The Babe began in the Majors 100 years ago today
On July 11, 1914 the “Sultan of Swat”, “King of Crash”, “Colossus of Clout”, “Bambino” or whatever you want to call him, George Herman (Babe) Ruth entered Major League Baseball as a 19-year old left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox.
Over the course of his 22-year career, Ruth became a solid pitcher in the late 1910’s, began a chain-reaction of misfortune that defied belief (The Curse of the Bambino), became the game’s all-time & single-season home run leader at the time and was one of the first nine players elected to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
As a pitcher, Ruth averaged 20 wins from 1915-1918 against only 10 losses while the Red Sox won three World Series titles out those four years (’15, ’16 & ’18), making them one of the best teams in the Major Leagues at the start of the 20th century.
But Boston’s glory days ended with the decision of one man, Harry Frazee, the infamous Red Sox owner who sold Ruth to the New York Yankees.
Beginning in 1923, the Yankees would become the most successful franchise, in any sport, for almost 100 years, winning 27 world championships over the course of 86 years (1923-2009). On the contrary, the Red Sox would suffer one of the most historical droughts in sports history: “The Curse of the Bambino” over the course of 86 years (1918-2004).
It may sound preposterous that such a shift in fortune for two teams can all start with one player, but when you hit more home runs single-handedly in one season than over half the team combined, you start to wonder just how talented a human being can be at performing such a task like hitting home runs.
In 1927, Ruth hit 60 home runs; a record that would stand for 36 years. After he hit his 60th Ruth said, ” “Sixty! Let’s see some son of a gun try to top that one”. After Ruth retired in 1935, he had hit 714 career home runs which wouldn’t be broken until 1974.
In 1936, Ruth was one of the first nine members inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Today marks a special day in the minds of the baseball community: the centennial of one of the game’s greatest stars embarking on an illustrious journey to Cooperstown.