Babe Ruth played his first major league game 99 years ago today, on July 11, 1914. To celebrate the anniversary this week, here are the 60 things you don’t know about the greatest player in the history of baseball in chronological order, along with some myths that have been dispelled.
Babe Ruth Growing Up Facts
1. His father’s real name was George Herman Ruth, as was his father’s. Ruth is the sole player to have this last name in the history of major league baseball.
2. His birth date is generally accepted as of February. 6 1895, Ruth believed that his birth date was February 7. February 7 7, 1894. The birth certificate that had the date of birth was for an unidentified male in Ruth’s family. Ruth family. The parents of Ruth lost six children during the early years of their lives, including two sets of twins. There was only George and his sibling Mary Margaret, known as Mamie remaining.
3. Ruth lived for a short time on the spot of the present Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which was located over another of his dad’s chain of salons.
4. At the age of eight, Ruth had already chewed tobacco and drunk whiskey for the first time. He was placed in St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, a Catholic reform school. He was declared incurable.
5. Each boy was required to study a trade in preparation to pursue a career. Ruth’s goal was to become a maker of shirts.
6. Ruth was in St. Mary’s when he joined his team, the Baltimore Orioles, from the International League in Feb. 1914. The team would make it to the major leagues just five months later.
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Early Years in Baseball
7. He made his first home run on March 7, 1914, located in Fayetteville, N.C., during an intrasquad baseball game in which he was a shortstop.
8. While playing for the Orioles, an old-fashioned team populated by several former players of the major leagues, Ruth earned his well-known nickname. It is not known who first named Ruth Babe.
9. The Orioles sold Ruth to the Boston Red Sox on July 9, 1914, as did two other players in the team’s fire sale, the owner Jack Dunn, who found himself in financial difficulties because the Baltimore franchise within the newly formed Federal League obliterated the Orioles attendance.
10. Ruth made his debut in the major leagues on the field at Fenway Park on July 11, 1914, as a starting pitcher. Ruth pitched seven innings to earn the win but went 2-for-2 at the plate and struck in the face of Cleveland lefty Willie Mitchell in his first major league appearance.
11. Ruth’s debut professional home run was on September 5, 1914, with The Providence Grays of the International League. He had been assigned to the Red Sox for more seasoning the month before.
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More Babe Ruth Facts
12. In the game he played and ultimately won, Ruth’s first Major League hit was a double against his fellow Yankees Leonard Cole at Fenway Park on October 2, 1914.
13. On October. 17th in 1914, just two weeks after the end of his rookie season, Ruth married Helen Woodford, the 16-year-old cafe waitress who he met on the first morning of his arrival in Boston.
14. Ruth was a power pitcher who played 127 games on the mound before being able to play in any position on the field.
15. in Ken Burns’s documentary Baseball, the Legendary Journalist writer Dan Okrent said Ruth was “the best left-handed pitcher of the 1910s, without question, in the American League.” Indeed, of AL lefties who played at a minimum of 1,000 IP during this decade, Ruth recorded the lowest ERA (2.19) and the highest percent of wins (.659) and was ranked fourth in wins. Ruth was fourth in shutouts and ninth in strikeouts.
16. He finished 23-12 and was the top player in the American League with nine shutouts and a 1.75 ERA in 323 2/3 innings.
17. The year 1917 was his best, and he was 24-13, with a 2.01 ERA in 326 1/3 innings. He was also the leader of the AL in complete games.
18. In the six seasons that they had Ruth during his six seasons with Ruth, the Red Sox won three World Series championships. In 107 years without him, they’ve won four.
19. Ruth’s very first World Series appearance came in 1915. He walked to first base in 1915 as an in-between hitter but did not make a single pitch for Boston’s five-game victory against the Phillies.
20. In the second game of the 1916 World Series, Ruth pitched 14 innings of a complete game, beating the Dodgers by a score of 2-1. This is the longest innings pitched by a single pitcher in one postseason game.
21. Ruth had an 0.87 ERA in three World Series starts. His record for consecutive scores of only 29 and 1/3 innings during the Fall Classic stood from 1918 until Whitey Ford broke it in.
