When it comes to baseball legends, most people can probably name a few players, especially if they are diehard baseball players. However, even the most casual of baseball fan has heard of one name in particular. Although hardcore fans debate who the best all-around baseball player might be, when it comes to home runs, there are few who can refute that one of the all-time greats was none other than George Herman Ruth, better known as Babe Ruth.
There have been few athletes who
have so dominated their sport that, even decades after they retired,
decades after they have passed away, that people still talk about their
accomplishments. There are few athletes who remain as revered and
beloved as the man known as The Babe, the Sultan of Swat and dozens of
other nicknames. There have been few athletes whose personal demons have
been exposed as much as Ruth’s, and yet children and adults alike still
talk about him with awe.
Ruth was born to working class parents in a very rough part of the city
of Baltimore in 1895. It was a very tough time and Ruth showed how
tough he was by just surviving into adulthood. Seven of his siblings
died in infancy.
much is known about The Babe’s childhood. What is known is that when he
reached college-age he was spotted playing in a game between St. Mary’s
Industrial School and Mount St. Mary’s University by a man named Joe
Engel who was a pitcher for the Washington Senators. Ruth was attending
St. Mary’s where he had learned tailoring and had even qualified to
become a shirtmaker. Engel saw Ruth pitch during that game and was
impressed and brought him along to meet others in the baseball world.
From that point forward, the legend that would become Babe Ruth took
in this day and age forget that Ruth started out as both a pitcher and a
hitter. Many others forget that he was very good at both roles. He
played first for the Boston Red Sox where he pitched and hit. It was
when he was traded from the Red Sox to the New York Yankees that he
became predominantly a hitter and where his records began to accumulate.
stats, even by today’s standards, are impressive. He was a seven times
World Series Champion. He was a two-time All Star. He earned the 1923
baseball MVP award. His career slugging percentage was a staggering .690
and his career on-base percentage was 1.164. He had a career batting
average of .342. He also led the baseball leagues for years with the
number of home runs hit during a single season with 60 in 1927. That
record would last until Roger Maris broke it in 1961. He had a career
714 home runs total. He also tallied up 2,873 runs with 2,217 RBI.
numbers, even viewed through today’s lens, are still staggering and
beyond impressive. He has become a legend, and no one else who has come
along since has managed to match his enduring popularity. His records
may have been broken, but Ruth was always bigger than the stats. He was
one of the first true sports personalities whose very name can still
inspire gasps of awe.