Babe Didrikson never pitched in a Major League Baseball regular season game, but on this day, 81 years ago, she pitched a single inning in an exhibition game for the Philadelphia Athletics against the Brooklyn Dodgers. That’s a really big deal. Though, she was not the girl who (might have) struck out Babe Ruth.
If you don’t know who Didrickson is, then you need to read this and admire the unbelievable accomplishments of this woman, because she was a woman who was way ahead of her time, maybe even ahead of our time today. Yes, she was that impressive.
Didrickson wasn’t just a good athlete. She was literally the best at every sport she played. She wasn’t just Michael Jordan. She was Jordan, Babe Ruth, Wayne Gretzky, Carl Lewis, and Tiger Woods. Women were only permitted to participate in just a handful of events in the 1932 Olympics, and she won two of the golds and one silver. Not only that, she set four world records. She was seriously amazing, and we aren’t going to see someone like this ever again. Check out this interview of her at the 1932 Olympics after she broke the javelin record.
Quite possibly the greatest female athlete of all time, Mildred “Babe” Didrikson was born in 1911. She allegedly earned the nickname “Babe” after hitting five home runs in a youth baseball game, but her mother actually called her Norwegian mother called her “Bebe” from an early age. She was so exceedingly competitive that she didn’t limit it to the playing fields. She claimed to be the winner of the 1931 sewing competition at the Texas State fair. And, to even add to that, she was a gifted musician, singing and playing harmonica, recording several songs with Mercury Records, including her biggest seller, “I Felt a Little Teardrop.”
She even boxed! Seriously … she was an incredible athlete who knew know bounds.
Here’s a video clip of her training for boxing.
If we only had another Babe Didrikson today … a truly remarkable woman.
Here is another clip of her from YouTube.
She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1953. Initially, surgery was successful, but the cancer returned in 1955. On September 27th, 1956, Babe eventually succumbed to the disease and died at the age of 45.
Take some time to check out the Babe Didrikson museum website.