You may have seen still photos of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in their “Bustin’ Babes” and “Larrupin’ Lous” barnstorming uniforms before, but the New York Times has a story — and some footage — of some film of them wearing the duds. Sadly it isn’t game action. They’re just hanging around. Ruth gets on the back of a pony. Gehrig holds a baby.
It’s not much, but it’s something. Until I read the article I never realized just how little actual footage of these guys exists. Apparently the Hall of Fame has only an hour’s worth of film of Ruth, and I assume that includes silly stuff like him sitting on the hood of a car, wearing that king’s crown and winking and what have you.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.