Babe Ruth (1936)
George Herman "Babe" Ruth, perhaps the greatest
baseball player ever, had a 25 year career in major
league baseball. He ended his career in 1935, leading
baseball records for the number of home runs in a
season (60) and career home runs (714). Ruth was
inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936, one
year after he retired.
Ruth entered professional baseball in 1914 when Jack Dunn signed him to the Baltimore Orioles, a minor league team at the time. Because of his young age (19) and looks, he was called Dunn's babe and his new name became Babe Ruth to the baseball world. In July, 1914, Ruth was traded to the Boston Red Sox and his major league baseball career began.
Ruth began his career with the Red Sox as a pitcher and, although he had strong numbers as a pitcher, he was switched to the outfield in 1918. He still pitched 20 games that year, ending the season with a 13-7 record and an ERA of 2.22. He also led the American League in home runs with 11. The following year, Ruth hit 29 home runs.
At the end of December, 1919, the Red Sox made a fatal mistake for the team - they sold Ruth to the New York Yankees. In his first year with the Yankees, Ruth had a .376 batting average with 54 home runs. His following season was even better, with a .378 batting average and 59 home runs. Ruth's highest batting average of .393 came in 1923. He continued posting impressive numbers until almost the end of his baseball career.
Ruth was traded by the Yankees to the Boston Braves in 1935. However, Ruth would soon retire as his body gave out and his performance deteriorated. In his last season, Ruth had a .181 batting average with six home runs in 72 at bats. He retired with a career batting average of .342, 714 home runs, 2,217 RBIs, and 2,874 hits in 8,398 at bats.
Statistics for Ruth in 17 full seasons (1918-1934) in the major leagues include:
- 11 seasons with over 150 hits, with highs of 204 in 1921 and 205 in 1923
- 7 seasons with 30 or more doubles, with highs of 44 in 1921 and 45 in 1923
- 16 seasons with over 20 home runs, with a high of 60 in 1927
- 13 seasons with over 100 RBIs, with highs of 164 in 1927 and 163 in 1931
- 15 seasons with a batting average of .300 or better, with a high of .393 in 1923
Career statistics for Ruth include:
- 2,503 games played
- 2,873 hits
- 506 doubles
- 136 triples
- 714 home runs
- 2,213 RBIs
- .342 batting average