Babe Ruth

Discussion in 'Baseball' started by Babe_Ruth, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    I know we've had more then one Babe Ruth threads on these forums, but I've decided to start a new one.

    In this thread you can talk about anything that relates to the Great Bambino. It can be:

    -His playing career
    -His Personal Life
    -His wild nights
    -His life after Baseball
    -His death
    -His marriage
    -His contributions to the orphanages
    -His young life
    -His parents

    Pretty much anything you can think of, I really want this thread to be active, and filled with information about the Greatest baseball player to ever live. It can be positive or it could be negative.

    Lets discuss.

    Last edited: May 24, 2009

  2. StroShow

    StroShow The return shall be legenday! V.I.P. Lifetime

    Here's a little information about the Great Bambino.

    As a pitcher-
    ERA - (2.28 career):
    #1 in ERA in the American League (AL) in 1916.

    Wins (65 career):
    Top 3 in the AL in 2 of his 5 full seasons as a pitcher.
    Won the most games of any left-handed pitcher in the Majors from 1915-17.

    Win/Loss% (.671 career):
    12th on the list for best career win/loss percentage.

    Top 5 in the AL in 2 of his 5 full seasons as a pitcher.

    #1 in the AL in 1916.

    As a hitter-

    Batting Average (.342 career):
    In the Top 3 in the AL for 6 seasons.
    Tenth highest career Batting Average.
    Runs (2,174 career):
    #1 in the AL for 8 seasons.
    Third on the career Runs leader board behind Rickey Henderson and Ty Cobb.
    RBIs - Runs Batted In (2,213 career):
    # 1 for 6 seasons; in the Top 3 for 11 seasons.
    Second only to Hank Aaron in career RBIs.
    On-Base % - Percent of times a player reaches base when at bat (.474 career):
    #1 in on-base % in the AL for 10 seasons.
    Second only to Ted Williams in career On-Base %.
    Slugging % - Total bases reached per at bat (.690 career):
    #1 in the AL for 13 seasons.
    Remains #1 today in career Slugging %.
    OPS - On-Base Plus Slugging (1.164 career):
    #1 in the AL for 13 seasons.
    Remains #1 today in career OPS.
    Total Bases (5,793 career):
    #1 in the AL for 6 seasons; in the Top 3 for 11 seasons.
    Fifth on the career Total Bases list.
    Bases on Balls (2,062 career):
    #1 in the AL for 11 seasons.
    Third on the career Bases on Balls list.
    Runs Created* (2,756 career):
    #1 in the AL for 9 seasons.
    Remains #1 today in the career total Runs Created.
    15th overall for career ERA.

    SHOELESSJOE3 Registered Member

    Where does one start with Babe Ruth. Right off the bat, not well known another side of the super slugger. Who would believe it, he bunted safely for a base hit 44 times in his career.

    We have that image of that big overweight guy and his famous home run trot. Most of that footage came in later years. As a young player he was an excellent base runner. Not to be confused with his poor base stealing percentage, something he never learned. As strictly a base runner he could take the extra base, his judgement on the bases was very good.

    Younger, he could also cover ground in the outfield and runner feared his rifle arm.
    Can anyone imagine Babe Ruth pulling off the following. In one game in the early 1920s, playing left field he chased down a fly curving away from him towards the foul line, close to grandstand. He did not catch up with the ball and unable to stop, hit the railing and did a complete somersault into the bleachers as the runner was circling the bases. The NY Times description, "All that could be seen was Babe's feet sticking straight up into the air. His upper body and head buried between the seats. In a second he righted himself, jumped the railing, chased down the ball and threw out Chick Galloway who was shooting for an inside the park homer. That was the last out of the inning, Galloway was injured on the play at home. There was another casualty, The Babe. On his way to the dugout the fans stood and cheered, his face was bruised and his left hand, held at his side was bleeding."

    Just had to get that little story in, to show there was more to him than just a big guy that hit home runs and ate lots of hot dogs. On the playing field he always went all out.

