165 Facts About Babe Ruth


Babe Ruth is regarded as one of the greatest sports heroes in American culture and is considered by many to be the greatest baseball player of all time.

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In 1936, Babe Ruth was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of its "first five" inaugural members.

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At age seven, Babe Ruth was sent to St Mary's Industrial School for Boys, a reformatory where he was mentored by Brother Matthias Boutlier of the Xaverian Brothers, the school's disciplinarian and a capable baseball player.

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In 1914, Babe Ruth was signed to play Minor League baseball for the Baltimore Orioles but was sold to the Red Sox.

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Babe Ruth's big swing led to escalating home run totals that not only drew fans to the ballpark and boosted the sport's popularity but helped usher in baseball's live-ball era, which evolved from a low-scoring game of strategy to a sport where the home run was a major factor.

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The elder Babe Ruth then became a counterman in a family-owned combination grocery and saloon business on Frederick Street.

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Many details of Babe Ruth's childhood are unknown, including the date of his parents' marriage.

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When Babe Ruth was a toddler, the family moved to 339 South Woodyear Street, not far from the rail yards; by the time he was six years old, his father had a saloon with an upstairs apartment at 426 West Camden Street.

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Details are equally scanty about why Babe Ruth was sent at the age of seven to St Mary's Industrial School for Boys, a reformatory and orphanage.

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Babe Ruth was recorded as "incorrigible" and spent much of the next 12 years there.

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Babe Ruth became a shirtmaker and was proficient as a carpenter.

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Babe Ruth would adjust his own shirt collars, rather than having a tailor do so, even during his well-paid baseball career.

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Babe Ruth was sometimes allowed to rejoin his family or was placed at St James's Home, a supervised residence with work in the community, but he was always returned to St Mary's.

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Babe Ruth was rarely visited by his family; his mother died when he was 12 and, by some accounts, he was permitted to leave St Mary's only to attend the funeral.

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How Babe Ruth came to play baseball there is uncertain: according to one account, his placement at St Mary's was due in part to repeatedly breaking Baltimore's windows with long hits while playing street ball; by another, he was told to join a team on his first day at St Mary's by the school's athletic director, Brother Herman, becoming a catcher even though left-handers rarely play that position.

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Babe Ruth was encouraged in his pursuits by the school's Prefect of Discipline, Brother Matthias Boutlier, a native of Nova Scotia.

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Babe Ruth stated, "I think I was born as a hitter the first day I ever saw him hit a baseball.

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George Babe Ruth caught Brother Matthias' attention early, and the calm, considerable attention the big man gave the young hellraiser from the waterfront struck a spark of response in the boy's soul.

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Babe Ruth was a lifelong Catholic who would sometimes attend Mass after carousing all night, and he became a well-known member of the Knights of Columbus.

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Babe Ruth would visit orphanages, schools, and hospitals throughout his life, often avoiding publicity.

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Babe Ruth was generous to St Mary's as he became famous and rich, donating money and his presence at fundraisers, and spending $5, 000 to buy Brother Matthias a Cadillac in 1926—subsequently replacing it when it was destroyed in an accident.

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Nevertheless, his biographer Leigh Montville suggests that many of the off-the-field excesses of Babe Ruth's career were driven by the deprivations of his time at St Mary's.

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Babe Ruth later estimated that he played 200 games a year as he steadily climbed the ladder of success.

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Babe Ruth had become the best pitcher at St Mary's, and when he was 18 in 1913, he was allowed to leave the premises to play weekend games on teams that were drawn from the community.

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Babe Ruth was mentioned in several newspaper articles, for both his pitching prowess and ability to hit long home runs.

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In early 1914, Babe Ruth signed a professional baseball contract with Jack Dunn, who owned and managed the minor-league Baltimore Orioles, an International League team.

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Some versions have Babe Ruth running away before the eagerly awaited game, to return in time to be punished, and then pitching St Mary's to victory as Dunn watched.

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Babe Ruth made his first appearance as a professional ballplayer in an inter-squad game on March 7, 1914.

