Babe Ruth: The First Member of the 500 Home Run Club Print E-mail
Written by Liz Banks   
Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Babe RuthBabe Ruth was an outfielder and pitcher who is considered by many as the greatest ever player to have plied his trade in Major League Baseball. The Sultan of Swat or the Bambino as he was lovingly called, Ruth featured for three teams during his 22-year-long career between 1914 and 1935. Known for his 714 home runs and hitting brilliance, the Babe set several records during his playing days, including a .690 slugging percentage, 2213 RBIs, 2062 bases on balls and 1.164 on-base plus slugging.

He started his career as starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox before moving to the New York Yankees and converting to a right fielder in 1919. Over time, he went on to become one of the most prolific hitters in the American League. His prowess with the bat helped the New York Yankees claim four World Series championships and seven pennants. Following a short time with the Boston Braves, Ruth called time on his career in 1935. It was only a year later that he became the first player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Babe RuthCareer achievements

Babe Ruth became the first player in baseball history to score sixty home runs in a single season when he achieved the feat in 1927. The record stood firm until 1961 when Roger Maris broke it. Ruth's career home run record stood intact until 1974 when Hank Aaron came along and surpassed it. In addition to his home runs, Ruth had a little something that separated him from the best power hitters in the game. His batting average stood at .342, and in 1923, he recorded .393 which remains a Yankee record to this day.

Ruth was undoubtedly the best player of his generation as he finished league leader in home runs on twelve occasions. He also finished top of the OPS and slugging percentage charts on thirteen occasions each. He finished eight seasons in his career as the highest run scorer and six seasons on top of the RBI charts. All these totals create a record which places Ruth above every player who has ever played the game.

Babe RuthThe face of the game

Ruth is said to have changed the way baseball worked in the 1920s. When baseball was exploding in popularity during the time, Ruth had a major part to play in the growing importance of the sport. His home run totals not only brought excitement to the fans, but saw the game evolve from a speed-dominated, low-scoring game to a power game with high-scoring outings. Ever since, Ruth has been regarded as one of the best sports heroes in the US. His charismatic personality and legendary power made him a highly popular figure.

When he wasn't on the field troubling pitchers with his home runs, Ruth was engaging in charity work that helped and encouraged children to take up baseball. He was also known to live a reckless lifestyle, but his contributions to baseball on and off the pitch will be remembered for ages to come.





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