The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY unveiled their latest exhibit…Babe Ruth: His Life And Legend yesterday. For those who have enjoyed the history of the Sultan of Swat, they are in for a special treat. Curator Tom Shieber has helped identify and implement what is now believed to be the oldest existing film footage of the Babe.
Shieber acquired the at-the-time, undated clip from the University of South Carolina’s Moving Image Collection this past December, and it took several months of painstaking research among archival newspapers, old spring training schedules. After using the process of elimination and careful examination of the footage, Shieber determined that the footage of Ruth was from the Yankees’ spring training session in March of 1920.
“It’s really fun to see his swing because he changed batting stances throughout his career,” Shieber said. “He has a very closed stance, which was rare for that time period.”
The exhibit will play out like reading an active scrapbook, using two different screens that the viewer can watch. According to Shieber, the film footage is indeed the earliest of the Babe know to still exist. The field in which Ruth is seen taking batting practice, was demolished in 1964 as part of an expansion project for the Orange Bowl in Miami, Florida.