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Babe Ruth made his first appearance against a team in organized baseball in an exhibition game versus the major-league Philadelphia Phillies.

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Babe Ruth pitched the middle three innings and gave up two runs in the fourth, but then settled down and pitched a scoreless fifth and sixth innings.

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Once the regular season began, Babe Ruth was a star pitcher who was dangerous at the plate.

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Babe Ruth offered Ruth to the reigning World Series champions, Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics, but Mack had his own financial problems.

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Babe Ruth later told the story of how that morning he had met Helen Woodford, who would become his first wife.

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Babe Ruth's was a 16-year-old waitress at Landers Coffee Shop, and Ruth related that she served him when he had breakfast there.

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Babe Ruth's catcher was Bill Carrigan, who was the Red Sox manager.

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Babe Ruth lost his second start, and was thereafter little used.

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Babe Ruth was not much noticed by the fans, as Bostonians watched the Red Sox's crosstown rivals, the Braves, begin a legendary comeback that would take them from last place on the Fourth of July to the 1914 World Series championship.

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When Babe Ruth insisted on taking batting practice despite being both a rookie who did not play regularly and a pitcher, he arrived to find his bats sawed in half.

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Babe Ruth's teammates nicknamed him "the Big Baboon", a name the swarthy Ruth, who had disliked the nickname "Niggerlips" at St Mary's, detested.

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Babe Ruth had received a raise on promotion to the major leagues and quickly acquired tastes for fine food, liquor, and women, among other temptations.

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Carrigan later stated that Babe Ruth was not sent down to Providence to make him a better player, but to help the Grays win the International League pennant.

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Babe Ruth was often called upon to pitch, in one stretch starting four games in eight days.

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In March 1915, Babe Ruth reported to Hot Springs, Arkansas, for his first major league spring training.

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Babe Ruth was ineffective in his first start, taking the loss in the third game of the season.

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Babe Ruth, hitting ninth as was customary for pitchers, hit a massive home run into the upper deck in right field off of Jack Warhop.

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The Red Sox won the AL pennant, but with the pitching staff healthy, Babe Ruth was not called upon to pitch in the 1915 World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Babe Ruth was used as a pinch hitter in Game Five, but grounded out against Phillies ace Grover Cleveland Alexander.

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Babe Ruth, who played under four managers who are in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, always maintained that Carrigan, who is not enshrined there, was the best skipper he ever played for.

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In 1917, Babe Ruth was used little as a batter, other than for his plate appearances while pitching, and hit.

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Babe Ruth was dissatisfied in the role of a pitcher who appeared every four or five days and wanted to play every day at another position.

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At the time, Babe Ruth was possibly the best left-handed pitcher in baseball, and allowing him to play another position was an experiment that could have backfired.

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Babe Ruth's effort gave his team a three-games-to-one lead, and two days later the Red Sox won their third Series in four years, four-games-to-two.

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Babe Ruth was prouder of that record than he was of any of his batting feats.

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Babe Ruth had hit a home run against the Yankees on Opening Day, and another during a month-long batting slump that soon followed.

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Babe Ruth matched that on July 29, then pulled ahead toward the major league record of 25, set by Buck Freeman in 1899.

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Babe Ruth broke the record four days later against the Yankees at the Polo Grounds, and hit one more against the Senators to finish with 29.

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Babe Ruth had a four-year stretch where he was second in the AL in wins and ERA behind Walter Johnson, and Ruth had a winning record against Johnson in head-to-head matchups.

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Babe Ruth won them over with success on the field and a willingness to build the Red Sox by purchasing or trading for players.

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Babe Ruth offered the Senators $60, 000 for Walter Johnson, but Washington owner Clark Griffith was unwilling.

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In March 1919 Babe Ruth was reported as having accepted a three-year contract for a total of $27, 000, after protracted negotiations.

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Babe Ruth demanded that his salary be doubled, or he would sit out the season and cash in on his popularity through other ventures.

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Nevertheless, when Frazee, who moved in the same social circles as Huston, hinted to the colonel that Babe Ruth was available for the right price, the Yankees owners quickly pursued the purchase.

