Babe Ruth: The Amazing Athlete

George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr. : considered by many to be the greatest baseball player and hitter of all time.

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George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr. (February 6, 1895 – August 16, 1948), nicknamed “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat“, was an American professional baseball player. He was a Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher and outfielder who played for 22 seasons on three teams, from 1914 through 1935. He was known for his hitting brilliance setting career records in his time forhome runs (714, since broken), slugging percentage (.690), runs batted in (RBI) (2,213, since broken), bases on balls (2,062, since broken), and on-base plus slugging (OPS) (1.164). Ruth originally entered the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox as a starting pitcher, but after he was sold to the New York Yankees in 1919, he converted to a full-time right fielder. He subsequently became one of the American League’s most prolific hitters and with his home run hitting prowess, he helped the Yankees win seven pennants and four World Series titles. Ruth retired in 1935 after a short stint with the Boston Braves, and the following year, he became one of the first five players to be elected into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ruth was the first player to hit 60 home runs in one season (1927), a mark not surpassed until another Yankee right fielder,Roger Maris, hit 61 in 1961. Ruth’s lifetime record of 714 home runs stood until 1974, when it was surpassed by Hank Aaron. Unlike many power hitters, Ruth also hit for a high batting average: his .342 lifetime average ties him with Dan Brouthers andHarry Heilmann for eighth highest in baseball history, and in one season (1923) he batted .393, a Yankee record. Ruth dominated the era in which he played. He led the league in home runs during a season twelve times, slugging percentage and OPS thirteen times each, runs scored eight times, and RBIs six times. Each of those totals represents a modern record.

Ruth is credited with changing baseball itself. The popularity of the game exploded in the 1920s, largely due to his influence. Ruth ushered in the “live-ball era”, as his big swing led to escalating home run totals that not only excited fans, but helped baseball evolve from a low-scoring, speed-dominated game to a high-scoring power game. He has since become regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture.Ruth’s legendary power and charismatic personality made him a larger than life figure in the “Roaring Twenties”,and according to ESPN, he was the first true American sports celebrity superstar whose fame transcended baseball. Off the field, he was famous for his charity contributions which included helping children to learn and play baseball, but also was noted for his often reckless lifestyle. He has been repeatedly voted onto teams made up of the sport’s greats, and is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player and hitter of all time.

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