Babe Ruth's Last Surviving Daughter Dies at 102
Hall of Fame baseball slugger Babe Ruth's adopted daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens, has thrown her last pitch, leaving fans with a gaping hole in their hearts.
Julia Ruth Stevens, the biological daughter of Claire Hodgson and her former husband Frank, and well known as being Yankees golden boy Babe Ruth's adopted daughter, has passed away.
The champion of the Ruth legacy died on Saturday morning at an assisted living facility in Henderson, Nevada after battling an undisclosed illness.
Her family posted a tribute on the Babe Ruth Central's Facebook page, saying:
"Julia was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother who lived a wonderful, full life during the 102 years that she was with us."
Her son, Tom Stevens, advised fans that her wish to be cremated would be upheld and thereafter a burial in her hometown of Conway, New Hampshire would follow in the spring.
Julia was Ruth's last remaining daughter, he adopted her when she was twelve. Her sister, Dorothy Helen Ruth Pirone, was the biological daughter of Babe Ruth and his mistress, Juanita Jennings.
Until the day she died, Julia swore that her father would never be forgotten.
Dorothy was adopted by Ruth and his first wife Helen Woodford Ruth, and then later by Julia's mother after she married Babe. She only discovered the true identity of her birth mother at the age of fifty-nine.
Dorothy passed away in 1989 leaving behind four daughters, a son, and twelve grandchildren which make up Babe Ruth's direct lineage.
Julia, who rankled at the term "adopted," considered herself her father's daughter, especially after receiving a blood transfusion from him, and referred to baseball's biggest star as "Daddy" and nothing else, saying:
"I'm his daughter, period.''
Ruth made his Major League baseball debut in 1914. He boasted 22 seasons, 10 World Series, and 714 home runs during his time on the diamond.
Until the day she died, Julia swore that her father would never be forgotten. She was the biggest ambassador of the Ruth legacy, and her son Tom continues to honor his grandfather in her stead.
Invited around the country to throw out first pitches, attending Hall of Fame inductions, and appearing at the annual Babe Ruth Little League World Series until she was a century old and blind, she adamantly maintained:
"As long as there is baseball, Daddy's name is always going to be mentioned. He was one of a kind. 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."
Julia is survived by Tom, two grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.