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Transaction was contingent on Babe Ruth signing a new contract, which was quickly accomplished—Babe Ruth agreed to fulfill the remaining two years on his contract, but was given a $20, 000 bonus, payable over two seasons.

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Reaction in Boston was mixed: some fans were embittered at the loss of Babe Ruth; others conceded that Babe Ruth had become difficult to deal with.

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When Babe Ruth signed with the Yankees, he completed his transition from a pitcher to a power-hitting outfielder.

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Babe Ruth had done little, having injured himself swinging the bat.

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The rest of the league sold 600, 000 more tickets, many fans there to see Babe Ruth, who led the league with 54 home runs, 158 runs, and 137 runs batted in.

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Baseball statistician Bill James pointed out that while Babe Ruth was likely aided by the change in the baseball, there were other factors at work, including the gradual abolition of the spitball and the more frequent use of new baseballs ( a response to Chapman's death).

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The puzzle of Babe Ruth never was dull, no matter how many times Hoyt picked up the pieces and stared at them.

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Babe Ruth hit home runs early and often in the 1921 season, during which he broke Roger Connor's mark for home runs in a career, 138.

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Each of the almost 600 home runs Babe Ruth hit in his career after that extended his own record.

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Babe Ruth finished the regular season with 59 home runs, batting.

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On March 4, 1922, Babe Ruth signed a new contract for three years at $52, 000 a year.

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An emotional Babe Ruth promised reform, and, to the surprise of many, followed through.

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Yankee Stadium was completed in time for the home opener on April 18, 1923, at which Babe Ruth hit the first home run in what was quickly dubbed "the House that Babe Ruth Built".

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Babe Ruth hit a career-high 45 doubles in 1923, and he reached base 379 times, then a major league record.

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Babe Ruth did not look like an athlete; he was described as "toothpicks attached to a piano", with a big upper body but thin wrists and legs.

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Babe Ruth had kept up his efforts to stay in shape in 1923 and 1924, but by early 1925 weighed nearly 260 pounds.

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Babe Ruth's annual visit to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he exercised and took saunas early in the year, did him no good as he spent much of the time carousing in the resort town.

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Babe Ruth became ill while there, and relapsed during spring training.

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Babe Ruth collapsed in Asheville, North Carolina, as the team journeyed north.

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Babe Ruth was put on a train for New York, where he was briefly hospitalized.

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In New York, Babe Ruth collapsed again and was found unconscious in his hotel bathroom.

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Babe Ruth was taken to a hospital where he had multiple convulsions.

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Babe Ruth returned to his normal production during 1926, when he batted.

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In Game Four, Babe Ruth hit three home runs—the first time this had been done in a World Series game—to lead the Yankees to victory.

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Babe Ruth had hit his fourth home run of the Series earlier in the game and was the only Yankee to reach base off Alexander; he walked in the ninth inning before being thrown out to end the game when he attempted to steal second base.

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Babe Ruth promised the child that he would hit a home run on his behalf.

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Babe Ruth hit two in the first game of the series, including one off of Paul Hopkins, facing his first major league batter, to tie the record.

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Babe Ruth then slumped for the latter part of the season, and he hit just twelve home runs in the last two months.

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Babe Ruth had politicked for the job of player-manager, but Ruppert and Barrow never seriously considered him for the position.

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Stout deemed this the first hint Babe Ruth would have no future with the Yankees once he retired as a player.

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The games at Yankee Stadium had not been sellouts; both were won by the home team, with Babe Ruth collecting two singles, but scoring four runs as he was walked four times by the Cubs pitchers.

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In Chicago, Babe Ruth was resentful at the hostile crowds that met the Yankees' train and jeered them at the hotel.

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When Babe Ruth came to the plate in the top of the fifth, the Chicago crowd and players, led by pitcher Guy Bush, were screaming insults at Babe Ruth.

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Babe Ruth hit the fifth pitch over the center field fence; estimates were that it traveled nearly 500 feet.

