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Robert Watts Creamer (July 14, 1922 – July 18, 2012) was an American sportswriter and editor. He spent most of his career at Sports Illustrated.

Robert Creamer
Creamer in 1991
Creamer in 1991
BornRobert Watts Creamer
(1922-07-14)July 14, 1922
Bronxville, New York, United States
DiedJuly 18, 2012(2012-07-18) (aged 90)
Saratoga Springs, New York
OccupationSportswriter, editor
Alma materFordham University
Syracuse University
Notable workBabe: The Legend Comes to Life
Notable awardsHenry Chadwick Award (2012)


Creamer was born on July 14, 1922 in Bronxville, New York

He attended Fordham and Syracuse Universities but never graduated. In World War II, he fought in Germany and was wounded. During Operation Bodenplatte, the German Luftwaffe's last offensive operation, Creamer was on the ground watching the aerial combat around him. A German Bf 109 fighter roared into make a strafing run on Creamer's position. Creamer ducked behind a mound of dirt, then pulled out his .45 pistol and fired at the German plane. Creamer described it as trying "to hit a fly with a BB gun." Following his discharge, he worked in advertising as a copywriter and at Collier's Encyclopedia as an assistant editor.[1]

Creamer was one of the first hired on the staff of Sports Illustrated in 1954. He served the magazine as a senior editor from inception to 1984, and wrote the weekly Scorecard section of the magazine. He also wrote for The New York Times.

As an author, Creamer wrote what many consider the definitive biography of Babe Ruth, titled Babe: The Legend Comes to Life, in 1974.[2] Of Creamer's Babe, New Yorker editor and baseball writer Roger Angell wrote Ruth had "at last found the biographer he deserves in Robert Creamer." Creamer wrote seven other baseball related books, including biographies of Mickey Mantle, Casey Stengel, Ralph Houk, the sportscaster Red Barber and the umpire Jocko Conlan. He also wrote Baseball in '41: A Celebration of the "Best Baseball Season Ever" (1991) (later published in paperback as Baseball and Other Matters in 1941). Creamer's lone novel, A Resemblance to Persons Living and Dead, is loosely based on politics, personages, and the environs of Tuckahoe and the town of Eastchester, New York.

In retirement, Creamer occasionally wrote retrospective articles for SI and could be seen on television commenting on historical moments in sports, many of which he had covered. Creamer was a recipient of the 2012 Henry Chadwick Award from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR).[3] He also appeared in Ken Burns' documentary Baseball and numerous other television baseball programs, including When It Was a Game.

Creamer died of prostate cancer on July 18, 2012 in Saratoga Springs.[1][4]


  1. ^ a b Martin, Douglas (July 19, 2012). "Robert W. Creamer, Biographer of Babe Ruth, Dies at 90". The New York Times. Retrieved August 20, 2012.
  2. ^ Bob Creamer/Babe Ruth(Yankees) Archived 2011-09-30 at the Wayback Machine, by Marty Appel
  3. ^ 2012 Chadwick Award recipients
  4. ^ Robert Creamer's obituary Archived 2012-07-25 at the Wayback Machine