Babe Ruth's whores, Pete Rose's pills, and other stuff you never read about your favorite players when you were…

The stadium scene.
April 5 2010 7:06 AM

Let's Read Two

Babe Ruth's whores, Pete Rose's pills, and other stuff you never read about your favorite players when you were a kid.

Click here to launch slideshow :Let's Read Two".

Beneath the Opening Day cheers can be heard the usual grumbling: The players are overpaid boors, or whoring alcoholics, or drug-enabled frauds, or simply immature Peter Pans. Cue up the obligatory Paul Simon quote: "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?" On second thought, you probably don't want to go there. (Joltin' Joe himself was so prickly that when he heard "Mrs. Robinson," he wanted to sue.) To illustrate this disconnect between the eternal yearning for pure baseball heroes and a reality in which the phrase professional athlete may be as disqualifying on a job application as felony conviction, we again headed for the local library. There we performed a side-by-side comparison between biographies written for children about the legends of baseball vs. biographies written for adults. The difference is as plain as softball and hardball.

Click here to launch a slide show featuring children's books about baseball players.

Advertisement

.

.

Robert Leighton, a New Yorker cartoonist and puzzle-writer, most recently co-authoredThe New Yorker Book of Cartoon Puzzles and Games.

Cate Plys is a former columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune

TODAY IN SLATE

Culturebox

The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers

Education

Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.

Culturebox

The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:54 PM The Actual World “Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.