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Babe Ruth's conditioning had deteriorated to the point that he could no longer field or run.

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Babe Ruth accepted a pay cut to $35, 000 from Ruppert, but he was still the highest-paid player in the major leagues.

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Babe Ruth was selected to the AL All-Star team for the second consecutive year, even though he was in the twilight of his career.

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Babe Ruth was often spoken of as a possible candidate as managerial jobs opened up, but in 1932, when he was mentioned as a contender for the Red Sox position, Ruth stated that he was not yet ready to leave the field.

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However, Babe Ruth insisted on delaying the meeting until he came back from a trip to Hawaii.

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Babe Ruth opted to go on his trip, despite Barrow advising him that he was making a mistake; in any event, Babe Ruth's asking price was too high for the notoriously tight-fisted Navin.

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At his final stop in the United Kingdom before returning home, Babe Ruth was introduced to cricket by Australian player Alan Fairfax, and after having little luck in a cricketer's stance, he stood as a baseball batter and launched some massive shots around the field, destroying the bat in the process.

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Babe Ruth was made assistant manager to Braves skipper Bill McKechnie.

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Fuchs raised the possibility of Babe Ruth succeeding McKechnie as manager, perhaps as early as 1936.

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Babe Ruth did not hit his first home run of the spring until after the team had left Florida, and was beginning the road north in Savannah.

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Amid much press attention, Babe Ruth played his first home game in Boston in over 16 years.

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Babe Ruth had two hits in the second game of the season, but it quickly went downhill both for him and the Braves from there.

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Babe Ruth's conditioning had become so poor that he could barely trot around the bases.

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Babe Ruth made so many errors that three Braves pitchers told McKechnie they would not take the mound if he was in the lineup.

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Babe Ruth grew increasingly annoyed that McKechnie ignored most of his advice.

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McKechnie later said that Babe Ruth's presence made enforcing discipline nearly impossible.

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Babe Ruth soon realized that Fuchs had deceived him, and had no intention of making him manager or giving him any significant off-field duties.

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Babe Ruth later said his only duties as vice president consisted of making public appearances and autographing tickets.

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Babe Ruth found out that far from giving him a share of the profits, Fuchs wanted him to invest some of his money in the team in a last-ditch effort to improve its balance sheet.

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Ultimately, Fuchs persuaded Babe Ruth to remain at least until after the Memorial Day doubleheader in Philadelphia.

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Babe Ruth played in the third game of the Pittsburgh series on May 25, 1935, and added one more tale to his playing legend.

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The final home run, both of the game and of Babe Ruth's career, sailed out of the park over the right field upper deck–the first time anyone had hit a fair ball completely out of Forbes Field.

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Babe Ruth was urged to make this his last game, but he had given his word to Fuchs and played in Cincinnati and Philadelphia.

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Babe Ruth still hoped to be hired as a manager if he could not play anymore, but only one managerial position, Cleveland, became available between Babe Ruth's retirement and the end of the 1937 season.

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Babe Ruth played much golf and in a few exhibition baseball games, where he demonstrated a continuing ability to draw large crowds.

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When Babe Ruth was hired, Brooklyn general manager Larry MacPhail made it clear that Babe Ruth would not be considered for the manager's job if, as expected, Burleigh Grimes retired at the end of the season.

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Babe Ruth often took batting practice before games and felt that he could take on the limited role.

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Babe Ruth got along well with everyone except team captain Leo Durocher, who was hired as Grimes' replacement at season's end.

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Babe Ruth then left his job as a first base coach and would never again work in any capacity in the game of baseball.

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On July 4, 1939, Babe Ruth spoke on Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium as members of the 1927 Yankees and a sellout crowd turned out to honor the first baseman, who was forced into premature retirement by ALS, which would kill him two years later.

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The next week, Babe Ruth went to Cooperstown, New York, for the formal opening of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Babe Ruth hit a long fly ball off Walter Johnson; the blast left the field, curving foul, but Ruth circled the bases anyway.

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Babe Ruth started playing golf when he was 20 and continued playing the game throughout his life.

