clearn.png
Monday June 24th, 2019 5:05AM

Babe Ruth's last surviving daughter dies in Nevada at 102

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — Julia Ruth Stevens, the last surviving daughter of Hall of Fame baseball slugger Babe Ruth and a decades-long champion of his legacy, has died at age 102, her family has announced.

Tom Stevens said Sunday that his mother died Saturday morning at an assisted living facility in Henderson, Nevada, after a short illness.

In keeping with her wishes, her remains will be cremated with burial sometime this spring in Conway, New Hampshire, where she used to live, Tom Stevens said.

"She lived such a full, interesting life," he said. "She was an ambassador for Babe Ruth."

Tom Stevens said his mother moved from Florida to Arizona in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew and then to Nevada, where he lives.

Diane Murphy, a fellow resident at Prestige Senior Living at Mira Loma in Henderson, told The Associated Press that Julia Stevens had lost her sight but remained bright and vibrant.

Stevens was part of a circle of residents who read books aloud, according to Murphy.

"She was so sharp and laughed at the right moments," Murphy said. "She was a lovely lady."

Even well into her 90s, Stevens threw out first pitches at baseball games across the nation, attended Hall of Fame induction ceremonies in Cooperstown, New York, and appeared at the annual Babe Ruth Little League World Series.

She authored three books about her famous father.

"As long as there is baseball, Daddy's name is always going to be mentioned. He was one of a kind," Stevens once said. "My goal in life is to keep his name alive. He was a wonderful father and I remember him as that and just not as a baseball player."

Stevens was adopted by baseball's biggest star soon after Ruth married her mother, Claire Hodgson, in 1929 when Julia was 12 years old. Hodgson died in 1976.

Julia was the older of two daughters adopted by Ruth. Dorothy Ruth Pirone, who was Ruth's daughter from a previous relationship, died in 1989 at age 67.

Tom Stevens told the Las Vegas Review-Journal in an interview earlier this year that it rankled his mother to be referred to as Ruth's stepdaughter.

He said Ruth was a match to provide Julia a needed blood transfusion when she was hospitalized as a young adult.

"She said as far as she was concerned, between being adopted and the transfusion, 'I'm his daughter, period,'" Tom Stevens said.

Babe Ruth retired in 1935, days after playing his last game. He was with the Boston Braves that year after starring for the New York Yankees from 1920-34 and the Boston Red Sox from 1914-19.

Ruth died from cancer at age 53 in 1948.

"I sometimes wonder if the designated hitter rule would have been in effect when Daddy played, his career would've lasted much longer and he would've hit a lot more home runs," Stevens once said. "It was his legs that gave out. He had trouble with his knees."

Stevens said Ruth taught her how to dance and how to bowl and "I couldn't have had a better father than him."

She made her final trip to Yankee Stadium at age 91 in 2008 to say goodbye to one of her dad's favorite places where he hit many of his 714 career home runs.

Accompanied by her son and two grandchildren, Stevens got a warm reception from the crowd before New York's 6-0 loss to Cincinnati.

A New York sports writer dubbed the Bronx stadium "The House That Ruth Built," and the Yankees retired Ruth's No. 3 during their 25th anniversary celebration of Yankee Stadium on June 13, 1948, the great slugger's final visit to the ballpark.

As Ruth's daughter, Stevens' family said, "she had many amazing experiences, which she was pleased to share with eager reporters and fans alike. Until the very end, she was very proud to call him 'Daddy' and she particularly loved recalling events from 1934 when she went on a 'round the world' tour with her parents" to Japan with a major-league all-star team.

She is survived by her son, two grandchildren and four great grandchildren, according to the family's Facebook post.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Russia, Serbia identify some plane crash victims
The Latest: Russia, Serbia identify some Ethiopian plane crash victims
12:57PM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Italian aid group says founder among crash dead
The Latest: Italian aid group says founder among the dead in Ethiopian plane crash
12:48PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Jetliner crashes in Ethiopia, killing 157 from 35 countries
No survivors in Ethiopian Airlines crash en route to Kenya as many nationalities among victims
12:41PM ( 31 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Wickens feted before IndyCar's season-opening race
The entire IndyCar field surprises Robert Wickens with early 30th birthday celebration before season-opening race
10:01AM ( 3 hours ago )
Hirscher secures overall title as Zenhaeusern wins slalom
Marcel Hirscher wrapped up his eighth consecutive men's World Cup overall title on Sunday, one week before the seasons ends
9:22AM ( 3 hours ago )
Hirscher wins World Cup overall title, matches Vonn record
Marcel Hirscher has secured his eighth consecutive men's World Cup overall title on Sunday
8:35AM ( 4 hours ago )
AP Sports
Harper walks twice in Phils debut, draws cheers and 4-man OF
Bryce Harper drew big cheers, a pair of walks and an unusual defense in his spring training debut for the Philadelphia Phillies
5:33PM ( 18 hours ago )
Harper walks in first plate appearance with Phillies
Bryce Harper draws pair of 5-pitch walks in 1st spring training plate appearance since signing record contract with Philadelphia Phillies
3:03PM ( 21 hours ago )
Molina plays for 1st time this spring, Ohtani plays catch
St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina played in his first spring training game this year after having knee surgery last December
12:08AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Baseball
California police report almost no racial profiling
A report finds California police receive very few complaints about racial profiling and many are skeptical that's true
12:23PM ( 49 minutes ago )
The Latest: 18 Ethiopian crash victims, including crew
The Latest: Ethiopian plane crash victims now at 18, including flight crew
12:18PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Canada's no-sex, no-money scandal could topple Trudeau
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is engulfed in a no-money, no-sex scandal in which nothing illegal happened, but the fallout could topple him in the election this fall
12:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Turbulence injures 30 on flight from Istanbul to New York
Officials say severe turbulence injured 30 people aboard a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul that landed safely at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday
4:02AM ( 9 hours ago )
R. Kelly: 'We're going to straighten all this stuff out'
R&B singer R. Kelly released from a Chicago jail after someone made a $161,633 child support payment for him
9:17PM ( 14 hours ago )
For Jussie Smollett, 1 story equals 16 felony counts
A grand jury's 16-count indictment against Jussie Smollett might be the result of prosecutors looking to charge the "Empire" actor for individual lies they contend he told about the night he says he was attacked by two masked men
9:13PM ( 14 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Wary of sports betting, MLB wants early look at lineups
Wary of gambling's pull, MLB wants notice of lineups before announcements at ballparks
1:20PM ( 2 days ago )
MLB wants notice of lineups before stadium announcements
Wary of gambling's pull, MLB wants notice of lineups before announcements at ballparks
12:20PM ( 3 days ago )
Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright suspended 80 games for HGH
Boston Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright suspended for 80 games following positive test for Human Growth Hormone
11:41PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
The Latest: Russia, Serbia identify some plane crash victims
The Latest: Russia, Serbia identify some Ethiopian plane crash victims
12:57PM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Italian aid group says founder among crash dead
The Latest: Italian aid group says founder among the dead in Ethiopian plane crash
12:48PM ( 24 minutes ago )
Jetliner crashes in Ethiopia, killing 157 from 35 countries
No survivors in Ethiopian Airlines crash en route to Kenya as many nationalities among victims
12:41PM ( 31 minutes ago )
The Latest: Germany speaks out on plane crash victims
The Latest: Germany says 'we must unfortunately assume' Germans on crashed plane
12:40PM ( 32 minutes ago )
The Latest: WA governor calls on rivals to scrap filibuster
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee says he's challenging the U.S. senators in the 2020 Democratic presidential field to abolish the filibuster in their chamber
12:36PM ( 36 minutes ago )