Thursday, February 6, 2014

February 6, 1895: Happy Birthday Babe!

I really didn't realize that the Babe was born in the 1800's, 1895 to be exact, 119 years ago today, February 6th. And baseball is so much older. There is no sport with such a rich and amazing history as baseball but that is a topic for another day! Today is about the Babe .... 
Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." - Babe Ruth

The Babe is probably the most well-known, famous baseball player of all time. Even if someone say doesn't know who Joe DiMaggio or Ty Cobb is, you can guarantee they have at least heard of Babe Ruth. I so wish I could have met him, ok well at least have seen him play! 

I have seen some of the greatest of all time play ... Mariano Rivera. He would be the one I would say I am most proud to have seen play and I certainly do not doubt he will be the first unanimous Hall of Fame inductee. No one doesn't like Mo, no one. He was a class act on and off the field and one of the most AMAZING pitchers of all time. spent his whole career with the same team, I mean he is the legend people will talk about in 50 years. And I saw him play Everyone loves him and rightfully so! Randy Johnson would be another one, Ken Griffey Jr.,  ... these are legends I have seen live. I'm trying to think of some others but I will get back to that. Maybe in another blog post or something because this was supposed to be a little piece celebrating The Babe.

"Don't let the fear of striking out hold you back."

– Babe Ruth

George Herman Ruth Jr. was born in Maryland in 1895. Nicknamed The Bambino, The Sultan of Swat and The Babe he became the most famed baseball player of all time! He was sent to a strict parochial school as a boy where he excelled in baseball and later his pitching was noticed by the owner of the then minor league Baltimore Orioles, a minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. 

"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way."

– Babe Ruth
The Orioles owner, Jack Dunn, became Ruth's legal guardian. People called him Dunn's new babe. The nickname stuck and the man we know as Babe Ruth was officially born!  And most of the rest of the factual information most of us know (I'm assuming you may be a casual baseball fan) - called up to the Red Sox, won some championships, threw 13 scoreless innings in a game (a MLB record), got traded to the Yankees in 1919 so the owner of the Red Sox could finance the musical "No-No Nanette" and The Curse of the Bambino became a reality for 86 years before the Red Sox won their first championship in 2004. In New York Ruth became a full time outfielder and his offensive abilities only got better.

"If I'd just tried for them dinky singles I would've batted around six hundred."

– Babe Ruth
The Bambino holds so many MLB records! He was one of the first five players inducted into the hall of fame in 1936 along with Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson - those names all together At Spring Training every year when we get to see guys like Rollie Fingers, Vida Blue, Blue Moon Odom, Bob Welch, Rickey Henderson and Campy! Those guys are legends to me! But I am a baseball history nerd so these guy would be by far the coolest to see all together! OMG! 

Babe hit his final home runs at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, PA and reminded people of his greatness as they were all in one game on May 25, 1935. Of course everyone knows the story of when he called his shot and nailed a home run to left! That is just insane! 

"I looked out at center field and I pointed. I said, 'I'm going to hit the next pitched ball right past the flagpole.' Well, the Good Lord must have been with me."

– Babe Ruth
Ok back to the Babe's records, of course we all know the stories and the stats but for the casual fan I shall repeat the most important. Babe Ruth held the single season home run record with 60 which stood for 34 years. He held every important slugging record for years including most year leading a league in home runs with 12, most total bases in a season with 457 and the highest slugging percentage for a season for a single season with .847. In his career he hit 714 home runs in his career. That record stood until Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit number 715 to surpass him. 

Ruth's life after baseball never materialized the way he wanted it to.
He had dreams of becoming a big league manager. Unfortunately the reputation that preceded him was a bit to crazy of a lifestyle and he was seen as irresponsible aka not manager material. He later did become a coach with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was known as a very generous man. Ruth made his final public appearance for Yankee Stadium's, aka the House that Ruth Built, 25th anniversary in 1948.
He died of cancer on August 16, j1948. He left most of his money to the Babe Ruth Foundation for Under Privileged Children and is survived by his wife Claire and two daughters, Dorothy and Julia. So there's a little mini bio of one of the all time greats in the game of baseball!! With all my randomness just thrown right in there! But that's why I sometimes do just blog posts and not articles ... I can put more of my personality into a blog post vs an article ... anyway, I am rambling so I will conclude with a quote from the Bambino,

Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world."

– Babe Ruth

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