Pure Products of America

The magnetic Ruth among fans: 1945, three years before his death.

The magnetic Ruth among fans: 1945, three years before his death

Babe Ruth and Elvis Presley died the same day: August 16.

Think about this.

Their deaths occurred fewer than thirty years apart. Each revolutionized and exported American culture while barely stepping foot outside North America. Elvis never performed away from the United States. Ruth briefly barnstormed Cuba and the Far East; took a few days in France and the U.K., where it is famously reported he tore up the practice-cricket field. (Of course, Right off the Bat vividly covers it—as if Martin and I were in slip at the time.)

Rock critic Greil Marcus cites William Carlos Williams: “the pure products of America / go crazy.” Seems to apply this day.

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About rightoffthebatbook

Co-author of the book, "Right Off the Bat: Baseball, Cricket, Literature, and Life"
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