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Big League Stew

Babe Ruth poses as Santa Claus in classic 1947 Newsreel

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

Though Christmas is now behind us, it’s never too late to look back at a classic piece of Newsreel footage that features baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth dressed up as all-time children's favorite Santa Claus.

The rare and historic video comes from Dec.10, 1947, which sadly means we’re witnessing Ruth’s final Christmas alive and one of his final public appearances. He died eight months later. But even with his own health deteriorating, the New York Yankees legend made time — as he so often did throughout his historic career — to put smiles on the faces of children stricken with polio.

The video's running time is a little over two minutes long, but contains several highlights. At the 1:02 mark, Ruth directs the children in their singing of “Jingle Bells,” which obviously is very cool. There’s also a humorous exchange between Pluto the dog and a very young girl that includes an eye-gouge and a few retaliatory licks to the face.

It’s a fun piece of history to relive nearly 70 years later. It‘s also another reminder that despite his larger-than-life status as a baseball player, Ruth remained down to earth and always made it a point to put the children first.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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