Who is Babe Ruth?
George Herman Ruth Jr. popularly called “Babe Ruth”, was a professional American baseball player. He remains the greatest baseball player of all time, mainly because of his home run hits between 1919 and 1935. He remains a legend in the game till today and still recognised for his prowess and flawlessness after hitting 60 home runs in one season. He was nicknamed “The Sultan of Swat” and “The Bambino.”
Babe, initially called by his last name Ruth, was given the nickname “Babe” by a sportswriter who called him one of “Dunn’s babes”. He started his career as a left-handed pitcher with the Boston Red Sox in 1914; he pitched the 89 winning games for this team before he was traded to the New York Yankees in 1919.
Babe Ruth’s Early Life and Career
Contrary to the rumour that he was an orphan, Babe’s parents, George Herman Ruth Sr. and Kate Shamberger Ruth, were very much alive in his early years. Babe’s parents were German American Immigrants. His father owned and worked in a saloon in a neighbourhood on Baltimore waterfront, where they also lived.
At age seven, Babe started at St. Mary’s Industrial School, a Catholic school run by monks of the Xaverian Brothers. His father worked long hours and was barely around, leading to Babe skipping school and spending most of his time on the streets, engaging in petty thievery and getting drunk. He developed an interest in baseball at school and was mentored by a senior monk, Brother Matthias Boutlier, who shaped him and helped bring some discipline into Ruth’s life. Babe Ruth became a permanent ward of the school in 1912 after the death of his mother. Baseball became an escape for Babe, and he soon discovered exceptional skills in the sport.
In 1914, Jack Dunn, the owner of a minor league baseball for Baltimore Orioles, took an interest in him and signed him to a $600 contract. He gained the nickname “Babe” after being referred to as “Dunn’s newest babe”. By the end of the season, he was sold off to the Red Sox because of his excellent performance as a pitcher. By 1916, Babe became very popular and was widely known as the pitcher who hit long home runs that are a foot too unusual for any player in that era. Between 1915 and 1919, Babe had achieved so much in his career. He had become the best left-handed pitcher and won 87 games. He had also won one World Series games in 1916 and two in 1918, making it a total of three.
In 1920, Babe was sold to the New York Yankees by the team owner, Harry Frazee, for $125,000 and a personal loan from Jacob Ruppert, Yankee team owner. Ruth signed a two-year contract with the Yankees and became a full-time outfielder. He soon was known to be the greatest hitter to have ever played and earned his nicknames “Sultan of Swat” and “The Bambino”. In his first season with the Yankees, he beat his own record by hitting 54 home runs and did even better the following season. In 1922, with a salary of $52,000, Babe Ruth became the highest-paid baseball player. Babe spent fifteen years with the New York Yankees; in those years, his team won four World Series Championships and seven American League Pennants. His last season was in 1934, and he retired the following year.
What did Babe Ruth Wear Under his Baseball Cap?
Babe Ruth was known for some unusual tricks and facts. During the hot summer season, he had a unique way of cooling his body and regulating his temperature. He taught his teammates to peel off the leaves of cabbage and spread these leaves over ice for a while until they are cooled. After which, he would put the leaves under his helmet or baseball cap to remain cool. This lead to his roommates calling it “the Babe Ruth” helmet. A leaf under his cap supplies enough cool energy needed to keep him chilled until it needs to be changed. Babe was said to need two leaves for this cooling method to be highly effective.
Other Facts about Babe Ruth
He Started as a Pitcher
Babe was popularly known for a record of 60 home runs in a season, and 714 home runs through his career. Not many baseball fans know Babe Ruth as a pitcher; only the hard-core ones know that he was a pretty good Pitcher. He was the best left-handed pitcher during his time with the Red Sox.
He was sold to the Yankees to Finance a Play
Babe was sold by the former owner of Red Sox, Harry Frazee, who also happened to be a theatrical agent, producer and director. Rumour has it that he and many other players were sold to the Yankees to finance the production of a Broadway musical.
Babe Ruth was undoubtedly the best American professional baseball player of his time. Widely known for his record-breaking career and the strange way he cools his body temperature.
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