22. June 23, 1917, at Fenway Park, Ruth was exiled by the Home plate umpire Brick Owens for arguing balls and strikes following a walk of the first batter in an upcoming match against the Senators. Ernie Shore replaced him. He was the baserunner. Senators’ Second baseman Ray Morgan was caught taking, then Shore was able to retire all 26 players he was facing in the four-to-one Red Sox win. In official terms, Ruth is credited for playing in a combined no-hitter. However, Shore is not acknowledged for pitching in a perfect game.
23. Ruth’s first Major League homer was in a game against the Yankees in the Polo Grounds on May 6, 1915. Three years later, Ruth hit a homer in his debut at the position (1B) that was not a pitcher at the same ballpark.
24. After his initial appearance as a player in the position, Ruth could not pitch, which led to tensions in the relationship with Red Sox manager Ed Barrow. At the beginning of July, Ruth tried to quit the Red Sox to join a shipyard in Chester, Pa., to avoid a penalty from Barrow. Ruth immediately gave in to the threat of legal actions by Red Sox owner Harry Frazee and re-joined the Red Sox without playing for the shipyard team.
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25. Ruth was the leader of Ruth and led the American League in home runs for the first time since 1918 when he tied with the Athletics’ Tillie Walker with 11 during the season that was cut short by war. Ruth also led the league by striking out (58) as well as hitting (.555) as well as an OPS (.966).
26. Ruth was the sole player at the beginning of the century of 20th who led his team in the Triple Crown categories as both a pitcher and a hitter and did it over three years.
27. Ruth was a stand-in during the 1919 spring training season and eventually signed the three-year deal with a salary of $10,000. Ruth threatened to hold out again following the 1919 season and claimed he earned twice the amount he committed before that season. Frazee was still in debt following purchasing his Red Sox three years earlier and was able to resolve the issue of the threat by selling Ruth for the Yankees in January. 3rd, 1920 for $100,000, and a $300,000 loan secured by an escrow on Fenway Park.
28. Apocrypha, Part 1 Contrary to popular opinion, the success of Frazee’s production of the production No, No Nanette – which included the tune “Tea For Two” – did not have anything to do with Ruth or the sum of money that the Yankees gave to the Red Sox to acquire him. Frazee was the one to sell his Red Sox two years before No The Nanettehit Broadway in 1925 and always kept his baseball and his theater financials separate.
The Yankees Years: 1920s
29. While the term “The Curse of the Bambino” was not in existence for more than half a century, it didn’t take much time to see an abrupt change in the fortunes of Ruth’s former and his new teams. Between 1920 and 1964, The Yankees had won 30 American League pennants and 20 World Series. They also won 20 World Series. Red Sox won one pennant but no World Series titles.
30. Ruth was one of the 17 players Frazee sold or traded for the Yankees in the months between November 1918 and July 1923, after which he eventually ended the sale of the team. The Yankees’ first World Series title team of 1923, half of the regular players and six pitchers with more than 12 innings, were purchased from Frazee.
31. When he first began spring training sessions with the Yankees in 1920, Ruth went into the seats after a heckler and then pulled a knife at Ruth; however, Ernie Shore, who preceded Ruth to the Yankees, intervened, and any violence was prevented.
32. The well-known line “I don’t room with Ruth, I room with his suitcase,” which refers to Ruth’s tendencies to stay up late, has been linked to two former Yankees the outfielder Ping Bodie, his first roommate in New York, and second baseman Jimmie Reese, who roomed with Ruth for a decade after.
33. Ruth broke the record for home runs in a single season over three consecutive seasons by hitting 29 in 1919, followed by 54 in 1920, as well as 59 runs in the year 1921. Before Ruth set the record, it was set at 27. It was established in 1884 by Chicago White Stockings’ Ned Williamson, who played at the ballpark at home, where the wall in rightfield was 196 feet away from the home plate.