    As a pitcher, only two pitchers had better stats than him in the years he was a pitcher only 1915-16-17. Two of the greatest Walter Johnson and Grover Alexander and he wasn't far behind them in those three seasons
    A natural. Think about it, confined in an institution from the age of 7 to 19 years old. Playing on a poorly kept field at St. Marys, not exposed to the outside world. He goes right to the International League and is the best pitcher.
    His record 23-8 and he leads the league in winning percentage, innings pitched and strikeouts. Also the league leader an outfielder with twice as many at bats leads the league in triples has 15, Babe a pitcher is second with 11 triples, already a hint of his power at the plate.

    1916 could have been a Cy Young Award year, had there been an award. In 1917 he almost no-hit the best hitting team in both leagues, the Detroit Tigers. With two outs in the 8th inning a hard hit grounder off his leg, infield hit was the only hit. A could have been Cy Young Award and almost a no-hitter, the same player who also missed a .400 season in 1923. He hit .393 and 4 more hits would have put him at .400. One player, the same man possible award for the best pitcher of the year, almost a no-hitter and almost a .400 season.

    World Series record 3-0 and he still has the second lowest ERA in the WS for a starting pitcher with 30 or more innings, .087.

    Up against the great Walter Johnson, in 9 matchups Babe won 6 times. To be fair to Walter Babe played for a better team but they were no give me games, Babe had to really pitch. Of his 6 wins, 3 were by a 1-0 score.

    Back with more later.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  4. Dalkowski110

    Dalkowski110 New Member

    Hello all, new here. I believe that Babe Ruth as fielder and as a pitcher were underrated. As a fielder, he had a terrific arm that made up for "only" average range (most people imagine the late-career Ruth they see in moving pictures, but he was slimmer than that in his prime) and sure hands.

    Now, what about pitching? Well, being that I like pitching more than hitting, I've always focused on Ruth the pitcher more than the average person. He was fast and actually pretty wild, but it was more in the category of effectively wild. His K/9, for the era, was terrific. His statistically most similar pitcher is a rather obscure fell who pitched for the 1900's Cubs named Carl Lundgren. But Babe was better than Lundgren. His similarity scores are skewed because of the few cameos he had with the New York Yankees. A better comparison might be Smoky Joe wood, of whom Walter Johnson said "No man alive can throw harder than Smokey Joe Wood." Wood was the ace of the early 1910's Boston Red Sox; in some ways, as a pitcher, he was Ruth's predecessor. However, unlike Babe, Smoky Joe Wood's brilliant career came to an end after an arm injury. He once commented that he threw so hard he thought his arm would come off. Wood's K/BB ratio is better than Ruth's and his K/9 is slightly better, but otherwise, you have two very similar pitchers.

    Pre-arm injury Vean Gregg (whom you'll never hear of, unfortunately) is also a great comparison. He threw with a similar pitching motion to Ruth, had a similar repertoire, and had it not been for an arm injury, he'd have been a great pitcher. His peak years were with Cleveland in the early 1910's. He burned his arm out around 1914. 1915-1918 were lost years, but he wasn't done. He reinvented himself as a sinkerballer in the Pacific Coast League (which was good enough to be a Major League at the time Gregg played there) and made the 1925 A's, for whom he pitched well as an early relief pitcher. He kept on pitching in the Minors until about 1930, mostly because the pay was better (back then, the Minors had similar pay scales to the Majors...a reliever would get less than an everyday starter no matter what, which is why Vean Gregg probably chose the Minors over the Majors).

