Babe Ruth’s Ghost
Babe Ruth’s Ghost – Script
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Babe Ruth’s Ghost

The story of why the Red Sox couldn’t ever seem to win the nationals after Babe Ruth went to the Yankees.

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Babe Ruth’s Ghost

The story of why the Red Sox couldn’t ever seem to win the nationals after Babe Ruth went to the Yankees.


Author:    Fred Cooprider

Synopsis:

    The play opens with the audience seated at Fenway Park, Boston. The Peanut Vendor relates the history of Fenway Park and her beloved Boston Red Sox (and actually sells peanuts). The audience learns of Babe Ruth’s start in Boston as a pitcher in 1914, and of the sale of Babe to the Yankees in 1920. 
      In Act I, Scene 2, a drunk and angry Babe Ruth sells his soul to the devil in exchange for living the high life, setting baseball records, and The Curse of the Bambino. Boston will never win another World Series. Babe dies in 1948 and the Devil collects his due; Babe is condemned to haunt Fenway.
      We forward to opening day of the 2004 season. Babe befriends 13-year-old Samantha and invites her to Fenway the next day for batting practice. Sam thinks Babe is a groundskeeper but discovers his identity during batting practice when Babe hits two mammoth home runs. And she learns that only she can see him. Before she leaves Fenway, she goes to make a phone call and is followed by a man.
     Babe thinks this man is stalking Sam and is about to punch him when Sam returns, and we discover that this man is Sam’s deceased father, Bill Collins, whom Sam cannot see. Sam exits and Babe is perplexed. Why did Bill come back if Sam can’t see him? Bill didn’t come back for Sam, he came back for Babe. Why? Well, Babe, you probably don’t know this but, God is a Red Sox fan. The rest of the play is devoted to the resolution of several conflicts, including The Curse.
     While this is obviously fiction, the details in the play about Babe Ruth’s life are researched and accurate. Of course, legend, myth, and embroidery may have entered in. A card game between Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig is an embroidery of my own, but the temporary falling out between the two men is fact.
     This play was written in 2001. It has been updated to the 2004 baseball season for obvious reasons. The Curse ended when Boston won the 2004 World Series. I do not know if art is imitating life, or life is imitating art. The writer says he is just a happy Red Sox fan.

Babe Ruth’s Ghost

Babe Ruth’s Ghost

How the Curse Really Ended

by 

Fred Cooprider


Babe Ruth’s Ghost

 Copyright 2001  

by 

Fred Cooprider

All Rights Reserved

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that BABE RUTH’S GHOST is subject to a royalty.  It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, including Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union.  All rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, and the rights of translation into foreign language are strictly reserved. 

The amateur live stage performance rights to BABE RUTH’S GHOST are controlled exclusively by Drama Source and royalty arrangements and licenses must be secured well in advance of presentation.  PLEASE NOTE that amateur royalty fees are set upon application in accordance with your producing circumstances.  When applying for a royalty quotation and license please give us the number of performances intended and dates of production.  Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Drama Source Co., 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445, unless other arrangements are made. 

Royalty of the required amount must be paid whether the play is presented for charity or gain, and whether or not admission is charged.  For all other rights than those stipulated above, apply to Drama Source Company, 1588 E. 361 N. St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.

Copying from this book in whole or in part is strictly forbidden by law, and the right of performance is not transferable.

Whenever the play is produced, the following notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play, “Produced by special arrangement with Drama Source Co.”

Due authorship credit must be given on all programs, printing and advertising for the play.

No one shall commit or authorize any act or omission by which the copyright or the rights to copyright of this play may be impaired.

No one shall make changes in this play for the purpose of production without written permission.

Publication of this play does not imply availability for performance.    Both amateurs and professionals considering a production are strongly advised in their own interests to apply to Drama Source Company for written permission before starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre.

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Cast of Characters

(In order of appearance.)

