Julia Ruth Stevens, the last surviving daughter of Babe Ruth, died Saturday after a brief illness, her family announced. She was 102.
She died at an assisted living facility in Henderson, Nev., but until just a few years ago had spent an active life sharing the legacy of her father.
Ruth adopted Stevens shortly after he married her mother, Claire Hodgson, in 1929. Stevens was 12 years old at the time.
She was a fan of her father’s first team – the Boston Red Sox – but also celebrated the New York Yankees. She served as an ambassador for the Ruth family, appearing at special events.
Stevens threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the final game played at Yankee Stadium – “the House that Ruth built” – in 2008. And on July 9, 2016, she threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park on her 100th birthday.
She also traveled to various Babe Ruth League World Series tournaments to meet young players and share stories of her father.
“Julia was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother who lived a wonderful, full life during the 102 years that she was with us. As the daughter of Babe Ruth, she had many amazing experiences, which she was pleased to share with eager reporters and fans alike,” the family wrote on Facebook.
“Until the very end, she was very proud to call him ‘Daddy’ and she particularly loved recalling events from 1934 when she went on a ‘round the world’ tour with her parents. The tour began with a series of 15 exhibition baseball games played in Japan.”
Until relocating to Nevada, she was a longtime resident of New Hampshire and will be buried there, her son, Tom Stevens, told The Boston Globe. The burial will take place in Conway, N.H., when the ground thaws, fittingly closer to the start of baseball season.
She is survived by her son, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
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