“The Things He Could Have Been: Stories of Babe Ruth” by W. Nikola-Lisa

“The Things He Could Have Been: Stories of Babe Ruth” by W. Nikola-Lisa 1024 1024 Reader Views Kids

The Things He Could Have Been: Stories of Babe Ruth

W. Nikola-Lisa
Gyroscope Books (2023)
ISBN 979-8986017310
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (11/2023)

Everyone has heard of Babe Ruth.  George Herman “Babe” Ruth is a baseball legend.  With a record-setting 60 home runs in the 1927 season, he held on to that record for thirty-four years.  His home plate slugging made him the household name he is today but there were many other things he COULD HAVE been known for but wasn’t. In “The Things He Could Have Been: Stories of Babe Ruth” author W. Nikola-Lisa has created an entirely unique, entirely engaging, and extraordinarily well-done book on…

…The Sultan of Swat, The Titan of Terror, The Colossus of Clout, The Behemoth of Bust, The Wizard of Wham, The Maharaja of Mash, and The Prince of Pounders, to name just a few. 

Each page houses an expertly coupled picture in the background in black and white with the words overtop, lending an engaging air to this read.  From a jazz man to a ring man, cattle man to a screen man, lawman to a hall man, each of the careers Ruth could have taken is laid out in a fun, rhyming way that makes this book one readers won’t soon forget.

For example, Babe Ruth had lots of photos taken of him. Given his talent on the field and the name he’d made for himself, cameras were drawn to him.  But his rise to fame was around the Golden Age of newspapers with pictures on the front and back pages. His great manager took advantage of this, getting him in front of photographers every chance he could. Ruth himself had many photo albums of family, but looking at the photos one may never say he had a real professional eye for photography.  So could he have been a flash man, yeah, but he wasn’t, he was better at baseball, made more from his talents in baseball, and let the photos of him be taken instead.

I’ve never encountered a read quite like this, from the pictures to the perspective, Babe Ruth hasn’t been looked at from all these angles in such a quick, fun, and enjoyable way.  “The Things He Could Have Been: Stories of Babe Ruth” by W. Nikola-Lisa sparks great conversation surrounding the baseball player we all know.  Looking at the other routes his life could have taken made for a unique perspective of all things Babe Ruth.

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