Babe Ruth is considered to be one of the best baseball players in history. Nicknamed, “The Bambino” and “The Sultan of Swat”, his impact on the sport can still be felt today. He began his career as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but when traded to the New York Yankees, he became one of the team’s best hitters. Here’s more information about him:
Babe Ruth, born George Herman Ruth Jr. on February 6, 1895 in Baltimore, Maryland, was the son of first-generation German-Americans. Due to a wayward youth, Ruth was sent to a reform school at the age of 7, where he would spend the next 12 years. While life was difficult at the school, it was there that he honed his skills as a baseball player.
Early Baseball Career
In 1914, a minor league baseball team called the Baltimore Orioles signed Ruth to his first professional contract, and he quickly became a star pitcher. That summer, the Boston Red Sox bought out his contract and on July 14th, Ruth had his major league debut.
During his 6 seasons with the Red Sox, Babe Ruth was considered an excellent pitcher. He compiled a record of 94-46 with a 2.28 ERA, and he twice won more than 20 games. He also helped the Red Sox win 3 world championships during these years. At the same time, he was developing into a great hitter as well. He was especially adept at hitting home runs, which was a rare occurrence in baseball’s dead-ball era.
Becoming a Dominant Hitter
Ruth decided to make a move that would allow him to focus on his hitting. In 1919, Ruth moved to the outfield and stopped becoming a pitcher. During this time, he broke a record by hitting 29 home runs in a season. Prior to that, the record had been in place for 35 years. The year after, Harry Frazee, the owner of the Red Sox, sold Ruth to the Yankees for 100,000.
During his time as a Yankee , Ruth helped them win 7 pennants and 4 world championships, turning them from an also-ran into the dynasty that they are today. For this reason, Yankee Stadium is often referred to as “The House Ruth Built.”
In 1927, Ruth hit a record 60 home runs, a record that was not broken until 1961, and his 714 career home runs was a record until 1974. Ruth still holds the records for best career slugging percentage at .690 and best career OPS at 1.164.
Babe Ruth was truly a great baseball player, known especially for his hitting. In 1935, after a short stint with the Boston Braves, Ruth retired from baseball. He died on August 16, 1948 at the age of 53 from esophageal cancer. He was induced into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.