The Babe really could do it all. When he wasn’t calling homers and eating his height in hot dogs, he also was apparently setting world records for catching baseballs dropped from planes. According to this article from the New York Times dated July 22, 1926, the Babe did something no one had ever done before.
Here’s the full transcription of the article:
“Garden City, L.I. July 22. –Babe Ruth established another world record this afternoon–by catching a baseball dropped from an airplane. No one had ever done this before.
Ruth was at Mitchel Field at noon in an army uniform. The plane, in which was Captain H. McClelland, Post Adjutant, took off. When it reached a height of 1,000 feet Captain McClelland dropped a ball. A blast of air from the propeller carried the ball far beyond the field and the Captain tried another ball from a lower altitude. As he spiraled nearer the crowd the army officer dropped ball after ball–seven in all, and all but the last went astray.
Meanwhile Ruth was darting about the field under the blistering sun, getting hotter and hotter. The only breeze was the twisters kicked up by the plane, which sent tornadoes of dust about the baseball hero.
It was from a height of 300 feet that Captain McClelland tossed the seventh ball. The Babe got under it, steadied himself and neatly caught it. A cheer went up for the exploit. Then the Babe, wringing wet, went to the officers’ club for a bath and a change of clothing. The officers congratulated him, and said if there should be another war and New York should be bombed they would have Ruth assigned to defense work, catching enemy bombs.
The ball-catching stunt was promoted by the army to advertise the Summer camp for civilians here.”