    Although Smokey Joe Wood and Vean Gregg themselves are underrated, I believe both to be excellent comparables to Babe Ruth. A fellow with a longer career that might also be considered is popular 19th century Hall of Fame candidate "Parisian Bob" Caruthers, who, interestingly, was a two-way star like Babe Ruth. Only nowhere near as good as a hitter. But Caruthers almost certainly merits induction to the Hall of Fame as a pitcher. Since Ruth was so similar, I think his pitching is being downplayed. He wasn't moved to the outfield because he was a bad pitcher. Far from it. It was merely because he was that great a hitter.
  5. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    Babe Ruth was one of the most recongnize person in the World when he was playing Baseball. Here's a story about how popular he really was.

    One time, there was a gentleman going to the airport, and the people working at the desk checking the passports were a little skeptical about the Passport he had given them, they didnt believe he was American. So they asked him what they he thought about Babe Ruth, he responded by saying who's Babe Ruth. Well lets just say they didn't allow him in the United States, because every American knew who the Great Bambino was. The man was legendary, he was an icon, everyone knew who he was. His flamboyant personality, and home run hitting skills made him a larger than life figure that captured the hearts of baseball fans, and helped restore interest in the game that was almost lost by the Black Sox Scandal.

    A lot of people had the impression that Babe Ruth was cancer to the team. I totally disagree with that, he loved to joke around, it helped him losen up, he did have his altercations with Front Office about contract negotiations, and didn't always see eye to eye with Miller Huggins, but Ruth was a class act. He always took time to go see sick children at the orphanage, signed baseball, joked around with them. Just had love to make them crack a smile.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  6. Wade8813

    Wade8813 Registered Member

    Hi Dalk! :hi:

    I was surprised when I found out that Ruth could field. Like Shoeless said, I had the image of the slightly overweight slugger. It's not the best stat in the world, but he had 33 FRAA (Fielding Runs Above Average) one year. That's big. He had 134 FRAA over his career.

    Like most people, I think he was the best baseball player ever to take the field.

    SHOELESSJOE3 Registered Member

    Some Babe bits I gathered over the years, most of them unknown to many, lots of off the field events. Not in chronological order. These are not hand me down stories. I have a copy right from the newspapers, everyone can be verified. Over the years I have posted the actual articles on other boards and will gladly send to anyone who would like to see any of these articles.

    Before the 1921 season a shoe company offers Ruth a pair of shoes for every home run hit in 1921. Ruth takes the offer with the stipulation that they be childrens shoes. 1921 he hits 59 home runs and after the season ends, in person he and his wife hand out 59 pair of shoes to the children at an orphanage in NY.

    April 4, 1921 appearing on a show with the magician Dunniger Ruth predicts he will hit 60 home runs in 1921. He ends up with 59 but theres more to the story. In mid season at the Polo grounds he hit a ball into the bleachers. A fan attempting to catch the ball after it had cleared the wall knocks the ball back on to the playing field, the umps send Ruth back to second base, only a double. By todays rules that would have been a home run. Only a fluke makes his prediction wrong, a lost home run.

    October 28, 1921. Babe signs a contract with Hollywood booking agent Pantages. He is paid 3000.00 a week to to appear on stage. All he has to do is be Babe Ruth and joke with the crowd, he's a hit. This is one of the highest pay days for an individual stage act including some of vaudevilles most famous stars. Not a bad pay day for a ball player.

    August 31, 1926 another contract to appear on stage. This one for a 12 week duration, 100,000.00. Again, the highest paid for any individual stage act. Not a bad part time job for a ball player.

    March 18, 1923 Babe loses a 1000.00 dollar bill, easy come easy go.

    November 1, 1928, Sioux City Iowa. On a train on his way to Denver Babe makes a vain attempt to help, to revive a passenger stricken with a heart attack. This take almost half an hour until the train reaches it's closest station.

    1921, after nearly decapitating a first base ump with a vicious line drive, it is noted that when Babe comes to bat, first base umps get some distance between them and the foul line.

    April 28 1927. After hearing that a very sick young boy has been praying to see him, he immediately asks for a car to drive him into the country to visit the boy, spend an hour with him. This was not Johnny Sylvester, Babe's most famous visit.
    1920s, at an exhibition game in Florida. a loud heckler rides Ruth, yelling at him when he comes to bat. Ruth motions to the man, come down to the field. The heckler comes down, Ruth signs a ball and hands it to the man. he returns to his seat and makes no more noise.

