Perhaps the most famous baseball player ever, George Herman Babe Ruth was, for years, the sport’s home run king and most beloved big league baseball player.
Though he last played in 1935, Ruth’s impact on the sport has lasted ever since. In today’s blog coinciding with his 1935 retirement, I look back at the Babe’s storied career by offering this excerpt from my book Favorite Single Named Athletes.
…..Baseball fans swooned whenever the legendary Babe Ruth stepped into the batter’s box.
Yankee Stadium, where Babe’s #3 was retired in 1948, is known as “the House that Ruth Built.” Baseball’s record books rank Babe’s successes from the 1920s and 1930s as tops in several statistical categories.
Sports collectors long for everything attached to him and baseball conversations still recall stories about him, both fact and fiction.
The chubby faced Ruth attracted fans with his big bat, bigger smile and clever, colorful quotes. He was once questioned if his huge 1927 baseball salary, which amounted to more than US President Herbert Hoover’s salary at the time, was too much. Ruth confidently responded, “No, I had a much better year than him!”
During his incredible career, Babe enjoyed much better years than nearly every other major leaguer who played the game at the same time. As a pitcher, Ruth compiled a 94-46 record and an impressive 2.28 ERA.
As a batter, this Sultan of Swat retired with a lifetime batting average of .342. He also had a .690 slugging percentage and 714 home runs, a record that stood until Henry Aaron broke it in 1974.
Sports Illustrated named Babe Ruth the greatest athlete of the 20th Century. The Sporting News recognized him as the greatest baseball player of all time. Even the Associated Press voted this 1927 American League MVP and four-time World Series champion the Athlete of the Century.
Off the field, sports collectors still swing for the fences for this Sultan of Swat’s impressive swag. A 1927 Babe Ruth bat brought in nearly $600,000. One of Ruth’s button-down New York Yankees road jerseys yielded a staggering $4 million.
Babe Ruth’s incredible career led to his immediate entry into Cooperstown in 1936. No baseball player ever has ruled over pitchers from the batter’s box like this legendary athlete.
Click on the yellow book cover above to safely download from Amazon my book Favorite Single Named Athletes.
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!