In all of baseball history, there has never been anyone like Babe Ruth. Yes, he was an athlete of imposing skills, but we have had plenty of those. He was a grand performer in the arena of professional sports, but there seems to be a new one of those every weekend.
He forever changed the way baseball was played, inventing the home run as an offensive weapon, but some authorities will tell you that if it hadn't been Ruth, it would have been someone else. What made him so unique and endearing was the way all these things were wrapped up in one boyish, fun-loving package.
He arrived in New York City, the nation's noisiest and busiest town as the Roaring Twenties started. Lest we forget, he was a major force in making them roar. No other city on the continent could have contained him. No other place and no other time could have satisfied his exorbitant and exuberant tastes. Along with his immense accomplishments on the field and outrageous escapades off it, he was immensely lovable in everything he did.
Because of his unmistakable face and form, Ruth was more than just a great athlete and world-renowned character. He was a presence. He was instantly recognizable (who besides his own father ever really looked like Babe Ruth?), and he made you think of everyone's fun-loving, favorite uncle.
Biographer Lawrence Ritter described the impact he had on people in the stands: "On a baseball field he was, for almost twenty years, the center of attention no matter what he was doing: from the time he first stepped out of the dugout for batting or fielding practice, hours before a game was scheduled to begin, until the last out in the ninth inning, most of the audience seemed mesmerized by his presence. Fans in the box seats and bleachers alike, at home or away, spent most of their time watching his every move."
Whether you're an avid baseball fan wanting to learn more about one of history's greats or someone being introduced to the Babe for the first time, this step-by-step article will take you all the way from Babe Ruth's beginnings through his fabulous baseball career.
Click through the pages in chronological order, or peruse the selections below and jump right into what seems most interesting -- that's probably what Babe Ruth would have done.
Babe Ruth's Humble Beginnings: Learn about the Babe's parents and his birth and earliest years in Baltimore.
Babe Ruth Enters St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys: Find out how George Jr.'s time with the Xaverian Brothers made him the man he became.
Babe Ruth Discovers Baseball: Among his other lessons, young George learned how to play baseball at St. Mary's. Learn about his mentor here.
Babe Ruth Signs with the Majors: Babe joined the 1914 Baltimore Orioles and his baseball career began. Relive his early experiences at training camp here.
Babe Ruth Earns His Nickname: Find out how and why the player became the Babe.
Babe Ruth's First Spring Training: Discover a bit of baseball history as this page explains early 20th-century spring training -- and see how Babe Ruth's first pitching outings went.
Babe Ruth Starts His First Regular Season: Although he began in the minor leagues, Babe would end up elsewhere at season's end. Find out more on this page.
Babe Ruth Joins the Boston Red Sox: Discover what Babe thought about his new home town -- and team -- here.
Babe Ruth's First Home Run: Learn how long it took Babe to prove himself as a power hitter, as well as a major league-worthy pitcher.
Babe Ruth's 1915 Baseball Stats: See just how successful this season was for Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox.
Babe Ruth's Winning 1916 Baseball Season: Both the Babe and the Boston Red Sox ended the 1916 season at the top of their game. Get the story and see their stats on this page.
Big Changes in Babe Ruth's Ball Club: Several personnel switches lay in store for the Red Sox as they prepared for the 1917 season. Learn more here.
Babe Ruth's Ups and Downs: As his fame and success grew, so did the pressure Babe Ruth seemed to feel. Discover the effects in this section.
Babe Ruth: A Starting Batter: During the 1918 season, the Red Sox moved Babe off the pitcher's mound and into the daily lineup. How did the experiment fare? Find out here.
Babe Ruth's Wild Days: Bored with farm life, Babe spent more and more time out on the town -- to the displeasure of his superiors. Learn how the situation was handled.
Babe Ruth's 1919 Baseball Stats: Although the Boston Red Sox were nowhere near a pennant in 1919, the Babe's performance kept fans in the stands. Get details on his stats.
Babe Ruth's Sale to the New York Yankees: Desperate for money, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee made a sale that earned him the ire of Boston forever. Learn how the deal went down here.
Babe Ruth: The Newest Yankee: Unlike his rough transition to the majors when he joined the Red Sox, the Babe felt at home with the Yankees right away. Learn about his early encounters with his teammates on this page.
