Babe Ruth

George Herman Ruth
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1936
Primary team: New York Yankees
Primary position: Right Fielder

Sure, Babe Ruth put up monumental statistics during his playing career. But the Bambino was more than numbers, especially to those who knew him, like former teammate Joe Dugan, who once said, “To understand him you had to understand this: He wasn’t human.”

Sports writer Tommy Holmes, a 1979 J.G. Taylor Spink Award winner, was more succinct: “Some 20 years ago, I stopped talking about the Babe for the simple reason that I realized that those who had never seen him didn’t believe me.”

Ruth has been called an American original, undoubtedly the game’s first great slugger and the most celebrated athlete of his time. Soon after honing his skills at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys in Baltimore, he came to the big leagues as a lefty hurler with the Red Sox, where he won 89 games in six years while setting the World Series record for consecutive scoreless innings.

Due to his prodigious power he was shifted to the outfield after his sale to the Yankees in 1920, the Sultan of Swat would lead a powerful and renowned New York squad to seven American League pennants and four World Series titles. Ruth retired in 1935, after a partial season with the Boston Braves, ending his 22-year big league career with 714 home runs, including his remarkable 60 in 1927. His lifetime statistics also include 2,873 hits, 506 doubles, 2,174 runs, 2,213 RBI, a .342 batting average, a .474 on-base percentage, and a .690 slugging percentage.

“It wasn’t that he hit more home runs than anybody else,” said 1976 Spink Award winner Red Smith, “he hit them better, higher, farther, with more theatrical timing and a more flamboyant flourish.”

Among Ruth’s other remarkable offensive achievements include leading the league in slugging percentage 13 times, home runs 12 times, bases on balls 11 times, on-base percentage 10 times, runs scored eight times, and runs batted in six times. One of the five in the Baseball Hall of Fame’s inaugural election in 1936, Ruth once said, “The fans would rather see me hit one homer to right than three doubles to left.”

"Some 20 years ago, I stopped talking about the Babe for the simple reason that I realized that those who had never seen him didn't believe me. "
sportswriter Tommy Holmes

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Career stats

Year Inducted: 1936
Primary Team: New York Yankees
Position Played: Right Fielder
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Birth place: Baltimore, Maryland
Birth year: 1895
Died: 1948, New York, New York
Played for:
Boston Red Sox (1914-1919)
New York Yankees (1920-1934)
Boston Braves (1935)
At BatsAB
Home RunsHR
Stolen BasesSB
Batting AverageBA
On Base %OBP
Slugging %SLG