10 Facts About Babe Ruth’s Career

babe ruth

Babe Ruth is undoubtedly one of the most famous baseball players in history. With an impressive record at both pitching and batting, Babe Ruth takes the saying, “Jack of all trades, master of none” and flips it on its head. Ruth was, in fact, the jack of all trades and master of all. No matter what position he was in, he excelled at. 

However, despite his exploits on the baseball field, his reputation was mired for the partying and womanizing he did off the field. Despite the controversy, Babe Ruth lived and interesting and accomplished life.

Here are 10 facts about the famous baseball player!

1. His birthday was in dispute. 

Babe Ruth always believed his birthday was February 7, 1895, but historians now agree it was February 6. 

A young Babe Ruth. Photo found here

2. Ruth started partying at a young age. 

Ruth had a troubled childhood. Because of this, his knack for partying started early. Before he was eeven eight years olf, Ruth had already chewed tobacco and drank whiskey for the first time.

The former site of St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys where a young Babe Ruth was sent and learned his love for baseball here. Photo found here

3. The origin of his nickname “Babe” is still unknown. 

Babe Ruth earned his nickname while playing for the Baltimore Orioles. No one knows precisely when or how he got the nickname. However, it stuck for good by the time he left the team.  

Ruth when he was with the Orioles. Photo found here

4. Babe Ruth debuted as a pitcher before he was a batter. 

Ruth started his professional baseball career as a pitcher. He pitched in 127 games before he began batting. 

Early photo from Ruth’s beginning career as a pitcher. Photo found here

5. Known for batting, Babe Ruth is still one of the best left-handed pitchers of the time. 

Despite his fame as a batter, Babe Ruth was also one of the best left-handed pitchers in early baseball. He had the lowest ERA of 2.19 and the highest winning average of .659 among left-handed pitchers. 

A group of people standing in front of a building

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By 1916, Ruth was already a celebrity. This town in New Hampshire is throwing him a parade. Photo found here

6.The Red Sox have never been the same without him. 

Ruth was the Red Sox’s most valuable player. During the six seasons he played with them, the Red Sox won three World Series titles. However, they have only won four in the 107 seasons since then. 

babe ruth playing baseball
Ruth is sliding into third base. Photo found here

7. His career almost ended over a pitching dispute. 

Ruth almost quit the Red Sox when the manager refused to let him bat. After threatening legal action against him, Ruth returned to the team as a pitcher. 

The Red Sox would soon regret not letting him bat earlier. This cartoon shows how quickly he became a star by 1920. Photo found here

8. Ruth went just as hard off the field. 

Due to his tendency to party, some of his teammates remarked: “I don’t room with Ruth; I room with his suitcase.” This was due to his being out at all hours of the night partying. 

Babe Ruth boxing with some friends while on vacation in New Hampshire ca. 1916. Photo found here

9. Babe Ruth hit one of the longest-ever home run on record. 

While playing in Detroit, he hit one of the longest-ever home run on July 18, 1921. It is estimated the ball traveled around 575 feet. Ruth also holds the record for the top three longest home runs. 

Many people wondered how his records were possible. Photo found here

10. His record for most home runs in a single season is still undefeated. 

During the 1927 season, Ruth set the single-season home run record – 60 home runs. That record has never been beaten but was tied in 1961. 

babe ruth gifting manuscript
Ruth gifted the Yale baseball team captain his autobiography manuscript shortly before his death in 1948. Photo found here

The Legacy of Babe Ruth in Baseball and Beyond 

Even though Ruth’s reputation off the field may have cost him opportunities later in life, he is undoubtedly a fantastic player. His ability to set records in any position he played has made him legendary in professional baseball. His resilience and skill on the field without the enhancement of steroids or other drugs make him truly remarkable in the sport. 

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