Babe Ruth’s Greatest Achievements
Babe Ruth, a magnificent slugger who hit a whopping 714 home runs in his remarkable career, remains to this day the greatest baseball player. He is revered in this manner because he consistently chalked stellar record after record in Major League Baseball (MLB). His mind-blowing statistics left his teammates in sheer awe, causing the likes of Joe Dugan to once describe him as not human. For example, Babe Ruth was the first batter to hit 60 home runs in a single season (in 1927).
Nicknamed “The Sultan of Swat”, Babe Ruth’s offensive achievements in the game have left many sports writers and historians to describe him as one of the greatest American athletes of all time.
Babe Ruth: Fast Facts and Career
Born: George Herman Ruth
Birthday: February 6, 1895
Place of birth: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Died: August 16, 1948
Cause of Death: Cancer (lymphoepithelioma or “nasopharyngeal carcinoma”)
Place of death: New York City, New York, U.S.
Burial place: Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne, New York
Parents: George Sr. and Kate (Katherine)
Siblings: Seven siblings
Education: St. Mary’s High School (St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys), Baltimore, MD
Spouse: Helen Woodford (married on October 17, 1914; separated in 1925); Claire Merritt Hodgson (married in 1929)
Children: Dorothy (adopted in 1921); Julia (adopted)
Positions: Outfielder and Pitcher
Major League Baseball debut: July 11, 1914; for the Boston Red Sox
Last game: May 30, 1935; for the Boston Braves
Number of seasons: 22 (from 1914 to 1935)
Nicknames: Babe, The Bambino, The Colossus of Clout, Jidge
Epithets: An American Original; Baseball’s First Great Slugger; the Sultan of Swat; Home Run King
Teams played for: Boston Braves (1935); New York Yankees (1920-1934); Boston Red Sox (1914-1919)
Height: 6’2’’ (188cm)
Weight: 97kg (215lb)
Awards and honors: Inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1936 (voted by BBWAA on 215/226); Presidential Medal of Freedom (posthumously in 2018)
Most Famous for: Hitting Home Runs; Winning the World Series championship seven times (1915, 1916, 1918, 1923, 1927, 1928, 1932)
Babe Ruth’s Major Achievements and Awards
Here are 6 major achievements of Babe Ruth, the greatest figure in Major League Baseball and one of the greatest sports icons in American history.
Made his Major League Baseball debut at just the age of 19
Already a rising star from his teenage years at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, a reform school, Babe Ruth was offered a contract by the owner of the Baltimore Orioles – Jack Dunn – after the latter just saw him for less than an hour.
Babe Ruth –Baseball’s first great slugger – impressed brilliantly at the minor-league, establishing himself as a very lethal figure at the plate. In less than a few months, he was sold (for around $25,000) to the Red Sox; and marked his debut in the Major League Baseball at just the age of 19.
In his first game for the Red Sox, he pitched and secured victory for his team over the Cleveland Naps. He helped take the Red Sox from bottom placed to the 1914 World Series championship.
In the 1915 season with the Red Sox, he batted .315 and secured four home runs, helping the team to an AL (American League) pennant. The Red Sox went on to win two more AL pennant titles in three years.
Babe Ruth turned around the fortunes of the New York Yankees
After helping the Red Sox to secure the 1918 title, along with bringing in record-breaking crowds to the stadium, Babe Ruth had become a household name.
His very impressive number of homeruns undoubtedly made him the best baseball player in the country; as such, he was the Red Sox most prized asset. Therefore it came as a huge surprise that Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold Babe Ruth’s contract to the New Yankees for $100,000. Many considered the sale, which was announced on January 6, 1920, the deal of the century.
Prior to Ruth’s arrival, the Yankees had not won the AL championship; however, upon his introduction, he helped them win a whopping seven AL pennants and four World Series.
Moving from the Red Sox to the Yankees allowed him to cement his name as one of the greatest hard-hitting outfielders ever seen the game. His 15 seasons with Yankees came with over 2,000 games, securing under his belt many baseball records in the process.
