitos will know that this delicacy—which first started as a novelty item on its menu—has actually been available to the public for six years. But it wasn't until local chef Ethan Stowell was hired to give the Safeco Field menu a hip retooling that the salty bugs found new, fervent popularity at the ballpark. (Also on the Safeco menu: fried oysters drizzled in hot sauce.)

Great Big Story met up with Manny Arce, the executive chef of Poquitos and visionary behind this culinary home run, to discuss the popularity of these crunchy critters. You can watch the video interview below:

Original image
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
arrow
History
The First High Five Recorded in the History of Sports
Original image
Denis Poroy/Getty Images

We don’t quite know who invented the high five—but we can pinpoint the moment it became inextricably linked with sports, which the short documentary The High Five explores below.

On October 2, 1977, Los Angeles Dodgers leftfielder Dusty Baker scored his 30th home run, making the team the first in history to have four players—Baker, Ron Cey, Steve Garvey, and Reggie Smith—with at least 30 homers under each of their belts. Fellow outfielder Glenn Burke was so overwhelmed with joy and pride, he raised his arm and slapped his flat palm against the victorious athlete’s own palm. The moment transformed Baker and Burke into legends.

Sadly, the latter player faced hard times ahead: Burke was gay, and it’s believed that his sexuality prompted team officials to trade him to the Oakland A's the following year. In Oakland, Burke clashed with team manager Billy Martin, then retired early from baseball. Today, Burke is remembered for his charisma and talent—and for transforming a simple gesture into a universal symbol. “To think his energy and personality was the origin of that, that’s a pretty good legacy,” sportswriter Lyle Spencer says in the film.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios