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Babe Ruth Baseball

Babe Ruth Baseball


    

Babe Ruth Baseball

by Denise I Smithson

Who doesn't remember Babe Ruth? Even if you are too young, and are a baseball fan, we bet you've heard of Babe and the House That Ruth Built. Even one of his superstitions remains popular among Major League players-"whenever I hit a homerun, I always make sure I touch all four bases." Babe was a curious man, ferocious in baseball, women, and ideals, and we remember his as "The Babe," fondly so, because there will never be another man like him, in any sport.

Born George Herman Ruth Jr. To parents George Sr. And Kate Schamberger-Ruth in Baltimore, Maryland in 1895, Ruth and his sister Mamie were the only two survivors out of eight children. Ruth did not have an idyllic childhood, often being left to his own devices to get by. When he was only seven, his parents sent him to St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, which Ruth looked at more as prison than school. He saw his parents only rarely and rapidly became known by the nuns at St. Mary's as a problem child.

Ruth never was one for rules and was not a good fit for the strictly ordered life offered by St. Mary's school. However, he did learn his lifelong love of the game of baseball while at the school. Jack Dunn, manager of the Baltimore Orioles (then a minor league farm team for the Boston Red Sox) was amazed by the then nineteen year old Ruth's talent and immediately signed him on. He was given the nickname of "Jack's newest babe" by teammates - a name that stuck.

After only five months, Ruth was signed to the Red Sox, where he spent six years playing the outfield and as a catcher. He rapidly gained popularity with fans for his performance on the field as well as his colorful nightlife off the diamond. Ruth played his first of many World Series games in 1916, where he set a record of fourteen innings pitching; a record which remains unbroken to this day. In World Series games alone, he achieved a record of 29 2/3 innings with no score as a pitcher - this record would stand for 43 years. He was traded to the New York Yankees in 1919; it wasn't until 2004 that the Red Sox won the World Series again, a phenomena which became known as the "Curse of the Bambino".

With Ruth on the team, the Yankees would win 4 World Series and 7 American League Pennants. Ruth hit an amazing 54 home runs in 1920 alone. Babe Ruth proved to be just as popular with the fans in New York as he had been in Boston and became a celebrity. The Yankees stadium, built in 1923 soon came to be known as "The House That Ruth Built". Fittingly enough, Ruth hit three home runs on opening day and later that year, the World Series title. Ruth would separate from his wife of 11 years, Helen Woodford in 1925, with whom he had adopted a daughter, Dorothy. It was not until Helen dies in 1929 that he would marry his companion, the model Claire Hodgson. His first at bat that year, he hit a home run out of the park, which he dedicated to Hodgson.

Ruth's 60 home runs in 1927 are another long standing record the player set - it would stand until Roger Maris' 61 home runs in 1961. Many fans debate the vailidity of Maris' record, being that it took Maris 182 games against Ruth's 154. However, no one will debate Ruth's .690 batting average, which has no equal to date. It wasn't for nothing, after all that he is remembered as The Sultan Of Swat.

Babe's famous moment in baseball came in Game 3 of the 1932 World Series where the Yankees played the Chicago Cubs. In the 5th inning, after he already had one home run, Babe came to bat and was at a count of two balls and two strikes. Before the next pitch came his way, Babe pointed to the center of the field bleachers and slammed that puppy right where he pointed and some believe it is the longest home run ever hit out of Wrigley Field.

Ruth left the Yankees in 1935 - he had wanted to be manager of the team and he decided to leave rather than stay in another capacity. He instead signed on with the Boston Braves as first base coach and player, with the promise of the manager's chair in the following year. Seeing that the Braves were unlikely to keep this promise, Ruth went out in style. In one of his final games, Ruth hit three home runs against the Pittsburgh Pirates for a career total of 714 home runs. The Babe's 2,211 RBIs, 2.28 career ERA as a left-handed pitcher and his 8,399 at-bats along with all of his many achievements have made him a player who will always be remembered as long as there is a game called baseball.

About the Author:
How much do you know about baseball? Nothing But Sports is a great place to brush up on your sports trivia and learn how to swing that bat.


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