For instance, they had an apparatus with a sort of a camera shutter arrangement that opened, winked, and closed at any desired speed. Cards with letters of the alphabet on them were placed behind this shutter and exposed to view for one fifty-thousandth of a second. Ruth read them as they flashed into view, calling almost instantly the units of groups of three, four, five, and six letters. With eight shown he got the first six, and was uncertain of the others. The average person can see four and one half letters on the same test.
When cards marked with black dots were used, Ruth was even faster. He called up the number of dots on every card up to twelve without one mistake, The average person can see eight.
To test him for quickness of perception and understanding, he was given a card showing five different symbols -- a star, a cross, and three other shapes -- many times repeated, and was told to select a number -- one, two, three, four, or five -- for each symbol, then to mark the selected number under each one as rapidly as he could go over the card. He scored 103 hits on that test, which his the average of all who have tried it. But when given a card covered with printed matter and told to cross out all the a's, he made a score of sixty, which is one and a half times the average.
The secret of Babe Ruth's ability to hit is clearly revealed in these tests, His eye, his ear, his brain, his nerves all function more rapidly than do those of the average person. Further the coordination between eye, ear, brain, and muscle is much nearer perfection than that of the normal healthy man.
The scientific "ivory hunters" dissecting the "home-run king" discovered brain instead of bone, and showed how little mere luck, or even mere hitting strength, has to do with Ruth's phenomenal record.
This article shows that tests of the past are as good or better then what we have today. I wonder how Ted Williams would score on a similar test?
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