Babe Ruth had hit 714 home runs during his baseball career and was playing one of his last major league games. The aging star was playing for the Boston Braves against the Cincinnati Reds. But he was no longer as agile as he had once been. He fumbled the ball and threw badly, and in one inning alone, his errors were responsible for five Cincinnati runs.
As Babe walked off the field after the third out, booing and catcalls cascaded from the stands. Just then a young boy jumped over the railing onto the playing field. With tears streaking his cheeks, he threw his arms around the legs of his hero.
Ruth didn’t hesitate. He picked up the boy, hugged him, and set him down on his feet with a playful pat on the head. Suddenly the booing stopped. In fact, a hush fell over the entire park. In those brief moments, the crowd saw a different kind of hero; a man who in spite of a dismal day on the field could still care about a little boy.
He was no longer being judged by his accomplishments – neither the past successes nor the present failures; but by a completely different standard. Suddenly it was not his works that mattered, but a relationship.