Ruth was the guest of honor at the event on July 1, 1946, two years before his death. Then 51, the Sultan of Swat was still a huge draw anywhere he went.
“Ruth To Be Guest Of Honor At Diamond Gloves Tonight,” blared a headline in The Paterson Morning Call. “Baseball’s Sultan Of Swap To Witness Swat-Fest At Hinchliffe Stadium,” the subhed read, with an apparent swing-and-a-miss on one of the Babe’s nicknames in an attempt at a pun.
This wasn’t a one-time thing for Ruth, either. A short article in The Bergen Evening Record alluded to previous visits: “The immortal Bambino, still the greatest figure in baseball history, will be making his annual visit to the biggest amateur boxing tournament in the State …”
The following day, the Paterson Evening News had a comprehensive roundup of both the fights and Ruth’s appearance (along with his wife), including several photos of the action and the guest of honor. Under a six-column headline — “15-Second Knockout Sets Tourney Mark” — Ruth’s appearance was chronicled with a subhed, “Babe Ruth Sees (And Puts on) a Great Show).” Below that Ruth appeared in three of the seven photos.
A sidebar to the recap of the bouts covered Ruth’s evening and that of other celebrities on hand.
Babe Ruth paid his annual visit to the News-PBA Diamond Gloves tournament last night and, as always, met with a great reception.
Baseball's greatest slugger just returned from a two-week visit to Mexico where he was feted by the diamond nabobs below the border.
Just to show how much they appreciated him, his hosts presented Babe with a few little trinkets like a belt with a solid bold buckle and other accessories of the same precious metal, plus a swell wrist watch.
He'll Be Back
Babe showed that he was mighty proud of the souvenirs. "Look," he said to the Diamond Gloves fans, as he turned around so that everyone could get a good peek at the tokens of regard from down "Mehico Way."
Babe has been a highlight of the Diamond Gloves for years. He loves them, as he attested last night. "I've been coming over for many years, and I will keep on coming," he said.