George Herman “Babe” Ruth had so many World Series rings that he had to wear two on his other hand. He led seven teams to the promised land, winning three times with the Red Sox (1915-1916, 1918), and four as a Yankee (1923, 1927-1928, 1932).
After being sold to the Yankees prior to the 1920 season Ruth found it difficult to adjust to not being a Red Sox. He rebounded to his All-Star form in 1923 and let the Yanks to their first championship - with new Yankee Stadium as the backdrop. Fittingly, it was dubbed "The House That Ruth Built," and the Babe blasted the first homer in the new stadium. The Yankees won the pennant again in 1926, and back-to-back World Series titles in 1927-1928. Ruth was a monster in the post-season, and he hit .516 with five homers, 11 RBI, 13 runs, and a 1.097 slugging percentage in the '27 and '28 Series combined.
Ruth reached his apex of stardom in 1927. Ruth belted a record 60 homers and established a mark that sluggers would aim at for years to come. The rotund slugger continued to knock the ball out of the park over the next few seasons, winning his sixth straight home run title in 1931. In 1932, the Yankees won their final title with Ruth, defeating the Cubs in the World Series, which featured Babe's famous "Called Shot.”
Ruth hit .382 with 10 homers and 23 RBI in the seven World Series in which his team won, and .245 with five homers and 10 RBI in the three World Series his teams lost; leaving no doubt that he was the catalyst for each victory.
Ruth's achievements were remarkable.
- Thirteen times he drove in over 100 runs, with a high of 171 in 1921.
- He hit over .300 seventeen times, topping out at .393 in 1923.
- Twelve times he led the majors in home runs and thirteen times he led the majors in slugging. His .690 career slugging average remains the highest in history.
- When he retired, his 714 home runs, 2,174 runs, 2,211 RBI and his 2,056 walks ranked at the top of the all-time list.
- He hit three home runs in a World Series game twice.
- The Babe hit 340 solo home runs, 252 two-run shots, and 98 three-run dingers.
- He also slugged 16 Grand Slams... 51% of his homers came with a man or men on base.
- He hit 16 homers in extra-innings, 10 inside-the-park variety, and one as a pinch-hitter.
- Ruth slugged a pair of homers in a game 72 times, a major league record that still stands.
- On April 20, 1926, he drove in eight runs.
Fun Facts About The Babe
- The Sultan of Swat set many records during his playing days. While many have been tied or broken by the great players who followed him, one that still stands was his achievement on the other side of home plate. During his second Fall Classic appearance in 1916, Ruth pitched the longest complete game victory in World Series history. The game went 14 innings, with the Red Sox finally defeating the Brooklyn Dodgers.
- He was the winningest left-handed pitcher in baseball from 1915-1917.
- The Bambino stole home 10 times.
- Ruth's pitching mark was 89-46 with the Sox, but his booming bat was too loud to be heard only every four days. Red Sox manager Ed Barrow, at the suggestion of outfielder Harry Hooper, began playing the Babe in the outfield in-between his starts.
- In 1922, Ruth ignored Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis's ban on barnstorming in the off-season and traveled with his own All-Star team. For his transgression, he was suspended for 39 days, missing the start of the regular season.
Quotes about The Babe
"He was a circus, a play and a movie, all rolled into one," said teammate Lefty Gomez. "Kids adored him, Men idolized him. Women loved him. There was something about him that made him great."