NY Daily News columnist Bill Gall offers up an interesting comparison between the way Babe Ruth rescued the game of baseball after it was found not to be trusted after the infamous Black Sox scandal of 1919.
The Chicago White Sox were pitted against the Cincinnati Reds. Every baseball fan and newspaper reporter knew the White Sox should be a cinch to win the Series. But, what nobody knew, not even the Cincinnati club, was that the Sox were already in the tank.
Well, so much happened in that Series that appeared suspicious, that tongues in the stands began to wag saying that there was something rotten in Denmark. The Sox were losing games they should not have lost!
In the end, the favored Sox lost the Series, five games to three (they played best-of-nine in those days).
The chant "fix" started to emerge and it lasted until 1920 when the rumors were finally confronted. After a lengthy investigation, members of the Sox admitted being a part of the dive, and those involved with the racketeers were banned from baseball for life. They included Shoeless Joe Jackson, then considered the greatest hitter in the game.
Was anybody going to trust this once-pure game ever again? Of course not! Baseball was forever tainted! Who, if anyone, could possibly patch up all the broken pieces? Was there such a person in this country to do it? There was. And he came into the picture just in time to not only cure baseball, but to change it. As if sent from heaven, along came a burly, confident young man named George Herman Ruth.
The Babe came on the scene to change baseball from a singles game to the more exciting and appealing home run game. While Ruth was starting as a pitcher and sometimes outfielder for the Boston Red Sox, his esteem as a player was looming larger and larger. By the time he came to the Yankees in 1920, Ruth would sell out any ballpark.
The Sultan of Swat, with his prowess on the field and his happy and ever-popular personality, was capturing the fans. And without realizing it, Babe was also winning back the fans' trust.
One man saved a wonderful American game that desperately needed saving through change and honest indulgence. I use this as just one example to show how, in our country, there is always someone who comes along at the opportune time.
President Obama, America has faith in you, and even for the little we know you, we don't see you ever letting us down. Our view of you from television is that of an intelligent individual who is honest to the core, and one who can deliver the goods. So, there you are up at the plate, Mr. President...read on...
Will Barack Obama be able to restore the public trust in our government after the disastrous tenure of George Bush? If a Babe Ruth was able to come along at the right time and restore the dignity to a sport that had been destroyed, then there is some real hope that perhaps Obama can do the same in the world of politics.