PEANUT VENDOR: Female, Boston native, 20’s or 30’s, working class, avid Red Sox fan.  Friendly, animated, may need to ad lib some lines, but always good-natured, not sarcastic.  Boston accent optional.

BABE RUTH: Act I, Scene 2, early in his career.  After that, late in his career, about 40, showing his age but still athletic.  I would suggest affecting and change through makeup or acting, not using two different actors.  There are some videotapes of Babe Ruth available, and whoever plays this role should study his mannerisms.  

THE DEVIL: Early to mid thirties, suave, well spoken and well dressed.  

SAMANTHA COLLINS: About 12 or 13 years of age, energetic, mischievous, and a confirmed Red Sox fan and believer.

BILL COLLINS: Early to mid thirties, good-natured.  Always calm and patient.

NICK LANDIS: Early to mid thirties.  The same actor who plays the Devil can play this character.  If not the same actor, he should be close in manner and style.

MARY COLLINS: Early to mid thirties, intelligent, slightly world weary from some difficult blows in life.

RIGHT FIELDER: Male, twenties, able to catch a baseball.

Stage

The entire play takes place in Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts, except for Act I, Scene 4 at Yankee Stadium, but this requires no scene change.  The audience is seated at Fenway, with some seats placed stage right.  This is the section of Fenway where the right field foul line touches the seats, and there should be a low fence in front of the seats.  The stage is bare, and carpet turf and paint can be used to affect the field, foul line, and warning track.  This is Fenway.  Use as much green paint as you can. 

Props list

Stage: Construct the stage to look as much like Fenway Park as possible.  The Citgo sign over the Green Monster is easy to duplicate.  Put up the scoreboard and advertising signs as allowable by your setting.  A partial green wall may represent the Green Monster.  Use as much green paint as you can.  During scenes when the Peanut Vendor talks to the audience, or the baseball game scenes, the audience as well as the stage should be lit.  The only furniture on stage is a simple bench that is used by the actors, but should be on the warning track and pushed against the wall during the baseball scenes.

Act I, Scene 1: A peanut box with shoulder strap and a few bags of peanuts.

Act I, Scene 2: A whiskey bottle or flask, a bag of baseballs, and a bat.  A contract and fountain pen.

Act I, Scene 4: During the blackout, set casket on stage, opened away from the audience, and covered with flowers.  The contract.

Act I, Scene 5: The peanut vendor box and a few bags of peanuts.  Backpack and mitt.  A baseball that is rolled onto the stage.

Act I, Scene 6: Bag of baseballs, Babe’s mitt and bat, and a cigar.  Sam’s mitt and bat.

Act I, Scene 7: Cell phone and money clip.  Peanut vendor box and a few bags of peanuts.  Sam’s mitt.  Three drinks.

Act II, Scene 1: Sam’s mitt.

Act II, Scene 2: Sewing needle and thread, a coat or shirt to be mended, cigar.  Sam’s mitt.

Act II, Scene 3: Bill’s mitt and baseball.  Sam’s bat and bubble gum.  Bag of baseballs.

Act II, Scene 4: Hot dog.  Peanut Vendor’s box and a bag of peanuts.  Sam’s mitt.

Act II, Scene 5: Preset the stage with a bag of baseballs and Sam’s bat.  Bill’s mitt and baseball.  Backpack.  Sunglasses and pina colada.

Time

The Peanut Vendor enters in modern dress, but she tells the story of what happened in 1919 and in 1948.  When Sam enters and the play’s story begins, it is opening day of the 2004 baseball season at Fenway Park.

A NOTE ABOUT PEANUTS: When writing this play I thought the sale of peanuts in the shell was a clever way to develop the ballpark atmosphere in a theater.  I still think that, but I know this may be a cause of consternation for some theaters for two reasons: noise and mess.  May I suggest,  (1) small bags, (2) limit the sales during the play to a few bags, and (3) if you must, packages of shelled peanuts and change a few of the Peanut Vendor’s lines as needed.  