    In his career he contends in some amateur golf contests and for a part time does very good, twice he finishes in the top ten.
    Twice he does what golfers dream of.
    March 31, 1937 a hole in one, 135 yards, St. Petersburg Fla.
    April 12, 1940 a hole in one 220 yards, St. Albans Golf Course.

    1933 on a trip to London he takes a crack at the game of cricket. He hits what ever they throw him. At the end of the match his cricket bat is broken, chunks are missing. He then challenges Harold Lardner Englands best pitcher ( bowler) to a one on one when Lardner visits the USA later that year, the match never comes off.

    October 31, 1932 in Chicago while the World Series is taking place. The night before the "Called Shot Game.'' He is told about a young boy blinded in an explosion. He drives to the boys home. Places a signed ball in the blind boys hand, 16 year old Lee Koeppen. On his return Ruth is feeling low. Unknown to the boy at that time, Ruth is made aware that the boy will never regain his vision.

    Saving the date on this one till the end. Along distance hitting contest at Sportsmans Park, St. Louis.
    Competing some of the National Leagues heavy hitters Dolph Camilli, Joe Medwick and Johnny Mize, all are in the top 6 in home runs in the NL. Ruth joins in.
    The winner, Babe Ruth hits the longest drive. Estimated at 430-450 feet, the ball is hit over the pavillion roof in right center and over the second set of trolley car tracks on Grand Avenue. His prize 50.00.
    Now the date, July 25, 1938 and in that year Babe was already retired 3 years and 42 years old, competing with three sluggers in their prime years.

    A very unique athlete, one of a kind, the stories are endless. His whole life on and off the field sounds like a fairy tale, hard to believe. I call him some sort of a freak, talent beyond belief.
    Looks like George knew what he was doing on the other end, the mound.
    From 1915 to 1917 Babe was a pitcher only. I think these are the years bets suited to show how he did pitching, to include the seasons 1918 and 1918 muddy the water because he was also playing some outfield and first base.

    Some numbers from the years 1915-16-17, American League pitching, where they ranked, the top two.

    Inn pitched--------Johnson 1032----Ruth 867
    Strikeouts---------Johnson 619-----Ruth 410
    ERA---------------Johnson 1.88----Ruth 2.02
    Shut outs---------Johnson 18-----Ruth 16
    Hits/ per 9 Inn-----Ruth 6.64----Johnson 6.94

    Some AL fielding for pitchers 1915-1916-1917.

    Fielding percentage-----Ruth .978----Reb Russell .976
    Put outs---------------Ruth 60------Johnson 55
    Double plays-----------Ruth 13------Johnson 11-----Joe Bush 11

    Just a note on a previous post. Where Babe was doing a stage act. On one night after a stage appearance he was arrested and booked and assigned a court appearance date.
    He was arrested for violating the Child Labor Act. His crime, inviting some youngsters on stage to be a part of his act.
    He did not show up for his court appearance, forfeited his 500.00 bail. Nothing was ever done, they did nothing about him not showing in court. My guess, although following the law, they stretched it a bit and just wanted the whole deal to go away, who would convict him for the said crime.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2008
  8. Tyrus4189Cobb

    Tyrus4189Cobb New Member

    Ruth was the king. He still is the king. No professional athelete has ever een better at their specific sport than George Herman Ruth.

    His ability to hit, especially the homer, was incredible. Think about it:

    -Homerun king Hank Aaron (if one doesn't consider Bonds) had 41 more homers in his career. However, he also had about 4000 more at-bats than Ruth.
    -Ruth was primarily a pitcher when he began. He also played in the dead-ballera. But from 1914-1918, he still smacked 20 homers.
    -In 1919, Ruth became a primary hitter. Still in the dead-ball era (its last year) he hit 29 homers. Some guys can't do that in one season.
    -Ruth played in an era wihtout training and lack of nutrition.
    -Some of the ballparks he played in were massive. He hit some balls 450 feet, yet they were caught.

