Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Claire Merritt Hodgson
Claire Merritt Hodgson (born Clara Mae Merritt September 11, 1897October 25, 1976) is most famous for being the second wife of Babe Ruth.
Born near Athens, Georgia, United States, she met Ruth in 1923, a year after her husband Frank Hodgson died, leaving her with a daughter, Julia. Ruth was still married to Helen Woodford. Woodford died in a house fire in January of 1929, and Ruth and Hodgson married that April 17, staying together until Ruth's death in 1948. She is buried next to him at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York. The inscription on the headstone lists Claire Ruth's birth year as 1900 instead of 1897.
She lived to see two of Ruth's most famous records broken: his single season record of 60, by Roger Maris in 1961; and his career record of 714, by Hank Aaron in 1974. In her twilight years, she sometimes attended games that Aaron was playing in, and was supportive of Aaron's effort. The gracious widow Ruth was quoted as saying, "The Babe loved baseball so very much; I know he was pulling for Hank Aaron to break his record." [1] Curt Gowdy of NBC-TV spotted her in the stands once and the always-effusive Gowdy said, "There's Claire Ruth. She's Hank Aaron's biggest fan."

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