Costumes

Peanut Vendor: Causal dress.  Tennis shoes, jeans, T-shirt.  She wears her favorite Red Sox hat that does not change during all of her scenes.  Act I, Scenes 1, 3, and 5 no costume change.  She can change for any of the other scenes, but the same casual look throughout.

Babe Ruth: Act I, Scene 2 nicely dressed, but unkempt.  Shirt half untucked, tie undone.  Act I, Scene 4, nicely dressed in an overcoat.  Act I, Scene 5 and thereafter, casual dress.  Dark trousers, leather shoes, suspenders, white shirt, cloth cap.  Babe Ruth wore the soft cloth caps popular in the 30’s.  You can look up some old pictures to get ideas.  No costume changes after Act I, Scene 5.

Samantha: Act I, Scene 5, jeans and T-shirt, but nice enough for school.  Also a favorite Red Sox hat that does not change throughout the play.  Act I, Scene 6, casual and suitable for batting practice.  Act I, Scene 7, casual but a bit nicer.  No change for Act II, Scenes 1 and 2.   Act II, Scene 3, suitable for batting practice.  Act II, Scene 4, nice casual.  Act II, Scene 5, school dress.  She is never without her Red Sox hat.

Bill Collins: Nice casual contemporary.  Perhaps slacks and polo shirt.  His costume never changes, except that in Act II, Scene 3, Bill has a Red Sox hat that he is not without for the remainder of the play.  This should be a professional quality baseball hat.

Nick Landis: Act I, Scene 7, business suit as he has just come from work.  He may remove or loosen his tie once he is at the ballpark.  Act II, Scene 4, nice casual.  He has expensive tastes.

Mary Collins: She should be nicely dressed, but modest.  Should be a different costume for each scene, except Act I, Scene 7 and Act II, Scene 1 no change.  

Right Fielder: A Boston Red Sox uniform.  This actor does not need to look like any Red Sox player present or past, but he does need to look like he knows what to do with a baseball.


Act I, Scene 1

(The lights come up on Fenway Park.  Stage right is a section of seats where the first base foul line touches the right field seats.  Audience members can be seated here, but the three seats closest to the fence are reserved, to be used by actors later in the play.  As the lights come up the Peanut Vendor’s voice is heard from behind the audience.  She enters from an aisle in the theater, not from the stage.)

