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THE SULTAN SWATS, AND A FAMOUS, IF QUESTIONABLE, PHOTOGRAPH IS TAKEN
Franz Lidz
May 30, 1983
It's the classic photograph of Babe Ruth—and baseball as it used to be. The Sultan is caught at the end of his swat, feet splayed, bat in front of his right shoulder, eyes gazing up in wonder as the ball heads toward Jupiter. The picture of The Babe (below, right) is the essence of baseball's era of baggy-pants innocence. Reggie Jackson, the quintessential contemporary home-run hitter, doesn't look like that. At the end of his stroke, Jackson is rapt in wide-eyed admiration.
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May 30, 1983

The Sultan Swats, And A Famous, If Questionable, Photograph Is Taken

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In the idolatrous world of baseball romantics, everything that Ruth hit was a homer. Merriken still remembers taking a picture that day of Ruth hitting one out of the park. As oldtime sports editors used to say when confronted with facts that conflicted with their legends, print the legend.

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