Babe Ruth facts for kids

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Babe Ruth

Outfielder / Pitcher
Born: (1895-02-06)February 6, 1895
Baltimore, Maryland
Died: August 16, 1948(1948-08-16) (aged 53)
New York, New York
Batted: Left Threw: Left 
MLB debut
July 11, 1914 for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
May 30, 1935 for the Boston Braves
Career statistics
Batting average     .342
Home runs     714
Hits     2,873
Runs batted in     2,217
Win–loss record     94–46
Earned run average     2.28
Teams
Career highlights and awards

MLB Records

  • .690 career slugging %
  • 1.164 career OPS
Member of the National
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction     1936
Vote     95.13%

George Herman "Babe" Ruth, Jr. (February 6, 1895 – August 16, 1948) was a famous baseball player during the 1920s and 1930s in Major League Baseball. He played with the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, and the Boston Braves, and hit 714 home runs in his career. Only two players, Hank Aaron and Barry Bonds, have hit more.

Nicknames

Babe Ruth has been called by many nicknames. Some of the most common are: "The Great Bambino", "The Sultan of Swat", "The Colossus of Clout", and "The King Of Crash".

Early career

Ruth learned to play baseball while growing up in Baltimore, Maryland. His first Major League Baseball (MLB) team was the Boston Red Sox. Ruth began playing as a pitcher. He had some of the best pitching statistics in baseball. The Red Sox won the World Series in 1915, 1916, and 1918.

At that time, there was no designated hitter rule in the American League, where the Red Sox played, so Ruth got chances to hit as a pitcher. The team realized that he was also good at hitting. In 1918, Ruth began hitting more and pitching less. He became an outfielder.

Ruth was becoming a star player. However, by 1919, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee was having problems with money. In 1920, the Red Sox sold Ruth to the New York Yankees for cash. Even though the Red Sox had won several World Series in the years before this, they would not win another one until 2004. Many baseball fans believed that the Red Sox had become "cursed" by trading Ruth, and called this the "Curse of the Bambino". (When the Red Sox finally did win a World Series in 2004, they beat the Yankees in the American League Championship to get there.)

After the trade

Ruth spent most of the rest of his career with the Yankees, where he became one of the most famous players in baseball history. Ruth helped the Yankees win World Series championships in 1923, 1927, 1928, and 1932. He left the Yankees after the 1934 season and played one last season with the Boston Braves in 1935.

In 1927, Ruth hit 60 home runs, which was then a record for the most home runs in one season. The record was broken by Roger Maris in 1961.

Memorial and museum

RuthMonument
Tribute to Babe Ruth, Monument Park, as seen at the original Yankee Stadium

On April 19, 1949, the Yankees unveiled a granite monument in Ruth's honor in center field of Yankee Stadium. The monument was located in the field of play next to a flagpole and similar tributes to Huggins and Gehrig until the stadium was remodeled from 1974 to 1975, which resulted in the outfield fences moving inward and enclosing the monuments from the playing field. This area was known thereafter as Monument Park. Yankee Stadium, "the House that Ruth Built", was replaced after the 2008 season with a new Yankee Stadium across the street from the old one; Monument Park was subsequently moved to the new venue behind the center field fence. Ruth's uniform number 3 has been retired by the Yankees, and he is one of five Yankees players or managers to have a granite monument within the stadium.

The Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum is located at 216 Emory Street, a Baltimore row house where Ruth was born, and three blocks west of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, where the AL's Baltimore Orioles play. The property was restored and opened to the public in 1973 by the non-profit Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation, Inc. Ruth's widow, Claire, his two daughters, Dorothy and Julia, and his sister, Mamie, helped select and install exhibits for the museum.

Contemporary impact

1928 Gehrig Speaker Cobb Ruth
Lou Gehrig, Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, and Babe, 1928

Ruth was the first baseball star to be the subject of overwhelming adulation by the public.

