The Sultan Of Twat: Babe Ruth's Swinging First Few Years With The Yankees

The following is excerpted from Weintraub's The House That Ruth Built, about Babe Ruth, the Yankees, and the 1923 baseball season.

Ruth hoped to begin his redemptive season with a quiet, productive spring. Unfortunately, the start to 1923 was anything but.

A bout with the flu was bad enough, but the Babe felt worse still when the papers filled with news that an underage (nineteen, when the legal age of the time was twenty-one) woman was claiming Ruth had fathered her baby. Someone named Dolores Dixon was suing the Babe for $50,000. He was sure this was a false claim — or was it? He thought he had never heard of or seen this Dixon woman before, but given his lifestyle, it certainly wasn't impossible that he had (another) illegitimate child.

His libido had raged unchecked while in Boston. Now that he was turned loose upon a city far larger and stocked with many, many more available women, Ruth's sexual scorecard rivaled his home-run rate. He generally preferred prostitutes, because he had neither the time nor the inclination to court properly. Hunt of the Daily News would accompany the Babe on adventures out into the wilds of the nation, in search of Ruth's two favorite targets: steak dinners and cathouses. In Hot Springs, Ruth would take writer Frank Graham driving in the Arkansas countryside, looking for farmhouses advertising "Chicken Dinners." "What he really wanted was the chicken-daughter combo, and he got plenty of them," recalled Graham.

Fred Lieb said Ruth was obsessed with the penis and not merely because he was famously well-endowed. His speech was peppered with phallic allusions, such as "I can knock the penis off any ball that ever was pitched." A large stack of mail was "as big as my penis." When he aged he confided to Lieb, "The worst of this is that I no longer can see my penis when I stand up." The female genitalia weren't left out. Asked "How's it going, Jidge?" he would response, "Pussy good, pussy good."

Ruth and Bob Meusel often shared hotel suites on the road. One time Ruth brought home a woman, and they shared noisy relations, after which the Babe came out to the common room to smoke a cigar. The next day, Meusel asked how often Ruth had laid the girl. "Count the cigars," replied Ruth. According to Long Bob, there were seven butts in the ashtray.

The Sultan Of Twat: Babe Ruth's Swinging First Few Years With The YankeesS

Ruth's effect on women was akin to the effect the Beatles would have forty years later — hysteria. Women offered themselves to Ruth constantly, even as he passed by on a moving train. At a strapping 6'2" and over two hundred pounds, he dwarfed most other players of the day, and despite his enormous intakes of food and drink, he was an excellent physical specimen during his early years in New York. Women wrote him propositioning letters by the sackful, but according to Waite Hoyt, since Ruth seldom opened fan mail, his teammates were the beneficiaries, snatching up the invites and arranging liaisons for themselves.

Occasionally there was blowback. In 1921, several reporters watched openmouthed as Ruth sprinted on board a train and raced down the passageway, chased closely by a woman wielding a butcher knife. The writers learned she was the wife of a Louisiana politician who thought she was the only one. That didn't wind up in the papers the next day, or ever. Neither did a Detroit incident in which an irate husband waving a revolver chased a near-naked Babe out of a hotel.

In an ironic piece of public relations, Ruth invited photogs to his New Orleans hotel room and had his picture taken rocking his daughter to sleep. He impressed on gathered scribes how serious he was about changing his former wild ways. "I've been behaving myself for a long time," he said. "Seems that as soon as a fellow gets a little bit famous, he gets himself into a lot of hot water. I'll fight that case to the last ditch."

Dixon was claiming that she and Ruth went "automobiling" several times a week in that damnable year, 1922; that she and Helen had actually met for coffee; and that she had caught the Babe's eye while working as a shopgirl. Her lawyer, George Feingold, laid it on like blueberry jam. Ruth had sexually assaulted Miss Dixon, he claimed, "both in New York City and in Freeport [New York]." Shortly thereafter his client had found herself a mother‑to‑be, Feingold clucked, and her betrayer had instructed her to go to hell. This from a man who had once addressed her as "my little watch charm." Feingold sighed. "She has become sick and disabled and has suffered in body and mind."

Ruth exclaimed, "It's blackmail, nuthin' but a holdup game," and though he had the legalese wrong, Dixon's lawyer later admitted they were indeed aiming for a quick, tasty settlement. Instead, Ruth went to court, and the suit dissolved. There was no "Dolores Dixon" after all — it was an assumed name taken by a desperate girl out for some extortion money from what seemed an easy target.

Reprinted from the book The House That Ruth Built by Robert Weintraub published by Little, Brown and Company. Copyright © 2011 by Robert Weintraub.