George Herman Ruth, Jr, better known as “Babe Ruth”, was a United States Major League baseball player active from 1914 to 1935. Babe Ruth is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest athletes in the history of the United States and he’s hailed as a baseball legend. In 1936, Babe Ruth was among the first five players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Babe Ruth started his major league career in the Boston Red Sox where he was a starting pitcher. In 1919 he was sold to the New York Yankees where he became a right fielder. With Ruth on the team, the New York Yankees won seven pennants and four World Series. Ruth was one of the league’s most prolific hitters and a mainstay in the Yankee lineup. In 1935 Babe Ruth left the Yankees to play for the Boston Braves, before retiring from baseball in 1936.
Babe Ruth was the first professional baseball player in the United States to hit 60 home runs in one season, a feat he accomplished in 1927 while playing for the New York Yankees. It would take until 1961 before anyone broke this record. During Ruth’s prolific baseball career, he made a total of 714 home runs.
During the centennial celebrations of professional baseball in 1969, Babe Ruth was voted Baseball’s Greatest Player Ever. In 1998, Babe Ruth was placed at the very top of The Sporting News’ list of “Baseball’s 100 Greatest Players”.
George Herman Ruth, Jr was born to German-American parents in Baltimore, Maryland in 1895. He grew up in Pigtown, rough a neighborhood in southwestern Baltimore where his parents owned a succession of bars and sold lightning rods. The family had eight children, but only George and his sister Mamie survived past infancy. George’s mother suffered from tuberculosis and when George was seven years old he was sent to St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys. His father signed over custody of George to the Catholic missionaries and George lived at St. Mary’s for twelve years. While he was still in his teens, his mother died. At St. Mary’s, George learned the game of baseball from Brother Matthias Boutlier.
In 1913, Joe Engel – a Mount St. Mary’s alumni who was now a pitcher for the Washington Senators – attended a baseball game between St. Mary’s Industrial School and Mount St. Mary’s College. One of the players for the Industrial School was George Ruth who impressed Engel with his pitching. Engel contacted Jack Dunn who owned and managed the Baltimore Orioles, a team in the minor-league. After watching George pitch, Dunn offered him a $250 contract. The contract was signed on February 14, 1914, and since George was only 19 years old Dunn had to become his legal guardian.
When the other Oriole players met young George, they gave him the nickname “Babe” since he was “Jack’s newest babe”. During his career, George received several other nicknames from team mates and the press, including Bambino (Italian for babe), Bam (short for Bambino), Jidge (a nickname for George), Sultan of Swat, and The Big Fellow. Babe Ruth was 6 foot 2 inches tall (188 centimeters)