Happy Birthday Babe Ruth
Nearly eighty years after his retirement Babe Ruth still stands as the benchmark for what we consider to be a great baseball player. Even at 38 he still played great (34 home runs and a .301 batting average), albeit it was far from past season where he’d hit 45+ home runs and his lifetime batting average of .342
By 19 he caught the eyes of the Baltimore Orioles, but due to his age he needed a legal guardian to sign his minor league contract, earning him the nickname “babe”. Shortly thereafter he was brought up to the majors by the Boston Red Sox and then sold to the Yankees in 1919 for $100,000 when the Red Sox when they were having financial trouble. With the Yankees he would help them win 4 World Series titles while the Red Sox would go 86 years without a title, giving birth to the Curse of the Bambino.
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He would repeatedly set the home run records in multiple seasons. 29 in 1919, 54 in 1920, and 60 in 1927. As well he accumulated records in most total bases in a season and highest slugging percentage in a season, RBIs, bases on balls, on-base plus slugging and career home runs.
You can also read his first NYT profile here:
Of course, he is most known by the youth of today for his infamous called home run shot that was popularized by the movie The Sandlot. It was Game 3 of the 1932 World Series against the Chicago Cubs. It was the first game of that series to be held at Wrigley Field and the Cubs were already down 2 games. Ruth put the Yankees up 3-0 in the opening frame with a 3 run dinger, but by the 4th inning the game was tied. With the game tied in the 4th Ruth came up to bat and pointed his bat to centerfield, and once more after strike two.
The next pitch flew 440 feet to the deepest part of centerfield cementing the moment forever in history. For that and being arguably the greatest player in baseball history, we salute you Sultan of Swat.