George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr. was an American professional baseball player whose career in Major League Baseball spanned 22 seasons, from 1914 through 1935. Nicknamed “The Bambino” and “The Sultan of Swat”, he began his MLB career as a stellar left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but achieved his greatest fame as a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees. Take a look below for 30 more awesome and interesting facts about Babe Ruth.
1. Ruth established many MLB batting, and some pitching, records, including career home runs, runs batted in, bases on balls, slugging percentage, and on-base plus slugging; the latter two still stand as of 2018.
2. Ruth is regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture and is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time.
3. In 1936, Ruth was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of its “first five” inaugural members.
4. At age seven, Ruth was sent to St. Mary’s Industrial School for the Boys, a reformatory where he learned life lessons and baseball skills from Brother Matthias Boutlier of the Xaverian Brothers, the school’s disciplinarian and a capable baseball player.
5. In 1914, Ruth was signed to play minor-league baseball for the Baltimore Orioles but was soon sold to the Red Sox.
6. By 1916, he had built a reputation as an outstanding pitcher who sometimes hit long home runs, a feat unusual for any player in the pre-1920 dead-ball era.
7. Although Ruth twice won 23 games in a season as a pitcher and was a member of three World Series championship teams with the Red Sox, he wanted to play every day and was allowed to convert to an outfielder.
8. With regular playing time, he broke the MLB single-season home run record in 1919.
9. After his record breaking season, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Ruth to the Yankees amid controversy.
10. In his 15 years with the Yankees, Ruth helped the team win seven American League pennants and four World Series championships.
11. His big swing led to escalating home run totals that not only drew fans to the ballpark and boosted the sport’s popularity, but also helped usher in baseball’s live-ball era, which evolved from a low-scoring game of strategy to a sport where the home run was a major factor.
12. As part of the Yankee’s vaunted “Murderers’ Row” lineup of 1927, Ruth hit 60 home runs, which extended his MLB single-season record by a single home run.
13. Ruth’s last season with the Yankees was 1934; he retired from the game the following year, after a short run with the Boston Braves.
14. During his career, Ruth led the AL in home runs during a season 12 times.
15. Ruth’s legendary power and charismatic personality made him a larger than life figure during the Roaring Twenties.
16. During his career, he was the target of intense press and public attention for his baseball exploits and off-field penchants for drinking and womanizing.
17. His often reckless lifestyle was tempered by his willingness to do good by visiting children at hospitals and orphanages.
18. After his retirement as a player, he was denied the opportunity to manage a major league club, most likely due to poor behavior during parts of his playing career.
19. In his final years, Ruth made many public appearances, especially in support of American efforts in World War II.
20. In 1946, he became sick with esophageal cancer and died two years later as a result of the disease.
21. To this day, he remains the only baseball player with the last name “Ruth” to play in a major league game.
22. On his debut, the first batter he faced was Cleveland left fielder Jack Graney. Ruth won that game with 7 innings of 2 run ball. At the plate, he went 0 for 2.
23. Ruth was born and raised in Baltimore, and was actually supposed to be part of the Orioles. However, a team fire sale by owner Jack Dunn saw him shipped to the Red Sox.
24. He made 127 appearances as a pitcher before ever taking another position on the field.
25. The Red Sox won 3 World Series in six seasons with Ruth. In the 96 ensuing years, they have won only 3 more.
26. During Ruth’s first season with the Yankees, the franchise became the first one to ever top 1 million fans in attendance.
27. In Yankee Stadium’s opening game, Ruth hit the park’s first home run; a 3-run hit against Boston’s Howard Ehmke.
28. In 36 World Series games for the franchise, Ruth hit 15 home runs and drove in 30 runs. His OBP was of .490.
29. Ruth chose “3” as his jersey number because that was his spot in the batting order. He first wore it in 1929, as baseball uniforms were barely beginning to use numbers.
30. I 1922, Ruth was the first ever player to earn more than $50,000 for a season. That would amount to about $1 million today.