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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

LoHud: Rare cancer took Babe Ruth, dentist says

(Belzer mind meld forthcoming) Yeah, yeah right, yeah, right…and Lou Gehrig died of a severe charley horse.

Dr. William Maloney uncovered little-known information about the experimental treatment that the doomed baseball titan agreed to take part in, the way Ruth conducted himself during his final days and the rare form of cancer he actually died from, nasopharyngeal carcinoma.

“In all his biographies, they completely skip over his illness, and they got it all wrong,” said Maloney, 41, a Scarsdale resident. “They all said he had throat cancer -an easy conclusion, because he was well-known for drinking, smoking and using tobacco. In fact, he died of a very rare cancer. And what I found out was that this larger-than-life celebrity was a pioneer in early cancer research.”

Maloney, a longtime Yankee fan, was familiar with the Ruth legend, and after a trip last year to the Babe Ruth Museum in Baltimore, he resolved to find out more about Ruth’s final days. A love of history and sports - combined with his professional interest in mouth disease as an assistant professor at the NYU College of Dentistry - sent him into the archives for a year.

 

 

Repoz Posted: August 05, 2008 at 04:07 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. kubiwan Posted: August 05, 2008 at 04:21 PM (#2890837)
FWIW, wikipedia claims that "NPC [nasopharyngeal carcinoma] is uncommon in the United States and most other nations, but is extremely common in southern regions of China...particularly in Guangdong...It is also quite common in Taiwan. This is largely due to the South East Asian diet which typically includes consumption of salted vegetables, fish, and meat."
   2. The District Attorney Posted: August 05, 2008 at 04:27 PM (#2890848)
How about eating, like, 20 hot dogs in one shot?

Well, at least it wasn't Lou Gehrig's disease. That would have been weird.
   3. Jimmy P Posted: August 05, 2008 at 04:29 PM (#2890852)
I thought that Montville's biography did cover that he underwent some experimental treatments. He didn't name the cancer, but I'm pretty sure that he said by the end Babe was trying everything and letting himself be a research subject.
   4. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 05, 2008 at 04:46 PM (#2890885)
This is the same cancer that the syndicate gave Agent Scully in the X-Files. Maybe Ruth was used in human/alien hybrid experimentation...
   5. The District Attorney Posted: August 05, 2008 at 04:49 PM (#2890889)
Didn't Men in Black claim that all the all-time great athletes were aliens? I forget the exact quote.
   6. JRVJ (formerly Delta Socrates) Posted: August 05, 2008 at 04:49 PM (#2890891)
I'm just waiting to hear TVErik explain how this cancer is affected by masturbation.
   7. Slapinions Posted: August 05, 2008 at 05:02 PM (#2890904)
She was pleased to learn from Maloney that the kind of cancer her grandfather died from is not likely to be related to tobacco and alcohol.


Wouldn't this be a *bad* thing to learn if you're related? (I know her Mom was adopted, but she was in fact his blood child, right?)
   8. Esoteric Posted: August 05, 2008 at 05:20 PM (#2890936)
Didn't Men in Black claim that all the all-time great athletes were aliens? I forget the exact quote.
I can't remember Men In Black (saw it in the theaters once long ago), but I know for a fact that this line was used in the classic X-Files episode "The Unnatural."

Regardless of whether you liked the The X-Files (I own every season on DVD) or thought it was overrated pop-culture trash, that one episode should be required viewing for all Primates. It's David Duchovny's loving tribute to Negro Leagues baseball, graceful and funny and big-hearted, one of my favorite hours in TV history over the past 10 or so years.
   9. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: August 05, 2008 at 05:26 PM (#2890943)
The 1927 Yankees were cursed. Did you know that every single member of that team is dead?
   10. Cooperstown Schtick Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:33 PM (#2891057)
Yep. Not one member of the 1927 Yankees read Primer, and now they're all dead.

Wouldn't this be a *bad* thing to learn if you're related? (I know her Mom was adopted, but she was in fact his blood child, right?)

You know, I thought the parentage of Dorothy Ruth was the subject of unproven conjecture, but many sources are claiming as fact that she was the natural daughter of Ruth and his mistress. I read Dorothy's book, which she wrote in 1988, supposedly eight years after learning who her "true" parents are from a dying Juanita Jennings, and in the book she sounds like she's still trying to convince people. Is there any proof of this in existence, beyond Dorothy's claims?
   11. MexicanGabe Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:37 PM (#2891066)
Wow...
   12. phredbird Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:39 PM (#2891070)
The 1927 Yankees were cursed. Did you know that every single member of that team is dead?


OMG! I know what you mean! Baseball Hall of Famers are dying off one by one too!

I can see pig from 'pearls before swine' saying something like that ...
   13. Damon Rutherford Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:40 PM (#2891073)
I agree with #8. That episode was fantastic. Exley was the ballplayer's name, right? But they just called him X?
   14. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:45 PM (#2891083)
10,000 HOFers die every day.
   15. Esoteric Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:48 PM (#2891089)
I agree with #8. That episode was fantastic. Exley was the ballplayer's name, right? But they just called him X?
Yup. Josh Exley, lost Negro Leagues superstar. Great performance by Jesse L. Martin.
   16. McCoy Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:54 PM (#2891100)
Hmm famous player posting fabulous numbers, the likes of which were never seen before and he gets cancer, hmmm. Steroids!

Maybe Babe really did use the Brown-Sequard Elixir.
   17. Swoboda is freedom Posted: August 05, 2008 at 06:56 PM (#2891108)
I'm just waiting to hear TVErik explain how this cancer is affected by masturbation.

Uh-oh.
   18. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: August 06, 2008 at 12:36 PM (#2892459)
I'm just waiting to hear TVErik explain how this cancer is affected by masturbation.

Uh-oh.


Hey, maybe it shrinks cancers.
   19. BDC Posted: August 06, 2008 at 01:10 PM (#2892477)
I thought that Montville's biography did cover that he underwent some experimental treatments

Montville does mention this, yes. Till I read his book I assumed that the end of The Babe Ruth Story (where William Bendix offers himself up as an experimental subject) was 100% hooey, but truth turns out to be at least as strange as Hollywood schmaltz.
   20. Cooperstown Schtick Posted: August 06, 2008 at 01:18 PM (#2892483)
Hey, maybe it shrinks cancers.

Actually, it prevents them.

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