Babe Ruth's Power Swing: Find out what's myth and what's accurate about the Babe's famous batting mechanics.
Babe Ruth's Escapades off the Field: Babe made news in New York for his hobnobbing and erratic driving, as well as his baseball career. Get the details of some of the Babe's extracurricular exploits here.
Babe Ruth's 1920 Baseball Season: Although the Yankees came up short, Babe Ruth racked up some impressive stats. Learn about his historic 1920 achievements.
Reckless Babe Ruth: No matter how much he earned, money seemed to slip through Babe's fingers -- until he met Christy Walsh. Find out how reckless Ruth got his finances in order.
Babe Ruth's Injuries: After a stellar 1921 season, Babe Ruth was threatened by injuries during the World Series. Learn more about his play and recovery here.
Babe Ruth's Barnstorming: The Babe's love for the fun and money off-season exhibition games provided pitted him in a battle with baseball's commissioner. Follow the blow-by-blow description to learn more.
Babe Ruth's Worst Season Ever: A series of suspensions, troubles with his usually loyal fans, and a new style of seemingly unhittable pitches all challenged the Babe during 1922. What was the result? Find out here.
Babe Ruth Off the Field: Around this same time, Babe Ruth met two people who would have profound influence on him. Discover who they were.
Babe Ruth's 1923 and 1924 Seasons: In these two years with the New York Yankees, Babe Ruth entered some of his very best performances. See his stats and learn more about his exploits.
Babe Ruth's Illnesses: A series of stomach ailments landed the Babe in the hospital instead of on the field during the 1925 baseball season. Get the details here.
Babe Ruth's Comeback: Although many said he'd never be the same, the Babe proved them wrong with his 1926 stats. See just how wrong for yourself.
Babe Ruth's 1927 Baseball Season: In another fantastic year, Ruth and the Yanks created the Five O'Clock Lightning phenomenon. Read more and get the stats here.
Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig: Theirs was a relationship that evolved over time, then turned ugly. What did their on-field composure and friendliness mask? Find out on this page.
Babe Ruth's Tumultuous 1928 Season: Despite a series of injuries, Babe Ruth and the Yankees fought their way once again to a World Series victory. Relive the ups and downs along the way here.
1929: Babe Ruth's Year of Change: The death of his wife, Helen, and his 500th home run were only two of the events that made this an eventful year for the Babe. Learn more on this page.
Babe Ruth's Managerial Ambitions: Long-time Yankee manager Miller Huggins passed away in September 1929, and Babe thought he'd be perfect for the job. Find out who agreed -- and disagreed -- here.
Babe Ruth's Legend: Click to this page to get play-by-play details, and the behind-the-scenes story, of Babe Ruth's most dramatic baseball moment.
Hard Times for Babe Ruth: Eventually, America's Great Depression impacted even the mighty Babe Ruth. Find out how.
Babe Ruth's Bad News: His goal of managing a major league team continued to elude him, and his baseball skills were past their prime. Learn how Babe handled 1934's challenges here.
Babe Ruth's 700th Home Run: All was not lost! Find out how Babe achieved this milestone far beyond that of any other Major League player.
Babe Ruth Manages Japan: Still struggling with his American League situation, Babe took off for a summer of fun and travel. Get details on his international exhibition games here.
Babe Ruth Becomes a Boston Brave: Perhaps he was lured under false pretenses, but Babe still traded his pinstripes for a trip back home. Find out how his old fans received him.
Babe Ruth Retires: After 20 years in baseball, Babe Ruth made his exit as a Brave. Learn about his retirement here.
Babe Ruth's Life After Baseball: Babe found plenty of ways to occupy himself -- from hunting to golfing to doting on his daughters. Find out more about Ruth's post-baseball activities.
Babe Ruth's Battle With Cancer: It took an incurable illness to finally slow Babe Ruth to a stop. Learn more about his declining heath.
Babe Ruth's Legacy: Although he's been gone more than 60 years, Babe Ruth remains a presence in baseball. Discover his amazing lifetime stats and legacy here.
If you'd like to begin at the beginning, continue to the next page to learn about the Babe's birth.
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