Hall of Fame: Babe Ruth (1936)

Not sure why, but I still think of Sandlot when I think of him.

 Year Ag Tm  Lg  G   AB    R    H   2B 3B  HR  RBI  SB CS  BB  SO   BA   OBP   SLG *OPS+  TB   SH
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+
1914 19 BOS AL 5 10 1 2 1 0 0 2 0 0 4 .200 .200 .300 50 3 0
1915 20 BOS AL 42 92 16 29 10 1 4 21 0 9 23 .315 .376 .576 189 53 2
1916 21 BOS AL 67 136 18 37 5 3 3 15 0 10 23 .272 .322 .419 121 57 4
1917 22 BOS AL 52 123 14 40 6 3 2 12 0 12 18 .325 .385 .472 162 58 7
1918 23 BOS AL 95 317 50 95 26 11 11 66 6 58 58 .300 .411 .555 194 176 3
1919 24 BOS AL 130 432 103 139 34 12 29 114 7 101 58 .322 .456 .657 219 284 3
1920 25 NYY AL 142 457 158 172 36 9 54 137 14 14 150 80 .376 .533 .849 256 388 5
1921 26 NYY AL 152 540 177 204 44 16 59 171 17 13 145 81 .378 .512 .846 239 457 4
1922 27 NYY AL 110 406 94 128 24 8 35 99 2 5 84 80 .315 .434 .672 182 273 4
1923 28 NYY AL 152 522 151 205 45 13 41 131 17 21 170 93 .393 .545 .764 239 399 3
1924 29 NYY AL 153 529 143 200 39 7 46 121 9 13 142 81 .378 .513 .739 220 391 6
1925 30 NYY AL 98 359 61 104 12 2 25 66 2 4 59 68 .290 .393 .543 137 195 6
1926 31 NYY AL 152 495 139 184 30 5 47 150 11 9 144 76 .372 .516 .737 225 365 10
1927 32 NYY AL 151 540 158 192 29 8 60 164 7 6 137 89 .356 .486 .772 226 417 14
1928 33 NYY AL 154 536 163 173 29 8 54 142 4 5 137 87 .323 .463 .709 208 380 8
1929 34 NYY AL 135 499 121 172 26 6 46 154 5 3 72 60 .345 .430 .697 193 348 13
1930 35 NYY AL 145 518 150 186 28 9 49 153 10 10 136 61 .359 .493 .732 211 379 21
1931 36 NYY AL 145 534 149 199 31 3 46 163 5 4 128 51 .373 .495 .700 218 374 0
1932 37 NYY AL 133 457 120 156 13 5 41 137 2 2 130 62 .341 .489 .661 201 302 0
1933 38 NYY AL 137 459 97 138 21 3 34 103 4 5 114 90 .301 .442 .582 176 267 0
1934 39 NYY AL 125 365 78 105 17 4 22 84 1 3 104 63 .288 .448 .537 161 196 0
1935 40 BSN NL 28 72 13 13 0 0 6 12 0 20 24 .181 .359 .431 118 31 0
+--------------+---+----+----+----+---+--+---+----+---+--+---+---+-----+-----+-----+----+----+---+
22 Seasons 8398 2873 136 2217 117 1330 .342 .474 .690 207 113
2503 2174 506 714 123 2062 5793

2 All-Star games (1933, 1934)
1 MVP award (1923)

Born February 6, 1895, George Herman Ruth was born in Baltimore, Maryland, but he spent most of his early life in St. Mary’s orphanage because his parents worked too much to take care of him. At St. Mary’s, a brother taught Ruth how to play baseball, and it was there that Ruth was discovered.

Without needing to say so, Ruth’s playing career was astounding, both on the mound and crushing pitches from it. He began his career with the Boston Red Sox as a pitcher, but his anger and self-discipline issues would become a factor in him being dealt to the New York Yankees. By 1918, Ruth’s hitting prowess enticed the Red Sox into putting him in the lineup on a more regular basis. Ruth himself wanted to hit more, and he gradually stopped pitching. In his last season as a Red Sox (1919), he set a regular-season home run record with 29. It would also be his last season as a Red Sox.

After the 1919 season, Ruth demanded a raise to $20,000 (double his previous salary), and after negotiations failed, owner Harry Frazee looked to trade Ruth. The White Sox offered Shoeless Joe Jackson and $60,000, but the Yankees offered $100,000. Ruth signed a contract, on which the trade was contingent, and became a Yankee. As a Yankee, Ruth shifted to the outfield on a permanent basis and became the symbol of a changing style of baseball, in which power had a place. When the team moved from the Polo Grounds to Yankee Stadium, Ruth fittingly hit the first home run in the “House that Ruth Built”. He would go on to break and re-break his home run record, and reportedly after hitting his 60th in 1927, Ruth shouted, “Sixty, count ’em, sixty! Let’s see some son-of-a-bitch match that!” By 1934, however, even Ruth began to decline, and due to his quarrells with manager Joe McCarthy, the Yankees sold Ruth to the Boston Braves, who hoped Ruth could bring in much-needed attendance. However, other than an initial spike in attendance, Ruth did little else for the Braves and retired May 30, 1935.

A remarkable career led to Ruth being inducted into the inaugural Hall of Fame class of 1936 with 215 of 226 votes (second only to Ty Cobb). Ruth’s prowess led to several phrases and adjectives. “Ruthian” describes something done with great power, reminding baseball fans of his 500-foot blasts. “The Babe Ruth of ____” describes that ____ is the best player or person doing whatever he/she does, implying Ruth was the best baseball player that ever lived. Indeed, he may have been.

Off the field, he was well-known for his exploits, with alcohol and women. On the field, he had several outbursts and was known to throw dirt on umpires as well as take a swing at them and fans. Yet, his attitude has ultimately done nothing to his tarnish his fame and may have added to it.

Quick note — A common mistake is to believe that the candy bar “Baby Ruth” is named after Babe Ruth. However, it is named after Grover Cleveland’s daughter, the first and only born in the White House, Ruth.

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