PEANUT VENDOR: Peanuts, get yer peanuts!  Right here!  Fresh roasted peanuts, get yer peanuts!  (The next few lines may need to be ad libbed, depending on the audience.  The peanuts really are for sale.  They should be repackaged into small bags printed in an old fashioned style.  If no audience member offers to  buy a bag, the following dialog should be used.)  What, I can’t make a sale?  I got 1919 prices here, just five cents a bag, one buffalo nickel.  You came out to the ballpark on this beautiful day, and you’re not gonna eat nothing?  (By now a sale should be made. You may want to plant a few shills with nickels just to get things started.  Whenever a sale is made, the  following dialog starts.)  O.K.  Here ya go.  When you shell the peanuts, just throw the hulls on the floor.  My cousin Charlie sweeps up after the games.  He’s working his way through reform school.  Besides, you ain’t at no theater, you’re at a ballpark! (Lights come up to illuminate the entire theater.  At some point an audience member may be too far to reach.  The Peanut Vendor then says) can you catch?  I’ll toss you the bag, but you pass the nickel down to me.  Otherwise, I’m down on my knees looking for nickels all night.  O.K.?  Here it comes.  (The Peanut Vendor should only have about three or four bags, or the play may dissolve into a peanut party.  If all the peanuts sell, she shows the empty box to the audience.)  Sorry, I’m all out.  I’ll be back in the later innings if I didn’t get ya this time.  You know, I live in the greatest city in the world… Boston, Massachusetts.  I love this town.  The people are the best, the neighborhoods are like nowhere else, and there’s always something to do, the excitement of the Boston Marathon, or a quiet walk on the esplanade by the Charles River.  And I work at the greatest ballpark in the world, Fenway Park.  Fenway was built in 1911 on a mud flat called “The Fens”.  It opened in 1912 and has been home to the Boston Red Sox ever since.  That 37 foot high fence in left field is lovingly called “The Green Monster.”  Visiting left fielders think of it as “The Green Nightmare,” because there is no telling how a ball is going to bounce off the scoreboard that’s attached to it.  Some say that it was built to make home runs to left field more difficult.  That ain’t so.  In 1912 the game was played with a softer ball and most players couldn’t hit it any where near the fence.  The truth is the cheapskate owners built it to keep out non-paying fans.  And the best part of my job?  I get to watch the greatest ball team in the world, the Boston Red Sox…  That’s right, you heard me, the Boston Red Sox, the greatest team ever…  so we’ve been in a little slump lately.  Even great teams have slumps.  Hey, any team can have a bad century.  The Sox’ll break out of it…next year…maybe…  O.K., so we haven’t won a World Series since 1918.  Big deal!  We used to win ‘em.  You wanna know something?  The Red Sox won the very first World Series in 1903.  And we would’ve won the 1904 World Series, but the New York Giants got their snooty New York noses bent out of joint and refused to play.  But we beat those same snooty nosed New York Giants in the 1912 World Series.  And we won the Series in 1915, in 1916, and in 1918.  So there!  What do you think of that?  We’re just in a slump.  That’s all.  We’re gonna win…sure we are…some day… I keep hoping… I have to hope… I’m a Red Sox fan… That’s all I have, hope… (begins to cry)  Ahhh, Boston, you keep breaking my heart.  You keep coming so close and then…  I didn’t want to be a Red Sox fan.  Honest.  I swear on my mother’s grave!  I can’t help it.  I was born in Boston.  It’s in my blood.  I got no choice.  It’s like having freckles, or being left-handed.  It’s my fate.  I try to accept it…  And I love ‘em, I really do.  The Sox have had all those great players.  Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski, Jim Rice, Fred Lynn.  And those great pitchers, Cy Young, Smokey Joe Wood, Lefty Grove, Babe Ruth…  Yeah, you heard right.  Babe Ruth.  The Bambino, The Sultan of Swat.  Oh sure, you remember him as a Yankee (spits) slugger.  But before he played for the… (makes a face, can’t say the word) the Babe was a Red Sox.  He started his major league career with Boston in 1914 as a 20-year-old pitcher.  And he was no slouch.  In 1916 he had the league’s lowest E.R.A., 1.75.  In the 1916 and ‘18 World Series, he pitched 29 consecutive shut out innings, a major league record.  Babe Ruth was so good at pitching and hitting, they didn’t know where to use him.  By 1919, (removes hat) his last year as a Red Sox, (puts hat back on) he was playing more outfield than pitching, and he hit 29 home runs that season, a record!  The old record was 27 home runs.  Babe went on to break his own record three times, with seasons of 54, 59, and 60 home runs, when he was a… (spits)  Yankee.  You see, 1919 was a dark time for the Boston Red Sox.  The team was owned by a man named Harry Frazee, a Broadway producer.  A Broadway producer!  A man who knowingly associated with (shudders) actors!  A couple of his plays were flops and he needed money real bad.  So Harry Frazee did the unthinkable, the unimaginable… on the worst day in the history of the Boston Red Sox, he sold Babe Ruth to the … (spits)  YANKEES!

Act I, Scene 2

The stage lights dim.  Babe enters stage left in street clothes, carrying a bat, and a bag of baseballs.  He has a flask or a half pint of whiskey in his pocket.  He is drunk.  He mimes hitting fungos with a sound effect crack of the bat.  He sings as he enters.