Another major feat he chalked while at the Yankees was his ability to draw in record-number of fans. In his first season for the Yankees, i.e. 1920 season, close to 40,000 people trooped to the Polo Grounds, forcing the authorities to turn about 15,000 away. That year, he garnered a staggering 54 home runs, 137 RBIs (runs batted in), and 158 runs.
Did you know: The money that he generated from endorsements far outweighed that from his sport? He thus became the first professional athlete to do this.
A prolific hitter of home runs
By the end of the 1921 season, Babe Ruth had broken Roger Connor’s record of career home runs. At the time, Ruth had made 138 home runs. That season, he also broke his 1920 season record by attaining 59 home runs. His batting was at .378 and his slugging percentage was at .846.
With 41 home runs and .393 batting average, Ruth was able to help the Yankees claim the AL pennant in the 1923 season. At the World Series, he again showed his worth by scoring three home runs, helping the Yankees to win their first World Series championship.
He was a member of the famous Murderers’ Row
After the Yankees helped themselves to the 1926 AL pennant, Babe Ruth and Yankees team entered the 1927 season in the finest form of their lives. The squad was so prolific and lethal that many pundits to this day describe them as the greatest ever squad in baseball history.
At the heart of that squad, which came to be known as Murderers’ Row, was none other than Babe Ruth. The nickname of the squad was rightly deserved, as they won the AL pennant by 19 games. More spectacular was Ruth’s 60 home runs, a career-high. He also batted .356 and slugged .772.
Additionally, the Murderers’ Row cruised to victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1927 World Series.
Career Stats of Babe Ruth
Babe Ruth revolutionized the game of baseball and exemplified the nation’s success story
Generally called the Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth is credited with a feat not accomplished by any other player in baseball history – he was the first athlete to be completely adored by the public.
Revered as the “Home Run King”, the record-breaking slugger provided an escape for the American public, which by then was reeling from the devastating Spanish Flu of 1918 and World War I. His remarkable performances on the park allowed the nation to in some way deal with all those traumas. It is for this reason, as well as many more others, why the powerful outfielder was often described as a larger-than-life figure, whose influence went far beyond sports. He was indeed the first real celebrity athlete.
Did you know: The term ‘the “Babe Ruth” of something’ often means something or someone that dominates in a particular field or profession?
He is the greatest figure in Major League Baseball and one of the greatest sports icons in American culture
His exploits in the field of baseball were so astonishing that a derivative of his name, the word “Ruthian”, became a synonym for adjectives such as “colossal”, “magnificent”, “spectacular”, etc.
The Sporting News placed him top on the list of “Baseball’s 100 Greatest Players”. According to the Associated Press (AP), Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali are usually seen as the two most recognized athlete in the United States. Babe Ruth came in behind Michael Jordan as the greatest U.S. athlete of the century, according to a 1999 ESPN poll.
As at the time that he retired, he held an astounding 56 major league records, including the record for most home runs (714) and bases on balls (2,062). After hitting 54 home runs in 1920, he became the first batter to do so. Babe Ruth was also the first person in baseball history to hit 500 homers in a career. He attained this feat on August 11, 1929.
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Other accomplishments of Babe Ruth
The following are some other examples of Babe Ruth’s awesome achievements:
- Babe Ruth was a 2-time All-Star (1933, 1934).
- In 1923, he was crowned AL MVP (The Major League Baseball Most Valuable Player Award).
- He won the World Series championship seven times (1915, 1916, 1918, 1923, 1927, 1928, 1932).
- In 1936, Babe Ruth was inducted to the Hall of Fame.
- In honor of his magnificent accomplishments, the New York Yankees retired Babe Ruth’s number “3” in 1948. June 13, 1948.
- He is a member of Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team
- The Associated Press (AP) regards him as the Athlete of the 20th Century, along with Muhammad Ali.
- Sports Illustrated named Babe Ruth the Greatest baseball player of the 20th Century.
- U.S. President Donald Trump posthumously awarded Babe Ruth the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2018.