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34. Five teams scored greater homers than Ruth did on his own in 1919 (not including the Ruth’s Red Sox), and only two teams scored more than the total he hit during 1920 (this time, including Ruth’s Yankees, who scored the 61 mark in addition to Ruth’s 54). Ruth also had greater homers than half the baseball teams in 1921.
35. Ruth is often acknowledged as the man who saved baseball from the Black Sox scandal, though his impact is often exaggerated. It was in the year 1920, which was Ruth’s first season as a member of the Yankees. They became the first team to reach 1,000,000 attendance and beat the team that was the least attended in the majors that were that of the Boston Braves, with more than 1.1 million people.
36. Ruth made it to the top on the all-time home runs list in 1921 with the number. One hundred thirty-nine breaking the record set by Hall of Fame’s first baseman Roger Connor in 1895. Ruth later pushed the record to 714 home runs. That’s over five times Connor’s total career total. The record was broken in 1974 in 1974 by Hank Aaron 1974.
37. Ruth hit 575 home runs after breaking Connor’s record. Nine players have hit that many home runs in their entire career since the record was set, and four are steroid users.
38. Ruth’s record-setting homer came through Tigers relief pitcher Bert Cole in Detroit on July 18, 1921. Hall of Fame historian Bill Jenkinson previously estimated it to be probably the biggest home run. Ruth hit the ball straight from Navin Field (Tiger Stadium) in center field, a move that Jenkinson estimates could be 575 feet in unencumbered space. Jenkinson says he credits Ruth with three of the longest home runs he has ever hit and two more placed fourth.
39. in 1921, Ruth might have had what would be his best season to date. Ruth hit .378/.512/.846 with 171 RBIs and 171 runs scored. Both the home runs and RBI totals were all single-season records.
40. Apocrypha Part II: Baby Ruth candy bar was launched in 1921, but the Curtiss Candy Company officially claimed that it was named in honor of Ruth Cleveland, the late daughter of the former President Grover Cleveland. There are many reasons to believe the story was just a legal trick to permit Curtiss to name their bar in honor of Babe Ruth without requiring his approval. The most notable is that Ruth Cleveland died of diphtheria in 1904, aged 12years and 17 years, before the time that the first candy bar was released during the peak of the slugger’s fame.
41. Following the signing of Ruth for a tour of vaudeville following 1921’s World Series, Edward F. Albee II was the adoptive grandfather of the playwright who is famous, was the one who wrote Irish writer George Bernard Shaw, author of Pygmalion (the basis for My Fair Lady) and also mentioned Ruth. Shaw’s famous reply was, “Sorry I’ve she’s never been mentioned to me. What baby does Ruth?”
42. A year later, Ruth and Helen adopted their daughter named Dorothy, whom they discovered in the year 1980 that she was born to Ruth and Juanita Jennings. Jennings was a woman she considered an intimate family friend, and Ruth was involved in one of his numerous affairs.
43. The Yankees did not have a chance to play in the World Series before acquiring Ruth from Boston. However, they made it through seven World Series in his 15 years as a player and won all. Their first championship came in 1921. Their first title came in 1923 during their third and final of 3 consecutive World Series confrontations with John McGraw’s New York Giants.
44. McGraw and Giants owners Horace Stoneham soured to share the Polo Grounds with the ascendant Yankees following Ruth’s rise as the premier league’s gate-to-entry attraction. They also tried to expel them following their 1921 campaign. The Yankees got a lease from Stoneham and started building their ballpark in a piece located within the Bronx to be completed before their 1923 campaign.
45. Ruth and her teammate Bob Meusel were suspended for the beginning of the 1922 baseball season by the new commissioner for baseball, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, for taking part in a barnstorming tour for the postseason in October 1921, in contravention of the rules of the league. Ruth was not able to play in the Yankees the opening 33 games.
46. Ruth was named Yankees captain before the 1922 season. However, on May 25, his sixth game following his return from suspension kicked out and reacted to the crowd’s yelling at home by jumping into the stands to chase a protester. Ruth did not catch his opponent. However, the suspension was for only one match. Then he was fined and removed from his captaincy.