BABE: Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd, don’t sell me to the Yankees, I don’t like you, Harry Frazee… Harry Frazee, you’re a bum!  You’re a tinhorn, (hit)  Broadway, (hit)  fancy pants, (hit) BUM!  My home is in Boston.  The fans love me here.  They love me more than they love you, you heartless money-grubbing dandy.  And I’ve won the World Series for ya!  And you sell me to the… the… YANKEES?  The Yankees have never even won a pennant!  Sold by a bum to a bunch of bums… The Devil take you Harry Frazee!  You and your Boston Red Sox!  (Thunder and lightning.  The Devil enters from stage left.)

DEVIL: You sir, seem to be bearing some type of grudge.

BABE: Who wants to know?  (Ignoring the Devil, hits another fungo.)

DEVIL: You should know who I am.  You summoned me.  You called my name.

BABE: Harry Frazee, is that you? 

DEVIL: No, I am not Harry Frazee…  I am the Devil.

BABE: (Takes a drink.)  What’s the difference?

DEVIL: I have more influence than Mr. Frazee.  I can obtain for you whatever you desire.

BABE: Yeah?  Well I don’t desire nothing so go peddle your papers somewhere else.

DEVIL: Surely you want something.  Everybody wants something.

BABE: Well not me.  I can hit a baseball a mile.  I can throw a baseball like a hurricane.  I love playing the game.  And I’m drunk.  What more could I want?

DEVIL: Apparently you have a score to settle with a Mr. Frazee and his Red Sox.

BABE: Oh yeah.  I’d like to fix his…  Can you help me with that?

DEVIL: Perhaps.

BABE: What’s in it for you?  What do you get?

DEVIL: Oh, the usual.  It’s our standard form contract.  (Pulls out a fountain pen and a four page contract and begins to read.)  Memorandum of agreement by and between the Devil, party of the first part, and (writes Babe Ruth’s name in the contract) Babe Ruth, party of the second part.  Whereas, the party of the second part by form of assignment of contract….yadda, yadda… fine print, fine print… details, details… really not important, just technicalities… the party of the first part, that would be me, shall grant one wish and in exchange shall receive from the party of the second part, that would be you, his eternal soul. (Lightning and thunder.  Hands Babe a fountain pen.)  Just sign right here and I will grant for you any wish you can imagine.

BABE: Not so fast.  I’ve seen owners like you.  Always trying to rush the deal.  (Takes the contract and reads.)  This ain’t no ordinary soul you’re getting.  This is Babe Ruth.

DEVIL: Oh yes.  I know that.  We’ve heard of you.

BABE: You have?

DEVIL: Oh my yes. We have quite a few sportswriters.  They keep in touch.  You hit 29 home runs last year.

BABE: That’s right!  More than any man has ever hit in one year!

DEVIL: How would you like to hit even more?

BABE: Don’t worry.  I’ll hit more.

DEVIL: Then pick anything you want.  Fame, money, power, or the destruction of an enemy.  Pick any wish, I’ll grant it and we have a deal.  (Holds up the pen.)

BABE: I’m Babe Ruth.  I want five wishes.

DEVIL: Oh no.  Out of the question, unheard of.  The standard offer is one wish.  It’s the times you know.  Souls are very cheap these days.  Why, the other day I obtained a man’s soul for just one night with his secretary.  A woman’s soul for winning out over a rival.  Another man for some gold coin.  No, the usual deal is one wish.  Avarice, envy, lust, revenge, take your pick, but only one wish.

BABE: Then I’ll make you a deal.  (Babe pulls a baseball out of the bag.)  You pitch me one pitch. You put this baseball over the plate, and if I hit it into the bleachers, I get five wishes.

DEVIL: I throw you one pitch?

BABE: It has to be a strike.

DEVIL: And if you hit my pitch you get five wishes?

BABE: Yep.

DEVIL: And if you miss…

BABE: You get my soul for free.

