Rare video of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig is a memorable trip back in time

Uncovered video of legendary icons delights baseball fans

By Keith Dunlap - Graham Media Group
Getty Images

The long winter wait is over for baseball fans.

Opening Day is FINALLY here, and to get in the mood as the season starts Thursday, look back on this video that might be the equivalent of discovering a hidden gold mine in one’s back yard. 

In December, a video was posted on YouTube of Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth taking batting practice in 1931 before a New York Yankees exhibition game in Brooklyn, New York.

Gehrig and Ruth are not only two of baseball’s all-time greats, but are two iconic figures in American history.

[Scroll down to get right to the video itself] 

Ruth was arguably America’s first true superstar athlete in the 1920s and ‘30s, and his famous "called shot" came more than a year later in the 1932 World Series, when he allegedly pointed to center field at Wrigley Field in Chicago, and then hit a home run in that spot.

Gehrig was a Hall of Famer who played in 2,130 consecutive games and has his namesake on the disease that ultimately claimed his life, amyotrophic latheral sclerosis (also called Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

These two legends combined for more than 1,200 home runs and held records long after their careers were over. 

The thought of seeing footage of both of them taking batting practice at a time before televisions were around seemed unfathomable, but it's reality now, thanks to this video.

It was produced by the Moving Image Research Collections at the University of South Carolina, which took slow-motion captures made by Fox Movietone in 1931 and adjusted the footage to a modern standard of 60 frames per second.

Take a look at the footage below and analyze for yourself if Ruth and Gehrig could hit modern-day pitching. 
 

The video starts with a note that reads: 

"Dear baseball fans,

On April 11, 1931, Fox Movietone sound cameras made slow-motion captures of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig at batting practice during an exhibition game in Brooklyn. With modern technology, we can now witness this footage adjusted to normal speed, which results in very high framerate. Also included is additional footage of the practice, and the original un-edited slow-motion footage." 

Graham Media Group 2019