Ruth's penchant for hitting home runs altered how baseball is played. Prior to 1920, home runs were unusual, and managers tried to win games by getting a runner on base and bringing him around to score through such means as the stolen base, the bunt, and the hit and run. Bill James noted, "When the owners discovered that the fans liked to see home runs"

Ruth dominated a relatively small sports world, while Americans of the present era have many sports available to watch.

Legacy

Claire Ruth
The unveiling of a Babe Ruth memorial plaque in Baltimore's old Memorial Stadium in 1955 with Claire Ruth, his widow, present.

Creamer termed Ruth "a unique figure in the social history of the United States". Ruth has even entered the language: a dominant figure in a field, whether within or outside sports, is often referred to as "the Babe Ruth" of that field. Similarly, "Ruthian" has come to mean in sports, "colossal, dramatic, prodigious, magnificent; with great power."

Ruth has been named the greatest baseball player of all time in various surveys and rankings. In 1998, The Sporting News ranked him number one on the list of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players". In 1999, baseball fans named Ruth to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. He was named baseball's Greatest Player Ever in a ballot commemorating the 100th anniversary of professional baseball, in 1969. The Associated Press reported in 1993 that Muhammad Ali was tied with Babe Ruth as the most recognized athletes in America. In a 1999 ESPN poll, he was ranked as the second-greatest U.S. athlete of the century, behind Michael Jordan. In 1983, the United States Postal Service honored Ruth with the issuance of a twenty-cent stamp.

Several of the most expensive items of sports memorabilia and baseball memorabilia ever sold at auction are associated with Ruth. As of November 2016, the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold is Ruth's 1920 Yankees jersey, which sold for $4,415,658 in 2012. The bat with which he hit the first home run at Yankee Stadium is in The Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive baseball bat sold at auction, having fetched $1,265,000 on December 2, 2004.

Babe Ruth Hall of Fame exhibit 2014
Ruth memorabilia at the Baseball Hall of Fame (2014)

One long-term survivor of the craze over Ruth may be the Baby Ruth candy bar. The Ruth estate licensed his likeness for use in an advertising campaign for Baby Ruth in 1995. Due to a marketing arrangement, in 2005, the Baby Ruth bar became the official candy bar of Major League Baseball.

Death

Ruth died of throat cancer on August 16, 1948.

Career batting statistics

Season G AB R H HR RBI BB SO Avg. SLG
1914 5 10 1 2 0 2 0 4 .200 .300
1915 42 92 16 29 4 21 9 23 .315 .576
1916 67 136 18 37 3 15 10 23 .272 .419
1917 52 123 14 40 2 12 12 18 .325 .472
1918 95 317 50 95 11 66 58 58 .300 .555
1919 130 432 103 139 29 114 101 58 .322 .657
1920 142 458 158 172 54 137 150 80 .376 .849
1921 152 540 177 204 59 171 145 81 .378 .846
1922 110 406 94 128 35 99 84 80 .315 .672
1923 152 522 151 205 41 131 170 93 .393 .764
1924 153 529 143 200 46 121 142 81 .378 .739
1925 98 359 61 104 25 66 59 68 .290 .543
1926 152 495 139 184 47 150 144 76 .372 .737
1927 151 540 158 192 60 164 137 89 .356 .772
1928 154 536 163 173 54 142 137 87 .323 .709
1929 135 499 121 172 46 154 72 60 .345 .697
1930 145 518 150 186 49 153 136 61 .359 .732
1931 145 534 149 199 46 163 128 51 .373 .700
1932 133 457 120 156 41 137 130 62 .341 .661
1933 137 459 97 138 34 103 114 90 .301 .582
1934 125 365 78 105 22 84 104 63 .288 .537
1935 28 72 13 13 6 12 20 24 .181 .431
Career Statistics 2,503 8,398 2,174 2,874 714 2,217 2,062 1,330 .342 .690

He also had a .474 career on-base percentage, which is second all-time to Ted Williams' .482.

Images for kids


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