DEVIL: Oh, this is going to be fun!  

BABE: Hey Devil, even I can’t hit in the dark.  How about some light?

DEVIL: (With a motion of his hand the lights come up.)  So you think you can hit my fastball?  Are you sure you know who I really am?

BABE: It don’t matter who you are.  I know who I am.  I’m Babe Ruth!

DEVIL: Arrogant!  Oh, I like that.  Prepare yourself.  As you may know, I am somewhat of an expert on… heat.

BABE: Just put it over the plate.

DEVIL: (The Devil winds up and mimes throwing a baseball.  Sound effect crack of the bat as Babe swings.  The Devil turns and watches the ball sail to the bleachers.)  Well, I’ll be damned!

BABE: (Laughs.)  I thought you already were.

DEVIL: What do you find so amusing?

BABE: You!  The look on your face when I parked your best pitch in the bleachers.

DEVIL: I do not like being laughed at.  (Motions with his hand and the lights go down.)

BABE: The way you pitch you better get used to it.  (Laughs some more.  Lightning.)  Now, for my wishes.  I wanna have all the women, booze, and cigars I want and still play great baseball.

DEVIL: Granted.

BABE: I wanna put records in the book that no one else will ever touch!  I wanna hit… 700 career home runs.

DEVIL: 700?

BABE: You’re right.  Too round a number.  I started playing for Boston in 1914.  Make that 714 home runs.  And I wanna hit… 60 home runs in one season.

DEVIL: Let’s be reasonable.  You just set the record with 29.  How about… 40 home runs?

BABE: 60!  And I want… I want… I want everyone to love me.

DEVIL: Sorry.  Love is more God’s line of work.  I’m not sure I can…

BABE: Then I want everyone to worship me… envy me… think I’m the greatest.

DEVIL: Oh, mindless adulation.  I can do that…  You have one more wish.

BABE: I can’t think of anything else…

DEVIL: What about Mr. Frazee and his Red Sox?

BABE: Oh yeah.  I want the Red Sox to never, ever, ever win another World Series!  (Thunder and lightning, blackout.)

CURTAIN

Act I, Scene 3

(As the lights come up, the Peanut Vendor enters.)

