Babe Ruth's final appearance at Yankee Stadium

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Life Magazine has some never before seen photos of Babe Ruth’s last appearance at Yankee Stadium, two months before his death.  They’re in color and, unlike some of the more well known pictures of the latter-day Babe, they give a striking view of just how frail he was.

Black and white photography is wonderful in its own way (and of course was, at one point in time, the only game in town), but there’s an artificial distancing from the present and romanticism to it that we often ignore. It’s hard to think of Babe Ruth as a mere mortal, partially because of the legend that surrounds him and his own exploits, but also because most of our images of him are in black and white. On some level he may as well be Abraham Lincoln or a lovingly-rendered sketch drawing or something.

There’s a human tendency to elevate the past and to say that the world is going to hell in a handbasket today. I suspect much of that is a function of us simply not knowing the past as clearly as we could. Mostly because of the disappearance of living memory, some because of ignorance and — maybe just a tiny bit — because we just don’t see it in full color, both literally and metaphorically speaking.

Yadier Molina ties record for the most games caught with one team

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Yadier Molina has two World Series rings, multiple Gold Gloves, Platinum Gloves, All-Star appearances and a Silver Slugger award. He now has an all-time record too.

The record: the most games caught with one team. Last night he caught his 1756th career game with the Cardinals, with ties him with Gabby Hartnett of the Cubs, who last caught in 1941 and set the record in 1940, his last season with Chicago. Molina will break the record next time he dons the tools of ignorance, likely tonight against the Phillies.

Given how badly catchers get beaten up — and Molina has taken a beating at times in his career — and given how well mastery of the position leads to a catcher earning journeyman status, as it were, it’s quite a thing to catch that many games for one team.

Given that Molina is under contract with the Cardinals for two more seasons and has stated his desire to retire a Cardinal many times, he’s likely to put that record so far out of reach that it’ll likely take at least another 78 years to break it, if indeed it is ever broken.