El Paso promoter Ben Trabbic, upon hearing that Ruth was going to referee a series of
wrestling matches, indicated that he wanted the ex-baseball superstar to stop in
Southwest Texas to referee at Liberty Hall, according to the El Paso Times (3/20/45).
Ruth was apparently going to debut on April 4 in Boston and then tour country. If Ruth
was going to venture to California, Trabbic wanted book him for an El Paso appearance
when he was en route.
A rumor that Ruth was in need of money and that was why he had agreed to become a
professional wrestling referee. The Associated Press (4/3/45, New York Times)
addressed this issue, quoting Ruth as saying: "Broke! I should say not. And I never will
be as long as trust funds pay off and my other investments continue on a
dividend-paying basis. No, it's not finances that prompted me to become a referee. I've
been out of baseball for eleven years now and, since my old game does not appear to
want me anywhere, I haven't had much chance to keep in touch with the crowds. I like
being with people and enjoying them and I'll have an opportunity to see them as a
wrestling referee. You know I'm no rookie in that league. I must have refereed at least
ten wrestling shows while I was in baseball."
According to the April 4, 1945 edition of the New York Times and a United Press report,
Ruth declared Ted Williams the greatest natural hitter of the past decade over Joe
Research by Tim Hornbaker
February 21, 2011
|Babe Ruth Wrestling History