A Savior for Baseball

By | Feb 6, 2010

After the “Black Sox” scandal of 1919 baseball needed a hero. That hero came in the name of Babe Ruth. He changed the game by hitting long home runs at a time when very few players hit them. He took the fans and the media minds away from the scandal.

1920 was the Babe’s finest season. Even though he would have years where he would hit more than that season’s home run total of 54, his batting average that year was .376. He led the league in extra-base hits, runs, RBI, walks and total average, which was an all-time high of 1.934, or nearly two bases for every out made! It was also the first year that the Yankees won the AL Pennant.

Ruth began his career as a Pitcher with the Boston Red Sox pitching for them from 1914 to 1919. During those years he was on a team that win the World Series in 1915, 1916 and 1918. In the 1918 series he would pitch 29 2/3 scoreless innings, a mark would stand for forty-three years. He was winningest left-handed pitcher in baseball from 1915-1917.

But he was also a good hitter and beginning in 1918 he would play in the field between his pitching starts. In 1919 he became an everyday player in the field and left the the pitching mound behind. It appeared he would be leading the Red Sox for years to come, but at the end of the 1919 season he was sold to the Yankees. A move that has been called the Curse of the Bambino (Bambino was one of his nicknames). The Red Sox, who had been a dominate World Series Champ for the first 20 years of the series winning 5, would not win another until 2004.

In many ways his impact on the game was just as revolutionary as that of Jackie Robinson. Robinson’s Number 42 has been retired from baseball. Ruth’s should be too.

George Herman Ruth, forever known as the Babe was born in Baltimore, Maryland on February 6, 1895.


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