PEANUT VENDOR: So, that was the start of “The Curse of the Bambino.”  The Red Sox haven’t won a World Series since.  They’ve come close, oh so close, but it always rolls off the tips of their fingers, or between the legs of first baseman Bill Buckner in the ’86 Series, or goes up like a puff of smoke, or like a Carl Yastrzemski pop up that ended the ‘78 play off game against the (spits) Yankees.  But the Sox don’t just lose.  Oh no… they tear your heart out!  In game 6 of the ‘75 World Series, Red Sox fans enjoyed the ecstasy of a Carlton Fisk game winning home run that stayed just fair over the Green Monster.  (Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus on the organ.  The Peanut Vendor looks up.) Thank you…  Only to suffer the agony of a seventh game defeat to the Cincinnati Reds, that just seemed to slip out of reach.  (Organ dirge.) But I’m getting ahead of the story.  Remember Babe broke the old home run record of 27 by hitting 29 for Boston?  Well, his first year in New York, he doubled the old record by hitting 54 home runs.  That would be like Barry Bonds hitting 73 home runs, and then hitting 140 the next year.  People came out by the thousands to see the Bambino.  New York loved him.  The nation loved him.  The world loved him!  When he toured in Japan, the Japanese fans packed the stadiums.  Babe once said, “I swing big with everything I’ve got.  I hit big or I miss big.  I like to live as big as I can.”  And he did live big.  It was the roaring twenties, and Babe Ruth roared louder than anybody.  Jimmie Reese was asked, what’s it like to room with Babe Ruth.  He answered, “I don’t know.  I don’t room with Babe Ruth.  I share a room with his suitcase.”  For the Babe, every night was a party.  Oh, he lived big, but he played big too.  In the first game played in brand new Yankee Stadium, he hit the first home run.  In the first ever All Star game, he hit the first home run.  In his last World Series he pointed to the center field bleachers, and then hit the ball over the fence.  He would visit kids in hospitals, promise them home runs, and then deliver.  And in 1936 the first five players elected to the Hall of Fame were Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, and Babe Ruth.  His career actually ended here in Boston, where it began.  In 1935 the Yankees released their 41 year-old star, and the Babe signed with the National League Boston Braves.  They had promised him a chance to be manager, something he wanted to do more than anything else.  Most owners remembered his wild and reckless days and they wouldn’t take a chance on him.  Jacob Ruppert, the owner of the Yankees, told Babe in his German accent, “Root, you cannot even manage yourself, how can you manage a ball club?”  The Braves’ promise was empty.  They were never going to let Babe manage, they just wanted him to draw in the fans.  His legs were tired and old, most of the time he couldn’t play a complete game.  But on one glorious day in May at old Forbes Field against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Bambino showed ‘em he still had that magic.  Now Forbes Field was a pitcher’s park.  It had an outfield about the size of Rhode Island.  But on that day Babe hit career home runs number 712 (sound of a bat) number 713 (sound of a bat) and number 714 (slightly louder sound of a bat).  The last one went over the right field roof and out of the park, the first ball ever hit over that roof.  Five days later he resigned.  He never played another game of professional baseball.  He traveled, he made celebrity appearances, and he supported charities for youth, something he’d done his entire career.  His health began to fail in 1946, and on August 16, 1948 Babe died of throat cancer.  He left behind his second wife, Claire Hodgson Ruth, and two adopted daughters, Dorothy and Julia.  For two days his body lay in state at the main entrance to Yankee Stadium, “The House that Ruth Built.”  Hundreds of thousands of people came to pay their last respects.  (Lights fade.)      

Act I, Scene 4

(The lights are dim.  There is a coffin center stage.  The Babe and the Devil are two mourners, walking slowly by the coffin.  Babe has a soft cap pulled over his eyes, and the Devil is wearing a fedora.  Babe does not recognize the Devil.)

DEVIL: You sir, coming to pay tribute to the great Yankee slugger?

BABE: Yeah.

DEVIL: Did you ever see him play?

BABE: Oh yeah.  I followed his whole career.

DEVIL: So did I… So did I…  Although, mostly, I was just waiting for it to be over.

BABE: That’s a nutty thing to say.

DEVIL: Oh, no offense.  Nothing personal.  It’s strictly business.

BABE: What do you mean by that?

DEVIL: (Revealing himself and pulling out the contract.)  I think you know, Mr. Ruth.  We have a contract and payment is due.

BABE: Who are you?

DEVIL: You don’t remember?  This is your signature, isn’t it?

BABE: (Looks at it.)  Was I drunk when I signed it?

DEVIL: Probably.  You were drunk most of the time you were in Boston. 

BABE: Boston?… I’d just been sold to New York and I was pretty sore… I got drunk and went to Fenway…

DEVIL: Let me help you remember.  (Thunder.  The coffin is removed.  The Devil shoves Babe to the ground.)

BABE: Where are we?

DEVIL: You don’t recognize your old home?

BABE: Fenway?

DEVIL: And now it is your new home… FOREVER!

BABE: What do you mean?

DEVIL: “The Curse of the Bambino.”  You put the hex on the Red Sox, you get to carry it out.  You are doomed to haunt Fenway Park and prevent the Red Sox from ever winning a World Series!

BABE: Hey, I ain’t never fixed no baseball game, and I ain’t gonna start now.

DEVIL: SILENCE!  (LOUD thunder and lightning.  With a hand gesture the Devil causes Babe to kneel in pain.)  You may have been the great Babe Ruth when you were alive, but now you are just an

Babe Ruth’s Ghost

Author: Fred Cooprider

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