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Now you know: Babe Ruth was one of the first cancer patients to get chemo/radiation

Aug 15, 2014, 3:37 PM EST

Ruth Called Shot Baseball

Maybe you knew already, as this was first reported in 1998. But I never heard about it. Today at PBS.org, Dr. Howard Markel tells the story of how baseball’s biggest star also played a role in pioneering cancer treatment: he was one of the first cancer patients who were treated with combinations of chemotherapy and radiation.

An interesting story with a link back to the original New York Times story uncovering that most interesting fact about one of baseball’s most interesting characters.

  1. pete2112 - Aug 15, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Well that’s really interesting and surprising that it’s not more well known.

    • chinahand11 - Aug 15, 2014 at 6:05 PM

      Pete I had heard that about the Babe, but did not know the details. Thank you Babe Ruth. My chemo and radi were successful, and you had a hand in it. Wow. The GOAT helped me.

  2. andreweac - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:11 PM

    Another validation point on Ruth’s hall of fame worthy tWtW.

    • slappymcknucklepunch - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:28 AM

      You should not have any thumbs down on that comment.I apoligise for assholes.That was funny.

  3. eggs0beat - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    Does this really make him a “hero”? As opposed to a rich white privileged guy offered the most cutting edge treatment. I mean its not bad or anything its just seems like he was given an opportunity to try to cheat death and he took it.

    the whole ridiculous 1940s movie is on youtube btw if anyone wants to see it. its bad.

    • rbj1 - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      It was experimental. If you give it to the poor first, then it’s “you’re experimenting on the poor.” Similar to the experimental Ebola drug: rich white Westerners get it first or you’re experimenting on poor black Africans.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:29 PM

        Actually, around the same time the Bambino was going through this, black people were being experimented on in medical studies. These included hundreds getting no treatment for diseases for which there were known cures. This continued until the 1970s.

    • grumpyoleman - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:53 PM

      yes it does

  4. broncostevenp - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    I have cancer and am starting radiation next week. Tip of the cap to the babe.

    Now let the td’s rain down on me because most of the posters on here are aholes!

    • grumpyoleman - Aug 15, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      good luck bronco

    • swmocardsfan - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:12 PM

      From a life long Chiefs fan, give em’ hell Bronco. Prayers your way that you beat this thing!

    • shawndc04 - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:16 PM

      Good luck man. Hope the treatment goes well.

    • zzalapski - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:38 PM

      Kick cancer in the ass.

      • broncostevenp - Aug 18, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        Thank you very much.

    • chinahand11 - Aug 15, 2014 at 6:08 PM

      I did it, so can you Bronco. Might suck sometimes, sure, but you’ll get over it. Please keep us updated on how your treatment is going.

      • broncostevenp - Aug 18, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        Thank you, I appreciate the kind words. Start radiation on Wednesday.

    • slappymcknucklepunch - Aug 16, 2014 at 2:51 AM

      While there are certainly assholes here(myself among the prime offenders ) I wish you the best of luck,having a F-U attitude works for a lot of sufferers.My brother(eventually died of leukemia)went into remission 4 times.When he started to be kinda nice we realised that he had started to accept it and we all came out fighting.Every day it became a you suck” because” contest.We would just piss my brother off until he raged at us and really want to hit us.It showed he still cared,that is when we knew he was still in this.I am proud to say my brother raged into the dying light for for 4 years,I wish you 40
      more.Rage on my friend .

  5. jfk69 - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    He also was the first Nathan’s hot dog eating champion.

  6. lpsjlb - Aug 15, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    Good luck Bronco!!

  7. luz56 - Aug 15, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Broncostevenp… I don’t know you but best wishes.. Never give up when things get tough! Cancer is tough but damnit you are tougher

  8. zinger99 - Aug 15, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    Good luck Bronco! Fight!!

  9. barrywhererufrom - Aug 16, 2014 at 6:42 AM

    Good luck Bronco, God Bless kick cancers ass!!

  10. isuperknowni - Aug 16, 2014 at 8:21 AM

    Every time I turn around, “Babe was picked out of a dumpster, drunk, hours before a game” home run hitter, pitcher, a legend. Now cancer’.

  11. broncostevenp - Aug 18, 2014 at 2:54 PM

    Wow, I am amazed at the kindess that you guys have shown me. I didn’t know that you could see the responses to your comments until I clicked on that icon.

    Thank you to everyone for your kind words and well wishes. It really means a lot.

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