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Babe Ruth's eyesight

Unknown to most of the American public, Babe Ruth did not read. Whenever Babe heard someone talk about a newspaper article that mentioned him, he would turn to an acquaintance and say, “Read it and tell me what’s in it.” He never read a book. Babe tried to read while at his farm at Sudbury, Massachusetts but found, after glancing over just a single page, that his eyes got blurry. When a friend asked if he had ever had his eyes examined, Babe laughed and confessed that an eye doctor had said he needed glasses. Both eyes, particularly the right one, which was closest to a baseball, were out of whack. After paying twenty dollars for the examination, Babe told the doc, “Maybe the reason I hit so many home runs is because I can’t see straight like the other players.” Foregoing glasses, Babe decided to rely on his crooked eyes so long as he continued to hit homers. His friend thought that perhaps Babe’s unique slugging ability was due to his off-kilter vision and consulted a specialist for a second opinion. After considering the matter, the physician replied, “A batter looks sidewise at a baseball coming up to the plate. It may be that the shortness of sight in one eye makes them balance at the very point where he should hit.” Ruth was advised to refrain from reading as long as he continued to hit home runs. After all, on a practical note, this latest doctor admitted, “He makes five times as much money as I do.”

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