Knowing No Limits

Mildred Didrikson was born in 1911 to parents who came to America from Norway. Her mother called her Babe but after she hit five homeruns in a baseball game, others started calling her Bebe, after Babe Ruth.

Babe was not a good student and never finished high school. But she had other talents: athletes, sewing, and singing. She won a number of sewing contests and recorded songs on the Mercury label, but her real fame was from her athletic talent.

Her first job was with an insurance company. She was kind to help the company in competitions sponsored by the Amateur Athletic Union. She led her team to the AAU basketball championship, but Babe was just starting to become known for her athletic skills. She was the sole member of her company’s track and field team. At the AAU championships, she won 8 out of the 10 events, and her company won the overall championship with just one athlete.

The same year as the AAU championships, she won 2 gold medals and one silver medal in the LA Olympics. She set two world records and one Olympic record in her events.

Babe was also a great baseball player. She was allowed to pitch during spring training and held her own against major league players. Realizing that she had no prospects of playing baseball because of her gender, she turned to another sport.

After the Olympics, she started to play golf. Even though she was a newcomer, she started competing in male golfing tournaments. She dominated the competition in women’s golfing events. Over her 15 year golfing career, she won 82 tournaments.

Babe found out she had colon cancer at the age of 42. One year later, she won the U.S. Open Women’s Championship wearing a colostomy bag. When her athletic career ended, she became a public advocate for cancer awareness. She died at the age of 45.

* * *

“She is beyond all belief until you see her perform… then you finally understand that you are looking at the most flawless section of muscle harmony of all complete mental and physical coordination, the world of sport has ever seen.” – Grantland Rice (Famed Sportswriter)

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.