Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth

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"The only real game, I think, in the world is baseball". This is a quote from Babe Ruth. Baseball wouldn't be what it is today if it weren't for him. People remember him as the greatest baseball player ever. This is what led me to read the book, Heroes of America, Babe Ruth, by Len Canter.

George Herman Ruth was born on February 6, 1895, at his grandparent's home in Baltimore, Maryland. He was born to Katherine and George Ruth, Sr. He was the first born of eight children, but only his sister, Mamie, and he survived to live full lives.

Growing up, George had a wild childhood. His parents owned a tavern, which they lived above, and they were rarely around to give George the guidance a small child needs. George felt little love from his parents. He came from a poor family and sometimes didn't even know where his next meal was coming from.

As a child, with no supervision, George ran the streets of Baltimore basically doing anything he wanted. He was always in trouble for something. By the time he was seven years old, he was chewing tobacco, drinking alcohol, steeling, and skipping school.

His parents were fed up with him and realized they had to do something to straighten him out. On June 13, 1902, his father took him to St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys. This was a reformatory and an orphanage. His father signed over custody to the Brothers, who were the Missionaries that ran the school.

George spent 12 years at the school and only saw his parents on a few occasions when he was sent home. Each time he was allowed to go home, he would get into trouble and his parents would send him right back to the school. Life was not easy for George at the school because he was labeled as an uncontrolled child. The only good thing that came from it was meeting Brother Mathias. He was someone that George admired and respected. He spent a lot of time with George and he had a big influence in his life. He spent hour after hour teaching him how to play baseball, as well as, the great love for children. George considered Brother Mathias "the greatest man he had ever known".

During his years at St.

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Mary's, he played baseball for the school league. He played all positions. He was an excellent pitcher and a great hitter. When George was 19 years old, Jack Dunn, the manager of the Baltimore Orioles, offered him his first professional baseball contract. He was so excited to be playing ball and to get paid for it at the same time. On February 27, 1914, he left St. Mary's to play in the minor leagues.

On his first day of spring training, with the Orioles, he was referred to as "Jack's newest babe". This was the beginning of his career as "Babe Ruth". During the season that Ruth was with the Orioles he pitched and hit very well. Ruth's career was off to a good start. Jack Dunn knew he had a star on his hands and he wanted Ruth to know that he was appreciated so he raised his salary not once, but twice. By June of 1914 Ruth was earning over $1,200 per month. Ruth thought this was a lot of money.

In July of 1914, The Boston Red Sox purchased Babe Ruth's contract for $8,500. Although Ruth was sad to be leaving the Orioles, he knew that things would only get better for him. At the age of 19, he became a major leaguer.

On July 11, 1914 he made his debut as a major leaguer at Fenway Park. For the next six years, he pitched and played the outfield for the Red Sox. In 1915, he hit his first home run in the major's. In 1916, Ruth won the first World Series pitching victory. In 1918 Ruth set a new World Series Pitching record with 29 2/3 scoreless innings. During Ruth's time with the Red Sox, they won four World Series Titles in a row.

Babe Ruth's last season with the Boston Red Sox, in 1919, ended with a poor finish. Owner Harry Frazee blamed Babe for Boston's poor season. Frazee liked to produce Broadway shows, so in order to produce another Broadway production, he made a deal with the New York Yankee's for Babe Ruth's contract. He ended up selling the Babe for $100,000 in cash and a $350,000 loan to finance his production.

After the sale of Ruth to the Yankee's, Boston wouldn't win another World Series Title until 2004. Throughout the years, fans of the Red Sox would refer to this terrible deal as the "Curse of the Bambino". As much as this was considered a curse on Boston, it was more of a blessing for the New York Yankee's.

Almost immediately, Ruth became adored by New York fans. Ruth was one of the most feared batters in the game. Ruth drew some of the biggest crowds in history. When Yankee Stadium was rebuilt in 1923, it was called "The House that Ruth Built". In 1921 he set a new career-high single season home run record with 59. Babe broke his own record with 60 home runs in 1927. This record stood for 34 years. Ruth was the highest paid baseball player of his time, and he made more money than President Herbert Hoover in 1930. In 1934, he hit his 700th career home run. Ruth's incredible home run hitting earned him the nickname "The Sultan of Swat".

Babe Ruth had his best baseball moments with the New York Yankee's.
During his 14-year career with the Yankee's, they won seven Penants and four World Championships. The New York Yankees were considered to be one of the best baseball dynasties of its time.

Throughout Ruth's baseball career, he wanted to become a manager for major leagues, which never really happened for him. However, he ended up being a first base coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the season of 1938. This was the end of Babe's legendary baseball career.

In 1936 Babe Ruth was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Babe's last appearance at Yankee Stadium was in June of 1948, which was the day his uniform #3 was retired. Two months later, Ruth passed away. His body was placed at the entrance of Yankee Stadium where over 100,000 people came to pay their respects. He was buried at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery In Hawthorne, New York.

Although Babe Ruth was considered a baseball legend, he was loved for his work off the field as well. His greatest passion was his love for children. He would do whatever he could to help those in need. He visited many children's hospitals and orphanages, and was very generous to St. Mary's Industrial School, where he was raised.

As for Ruth's personal life, he was married twice and had two adopted children. He married his first wife, Helen, in 1919 and adopted his first child, Dorothy. When Helen passed away in 1929, Babe married his second wife, Claire, and adopted her daughter Julia. Throughout his life Babe had addictions to alcohol and food. He never really solved these problems, but eventually found a way to keep them under control.

Heroes of America, Babe Ruth was an interesting book to read. It tells all of the facts about Babe Ruth's life and how he worked and played hard to become the superstar he is considered to be. I think this would be a good book for anyone to read. Especially someone my age, who enjoys playing baseball, and has dreams of making it big. Like Babe Ruth said, "Never let the fear of striking out get in your way".

No other player in the history of baseball has ever reached the mythic status of Babe Ruth. Now that you have read about George Herman Ruth's upbringing, his 24-year baseball career, the charitable things he did for the love of children, and all of the things he was honored for, you can see how he was one of the most gifted and popular players in the history of baseball. He is "An American Legend".
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