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Babe Ruth met Helen Woodford, by some accounts, in a coffee shop in Boston, where she was a waitress.

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Babe Ruth was enjoined from any action or misbehavior that would compromise his ability to play baseball.

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In 1946, Babe Ruth began experiencing severe pain over his left eye and had difficulty swallowing.

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In November 1946, Babe Ruth entered French Hospital in New York for tests, which revealed that he had an inoperable malignant tumor at the base of his skull and in his neck.

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Babe Ruth returned to New York and Yankee Stadium after the season started.

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The doctors had not told Babe Ruth he had cancer because of his family's fear that he might do himself harm.

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Babe Ruth showed dramatic improvement during the summer of 1947, so much so that his case was presented by his doctors at a scientific meeting, without using his name.

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Babe Ruth was able to travel around the country, doing promotional work for the Ford Motor Company on American Legion Baseball.

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Babe Ruth traveled to California to witness the filming of the movie based on the book.

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Babe Ruth made one final trip on behalf of American Legion Baseball, then entered Memorial Hospital, where he would die.

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Babe Ruth was able to leave the hospital for a few short trips, including a final visit to Baltimore.

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Babe Ruth had been such a big man and his arms were just skinny little bones, and his face was so haggard", Frick said years later.

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Babe Ruth rests with his second wife, Claire, on a hillside in Section 25 at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York.

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Yankee Stadium, "the House that Babe Ruth Built", was replaced after the 2008 season with a new Yankee Stadium across the street from the old one; Monument Park was moved to the new venue behind the center field fence.

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Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum is located at 216 Emory Street, a Baltimore row house where Ruth was born, and three blocks west of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, where the AL's Baltimore Orioles play.

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Babe Ruth was the first baseball star to be the subject of overwhelming public adulation.

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Babe Ruth's biographers agreed that he benefited from the timing of his ascension to "Home Run King".

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Babe Ruth resonated in a country which felt, in the aftermath of the war, that it took second place to no one.

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Montville argued that Babe Ruth was a larger-than-life figure who was capable of unprecedented athletic feats in the nation's largest city.

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Babe Ruth became an icon of the social changes that marked the early 1920s.

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Babe Ruth replied that he hoped "every Jap that mention[ed] my name gets shot".

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Creamer recorded that "Babe Ruth transcended sport and moved far beyond the artificial limits of baselines and outfield fences and sports pages".

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Babe Ruth appeared to exemplify the American success story, that even an uneducated, unsophisticated youth, without any family wealth or connections, can do something better than anyone else in the world.

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Reisler states that recent sluggers who surpassed Babe Ruth's 60-home run mark, such as Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds, generated much less excitement than when Babe Ruth repeatedly broke the single-season home run record in the 1920s.

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Babe Ruth dominated a relatively small sports world, while Americans of the present era have many sports available to watch.

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Babe Ruth entered the language: a dominant figure in a field, whether within or outside sports, is often referred to as "the Babe Ruth" of that field.

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Babe Ruth was the first athlete to make more money from endorsements and other off-the-field activities than from his sport.

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Montville suggested that Babe Ruth is probably even more popular today than he was when his career home run record was broken by Aaron.

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In various surveys and rankings, Babe Ruth has been named the greatest baseball player of all time.

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Babe Ruth was named baseball's Greatest Player Ever in a ballot commemorating the 100th anniversary of professional baseball in 1969.

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Babe Ruth's died in 1904 and the bar was first marketed in 1921, at the height of the craze over Ruth.

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Babe Ruth later sought to market candy bearing his name; he was refused a trademark because of the Baby Ruth bar.

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The Babe Ruth estate licensed his likeness for use in an advertising campaign for Baby Babe Ruth in 1995.

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In 2005, the Baby Babe Ruth bar became the official candy bar of Major League Baseball in a marketing arrangement.

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Babe Ruth is a bombastic, sloppy hero from our bombastic, sloppy history, origins undetermined, a folk tale of American success.

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Babe Ruth stands at the heart of the game he played, the promise of a warm summer night, a bag of peanuts, and a beer.

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