47. Ruth was suspended twice more in 1922. In the latter part of June, the player was suspended for three days following a charge into leftfield in protest of the call at second base, and then calling umpire Bill Dinneen “one of the vilest names known,” according to AL president Ban Johnson. Disappointed by his three-game suspension, Ruth got into it with Dinneen in bat practice the following day, which led to Johnson taking two days. On August. 30, Ruth was exiled following his reaction to a third strike by using obscenity. He was banned for three consecutive days.
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48. After dropping the ball in the sun’s Polo Grounds’ leftfield on July 16, 1922, Ruth was determined not to play in the sun field in the future, and he never did. His position after that would be determined by the geographical location of the ballpark where Ruth was playing. Through the remainder of his career, Ruth was a right fielder in The Polo Grounds and Yankee Stadium and at Washington and Cleveland but primarily in leftfield in the additional AL cities (Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, and St. Louis).
49. Yankee Stadium, dubbed “The House That Ruth Built” by sportswriter Fred Lieb, opened on April 18, 1923. Ruth hit the ballpark’s opening home run, which was a three-run hit in the third inning, off Howard Ehmke of the Red Sox’ Howard; Ehmke was The key hit in the Yankee’s victory of 4-1.
50. Ruth had 259 hits at home over twelve seasons in Yankee Stadium, second only in the league behind Mickey Mantle’s 266, which was hit over 18 seasons.
51. The bat was first used in July of 1923. Ruth started using a new kind of bat invented by former Hall of Famer Sam Crawford, composed of four pieces of wooden material glued together. Ruth’s usage of the bat and its attention caused Ban Johnson to institute a rule change in late August, insisting all bats are made out of one wooden piece. The first time that he was reported to have used the bat, on July 2 until the enactment of the ban on August 28, Ruth was able to hit .457/.586/.882, which included 18 hits across 53 games.
52. The year 1923 was when Ruth struck for the most impressive single-season average of .393. He was just four strikes from hitting .400.
53. Ruth was the only player to win a single Most Valuable Player award in his career in 1923. The award was inactive between 1915 and 1921, and repeat winners were not eligible before the Baseball Writers Association of America began to take over the vote in 1931.
54. However, he led the American League, pitchers included, in wins above replacement (Baseball-Reference.com version) 10 times, in OPS+ 12 times, in OPS 13 times, and in two of the three Triple Crown categories seven times.
55. On July 5, 1924, Ruth was knocked unconscious when he ran head-first into a concrete wall, bad territory in Washington’s Griffith Stadium. He was unconscious for 5 minutes; however, Ruth did not just stay in the game, but he also hit 3-for-3 and had two doubles. He then played in the final game of the doubleheader that day as well.
56. In the group of players who made their debut during the Modern Era (1901-present), Ruth is the seventh-highest ever average of batting (.342); however, she has only won one batting title: .378 in 1924.
57. Apocrypha Third III: Ruth missed the first 41 games of the 1925 season due to what was described as “the bellyache heard round the world” and has since been speculated to have an infection that was transmitted sexually. However, as per Biographer Robert Creamer, Ruth was treated for an abscess in her stomach three days following Opening Day. Ruth was admitted for a month and one-half in a Manhattan hospital before returning to the team.
58. Ruth was back in the line-up on June 1, which was the day before when Lou Gehrig replaced Wally Pipp at first base. However, Ruth did not fully develop during that time. Ruth’s .290 Batting rate, .393 on-base percentage, .543 percent slugging, .936 OPS, and 137 OPS+ were the lowest figures during his 15 seasons in New York. In that season, the Yankees recorded their only losing record from 1919 to 1964.
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59. Tired of Ruth’s carousing and insubordination, Yankees manager Miller Huggins suspended Ruth indefinitely and fined him $5,000 after Ruth arrived late at the ballpark on August 29, 1925. Huggins forced Ruth apology for her blunders to all the players before he finally reinstated him in September. 7.
60. Apocrypha Part IV: Before the 1926 World Series, 11-year-old Johnny Sylvester was admitted to a hospital after falling off his horse. A father’s friend handed him autographed baseballs of the Yankees and the promise of Ruth to hit a homer for the team.