Babe Ruth Facts
Babe Ruth facts can help separate the man from the legend. During his career, Ruth achieved an almost mythical status, transcending baseball to become an iconic figure in popular culture. His influence remains strong even today, as Babe Ruth’s name is still prevalent in Major League Baseball’s record books.
- Babe Ruth was born on February 6, 1895. He was born George Herman Ruth in Baltimore, Maryland. Although some think he was an orphan, this isn’t fact. His mother survived until he was 16, and his father passed away after Ruth’s big-league baseball career had begun.
- Babe Ruth was an unruly child. As a boy, Ruth indulged in chewing tobacco, whiskey, truancy and theft. Because of his behavior, his parents enrolled him in St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys in 1904. Ruth honed his baseball skills during his time at the school.
- Babe Ruth made his Major League debut on July 11, 1914. In the most ironic of Babe Ruth facts, he began his baseball career as a pitcher. He racked up 18 wins in his first season with the Boston Red Sox. By 1918, Boston had begun to use him more as an outfielder than a pitcher, due to his prowess at the plate.
- Babe Ruth was traded. In one of the most questionable deals in the history of professional baseball, the Red Sox sold Ruth to the New York Yankees in the winter of 1919. The Sox wouldn’t win another World Series until 2004. This championship drought is often attributed to “The Curse of the Bambino.”
- Babe Ruth hit the first home run at Yankee Stadium. On April 18, 1923, the Yankees and Red Sox played the first game in their new stadium. Ruth christened the building with a three-run homer that lifted the Yankees to a 4-1 victory. In another interesting fact, he also hit the first home run in an All-Star game, a two-run shot in 1933.
- Babe Ruth won four World Series with New York, thanks to his long-ball skill. In 1920, he got off to a quick start in his Yankee career, hitting 54 home runs and breaking his own single-season record. No other player that season had more than 19. In 1927, Ruth shattered that record with 60 home runs, a mark that stood for 34 years.
- Babe Ruth’s infamous “called shot” is still debatable. Ruth supposedly pointed at the stands before an at-bat during the 1932 World Series, then hit a home run to that exact spot. While it’s widely accepted among Babe Ruth facts, this story has never been proven.
- Babe Ruth was once arrested before a game. In 1921, Ruth was arrested for speeding, and remained in jail until the Yankees’ game against the Red Sox had already started. He was ushered to the stadium and put into the lineup, helping the Yankees win that day.
- Babe Ruth always wanted to be a manager. After his playing days were over, Ruth often expressed a desire to be a manager. Yankees ownership never allowed him the chance, and Ruth died of throat cancer on August 16, 1948 without ever getting back into the dugout. He was only 53.
- Babe Ruth’s career numbers still hold strong. Ruth ranks third on the all-time home run list with 714. His career slugging percentage of .690 has never been equaled. He amassed 2873 hits and 2213 RBI during his career, numbers that bring a some fact to a legendary figure.