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Babe Ruth Essay, Research Paper

Ruth, Babe George Herman "Babe" Ruth, b. Baltimore,

Md., Feb. 6, 1895, d. Aug. 16, 1948, was one of

professional baseball’s greatest sluggers and probably the

best-known player of the 1920s and early 1930s. As a New

York Yankee, Ruth took the game out of the dead-ball era,

saved it from the Black Sox scandal of 1919, and

single-handedly revitalized the sport as the country’s national

pastime. He teamed with Lou Gehrig to form what became

the greatest one-two hitting punch in baseball and was the

heart of the 1927 Yankees, a team regarded by some

baseball experts as the best in baseball history. Nicknamed

the Sultan of Swat, Ruth started his major league career as a

left-handed pitcher with the Boston Red Sox in 1914. In

158 games for Boston he compiled a pitching record of 89

victories and 46 losses, including two 20-win seasons–23

wins in 1916 and 24 wins in 1917. He eventually added 5

more wins as a Yankee hurler and ended his pitching career

with a 2.28 earned run average; he also had 3 wins against

no losses in World Series competition, including one stretch

of 292/3 consecutive scoreless innings. It is for his prowess

at bat, not at the mound, however, that Ruth is remembered

today. He was sold to New York by Boston following the

1919 season and after a permanent shift to the outfield

responded by smashing a record 54 home runs while

compiling a .376 batting average. In 22 seasons with the

Red Sox, Yankees, and Boston Braves, Ruth led the league

in home runs a record 12 times–including 59 in 1921 and a

then-record 60 in 1927. He retired in 1935 with 714 career

home runs, a record not surpassed until Hank Aaron’s

performance in 1974. Ruth was elected to the Baseball Hall

of Fame in 1936 as one of the first five charter members.

Bibliography: Creamer, Robert, Babe (1974); Ruth, Claire

M., with Bill Slocum, The Babe and I (1959); Ruth, George

H., with Bob Considine, The Babe Ruth Story (1948);

Smelser, Marshall, The Life That Ruth Built: A Biography

(1975); Wagenheim, Kal, Babe Ruth (1974). Picture

Caption[s] Babe Ruth (1895-1948) remains perhaps the

most famous baseball player in history despite the fact that

most of his batting records have been eclipsed. Before

joining the New York Yankees, Ruth had been an

outstanding pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees

converted him into an outfielder, and Ruth led the team to

four world championships (1923, 1927-28, 1932). (The

Bettmann Archive)

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