Thursday, August 21, 2008

Author Claims the Babe Was Black

Posted By on Thu, Aug 21, 2008 at 6:01 AM

By BEN PAYNTER

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By acquiring Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox in the ’20s, the Yankees began what has become a time-honored tradition of buying their way into success.

Back then, the survival of a ball club depended on the one-dimensional business of putting butts in

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seats. Fans turned out in droves to watch the player who could change games in the space of a single swing.

But like A-Rod and strippers, or Giambi and steroids, the hitter apparently had some skeletons — perhaps one even big enough to kill for. Such is the premise of J. Anderson Cross' upcoming novel, The Bambino Secret, which blends conspiracy theory and all-out fictional adventure à la The Da Vinci Code.

The book chases an Overland Park lawyer’s investigation into the mysterious death of a Negro Leagues ball player who stumbles upon evidence that the Babe was actually African American.

Anderson claims he discovered his own evidence of Babe's racial heritage amid 19th century marriage records in Virginia. He'll be available for pundits to heckle or praise at a series of book signings this week, which kick off at 7 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble on the Plaza (400 West 47th Street, 816-753-1313).

Whether his theory is bullet-proof doesn't really matter; timing the book release with the demolition of Yankees Stadium is a marketing maneuver even Steinbrenner would be proud of.

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