    And that's only the beginning. Today, Ruth may have had back-to-back Triple Crowns. In 1920 and 1921, he lead in RBIs and Homers. He also batted .376 and .378, but was beaten out to batting titles by George Sisler and Harry Heilmann.

    I could prattle on about Ruth forever. His majesty is one not to be forgotten. I'll dig up some more information later.
  9. Babe_Ruth

    Babe_Ruth Sultan of Swat Staff Member V.I.P.

    Interesting fact about Babe Ruth in 1923, a lot of people might not know this.

    Babe Ruth's favorite bat was rules illegal. He was given a new bat by Wahoo Sam Crawford called "The Betsy Bingle" The bat was made of four pieces of lumber, it was glued together. If you remember clearly Ruth was slumpling before getting that new bat, but when he started to use it, the slump was over. He had 27 hits, including six home runs in the next 65 at-bats. But after awhile Ban Johnson declared the bat illegal. Miller Huggins filled appeal for the banned, the appeal was denied, it was because of the bat, it was because of the glued uses on the bat. When the Babe returned to his old bat he went 3-4 and hit his 29th home run of the season. So it didn't matter what bat the Babe was using he still won the MVP award that season.

    SHOELESSJOE3 Registered Member

    On the "Crawford Bat", in the 1923 season it was used by Babe Ruth and Ken Williams of the St. Louis Browns for a short time. The laminated bat at that time was not illegal, there was no rule against this type bat until later years and then in later years was allowed in MLB.

    The reason for Ban Johnson banning the bat was because he thought it would lead to tampering of the ball if allowed. Ruth used this bat for about 3 weeks near mid season. When the bat was disallowed he was batting in the .380 range.he raised his batting average after going back to his old bat, ended the season at .393

    Some years before in 1920 after Babe hit two monster home runs deep into the right centerfield bleachers in NY, Cleveland catcher Luke Sewell demanded that the ump inspect the bat. The ump tapped the bat on the plate, looked at it up and down and declared he could find nothing. Sewell then took the bat and smelled it, then handed it back to the ump. Later he said his "sniff test" was to see if he could smell any adhesive which would be present if the bat was laminated. So it appears even before 1923 there was some thought that laminated bats may have been in use.
    His first wife Helen Woodford, she was not cut out to be the wife of the young Babe. Mild mannered, reserved, she did not fit in. Babe loved every minute of it, the crowds, autograph seekers. His home phone was ringing off the wall, some seeking endorsments and just the casual fan. His home phone number was changed so often he and Helen had trouble remembering their own number. To be remembered, no TV, seeing the real thing the live Babe always caused a stir.
    They could not go out to movies, to eat in restaraunts, bothered by autograph seekers, people outside looking into the restaraunt to get a glimpse. The newspapers even had articles on what he ordered in restaraunts. His home mail box was flooded with mail. Also a ton of mail at the park. He had one locker for mail alone piled a few feet high. Checks from businesses looking for him to endorse a product. Also checks from ordinary folks, why would they send him checks. The reason, when they received the cancelled check they had his signature. Also hundreds of BabyRuth candy bars wrappers, kids looking for an autograph.

    On one occassion after getting into a cab with Helen a group of young boys rushed the cab, pounding on the windows, some jumping on the hood. Two days later Helen had a nervous breakdown and was placed in a hospital. it just was not meant to be.

    His second wife Claire fit into his life style and of course that was in 1929 not as wild as the early days when he exploded on to the scene, Helen's days.

    No doubt in my mind, if not for claire the Babe never hit 714 home runs. She kept an eye on him, his diet, his night life, she even traveled with him on some road trips. If not for her, 1929-1935 I think he would have really declined, faster and harder.

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