George Herman Ruth Jr., popularly known as Babe Ruth, was born on February 6, 1895. He was an American professional baseball player who is still relevant to the sport a century later. Ruth was a pitcher but rose to fame as an outfielder for the New York Yankees. His professional career in Major League Baseball lasted 22 seasons and he’s considered one of the greatest baseball players of all time. His skill, charisma, and personality on and off the pitch were exemplary, hence the reason we’re celebrating his special day.
George Herman Ruth Jr.
Babe Ruth, The Bambino, The Sultan of Swat.
February 6, 1895
August 16, 1948 (age 53)
George Herman Ruth Jr. was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on February 6, 1895. His parents — Katherine and George Sr. — were both German so Ruth could speak the language. Ruth was an Aquarius and had seven siblings, but only one survived infancy. Ruth attended St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys where he was mentored by Brother Matthias Boutilier. This is where he became a shirtmaker and a carpenter. Soon after, at the age of 12, Ruth’s mother died and he left St. Mary’s to attend the funeral. By 1912, he had started playing baseball. He played about 200 games a year while at St. Mary’s and gained ground as a pitcher. By 1913, when he turned 18, he began to play outside the school.
Ruth’s Minor League Baseball career began in 1914 when he signed a contract with Jack Dunn to join the minor league “Baltimore Orioles.” He made his first appearance as a pro baseball player on March 7, 1914, and was soon sold to the Red Sox the same year. He won his first game as a Red Sox pitcher by July. His talent on the pitch was visible, and he received a raise. In 1916, Ruth started gaining even more attention for his record-setting pitching, and by December 1919, Ruth had joined the Yankees. The deal concerning this transfer was announced in January 1920.
Ruth transitioned to an outfielder in 1920, and his 15-season Yankee career featured over 2,000 games, new records, seven American League pennants, and four World Series championships. He hit 714 home runs in his career and set a record. This record was later broken by Hank Aaron. As an exceptional baseball player, Ruth married his first wife, Helen Woodford, on October 17, 1914. The couple adopted a daughter before separating in 1925. In 1929 after Woodford’s death, Ruth got married for the second and final time to Claire Hodgson. The couple adopted their daughter, Julia. The star athlete became ill with cancer in 1946 and died in 1948.
He signs a professional baseball contract and joins the minor league team.
Frazee sells Ruth’s contract of $27,000 to the New York Yankees.
Ruth hits the first home run at Yankee Stadium after its completion — the stadium is renamed “The House that Ruth built.”
Ruth plays his last season with the New York Yankees and he retires the following year.
Ruth is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as one of its “first five” inaugural members.
Why We Love Babe Ruth
He was generous
Once Ruth made it in baseball, he returned to his childhood school, St. Mary’s, and made donations. He even bought a Cadillac for his mentor.
He fell and got back up
Ruth weighed 260 pounds in 1925 because of his vices and had collapsed twice. He spent the offseason working out, and he got back into shape.
He was a great Pitcher and an outfielder
Ruth was phenomenal in any position. He was a well-rounded athlete.
5 Surprising Facts
He kept his promise to Johnny Sylvester
Ruth promised a hospitalized 11-year-old boy, Sylvester, a home run on his behalf — he delivered on that promise.
He didn’t retire as a Yankee
Before his retirement, Ruth signed with the Boston Braves, hoping to manage the team — he retired after 22 games with the team.
He believed he was older
Ruth believed he was a year older than he was for most of his life — he thought he was born in 1894 and was surprised to see 1895 on his birth certificate.
His first wife died tragically
After their separation, Woodford died in a house fire in 1929.
He loved hotdogs
Aside from enjoying a hearty breakfast, Ruth loved hotdogs and ate them often.
Babe Ruth FAQs
How old would Babe Ruth be today?
Ruth would be 127 years in 2022 if he was alive today.
What were Babe Ruth’s last words?
Reports show that his last words were “I’m going over the valley.”
What was Babe Ruth’s favorite meal?
Ruth would often eat a large breakfast meal that included half a dozen eggs, potatoes, and a porterhouse steak. He drank ginger ale and bourbon to wash this down.
Babe Ruth’s birthday dates