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Babe Ruth
BabeRuth
Historical Figure
Nationality: United States
Date of Birth: 1895
Date of Death: 1948
Cause of Death: Cancer
Religion: Catholicism
Occupation: Professional Baseball Player
Spouse: Helen Woodford (d 1929),
Claire Hodgson
Children: two adopted daughters
Turtledove Appearances:
"Before the Beginning"
Set in the Future
Type of Appearance: Posthumous references
"Batboy"
Set in OTL
Type of Appearance: Contemporary references
"The House That George Built"
POD: 1914
Type of Appearance: Direct
Occupation: Professional baseball Player, Barkeep
Sports Team: Baltimore Orioles
Philadelphia Phillies
Boston Red Sox
St. Louis Browns
George Herman "Babe" Ruth, Jr. (February 6, 1895 – August 16, 1948), also known as "The Great Bambino", "The Sultan of Swat", and "The Colossus of Clout", was an American Major League baseball player from 1914-1935. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest baseball players in history. Many polls place him as the number one player of all time.

He began his career as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in 1914. While an excellent pitcher (in fact he led the American League in ERA in 1916), it soon became clear that he was better still as a hitter, and was gradually shifted to a position player, playing right field, though throughout his career he would continue to pitch on occasion. The Red Sox sold him to the New York Yankees in 1920, causing 86 years of well-deserved woe for the former team. The Yankees started him in right field from 1920 to 1934. He finished his career playing part of the 1935 season for the Boston Braves.

Ruth retired with over 50 offensive records, including number one all-time on the Home Runs list, which he held for 53 years. In 1921 he had passed Roger Connor, his predecessor at that record, with his 139th round-tripper. His career total of 714 shows how thoroughly he shattered that record. He was a two-time All-Star and was American League MVP in 1923; remember that during Ruth's career players were only eligible for a single MVP award in their careers, and the All-Star Game was first played in his penultimate season with the Yankees. He won three World Series titles with the Red Sox and four with the Yankees. He retired with a .342 batting average, the aforementioned 714 home runs, 2213 RBI (2201 of then in the American League, which remains the AL record), a remarkable slugging percentage of .690, and a 94-46 pitching record (good for a .671 winning percentage) and an ERA of 2.77. In 1936, one year after his retirement, he was part of the inaugural class inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Babe Ruth in "Batboy"Edit

Babe Ruth was a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in the early part of the 20th Century. In a baseball game against the St. Louis Browns, he hit a triple off of rival pitcher Rip in Rip's first professional game.

Babe Ruth in "Before the Beginning"Edit

After the invention of the time-viewer, recordings of Babe Ruth calling his shot in a 1932 game were quite popular.

Babe Ruth in "The House That George Built" Edit

George Ruth was a former professional baseball player. His career spanned from 1914 to the mid 1930s. During that time, Ruth was a successful minor leaguer, although his reputation didn't stretch much beyond his native Baltimore. After he retired, he opened a bar called George's Restaurant.

HouseThatRuthBuilt

George Ruth operating his bar, c. 1940

In 1914, while Ruth had been with the Baltimore Orioles a short while, Baltimore politician Carroll Wilson Rasin attempted to bring a new Federal League team to the city. This panicked Orioles owner Jack Dunn, who began to explore selling various players, including Ruth. Despite some initial interest from the Philadelphia Athletics and the Boston Red Sox, both deals fell apart when Rasin could not raise sufficient funds to bring a new team to Baltimore. Dunn, no longer fearing competition, kept his players.

Dunn had an additional hold on Ruth: he was also Ruth's legal guardian, which insured that Ruth could not strike out for the Federal League on his own. While Ruth had some success with the team (the I Told You So Homer was a local Baltimore legend), it never rose to the level of glory he thought his talents would permit. When he did reach the majors in the late 1920s, he was nursing a bad pitching arm. His experience with the Philadelphia Phillies was not a great one. For a season and a half, Ruth was forced to pitch in the Baker Bowl, which, by its design, permitted home runs with relative ease. Even Ruth hit six home runs himself, which was a record for a pitcher at that time. But the design flaw of the Baker Bowl diminished the value of the record.

After the Phillies, he found himself with the Boston Red Sox. Unfortunately, the Red Sox of the 1920s was a mere shadow of the team that had wanted Ruth in 1914. He was played very little for a season and then sent down to the Syracuse Stars. He did return to the major leagues for a month in 1932, when he played for the St. Louis Browns. This experience was so negative that he didn't discuss it much.

In February 1941, Ruth shared the story of his career with one of his patrons, journalist H.L. Mencken. He was particularly keen to share with Mencken his belief that he could have been a great player, another Buzz Arlett, but for the events of his youth that were almost completely out of his control. However, it was Mencken's belief that truly superior talents overcame all adversity and made themselves known. He didn't share this view with Ruth.

Ruth was an outsized personality, to say the least. He was physically a big man (6' 3" height and at least 250 pounds). He used obscenity and profanity with abandon during his conversations. He could drink--Mencken watched in awe as Ruth made himself an oversized Tom Collins and swallowed it in nearly one gulp.

See AlsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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