Ruth, George Herman
Area of Achievement: Athletic
American professional baseball
player, born in Baltimore, Md., and educated at Saint Mary's
Industrial School in that city. Ruth was one of the most phenomenally
gifted and popular players in the history of baseball. He
began his career in 1914 as a left-handed pitcher for the
Baltimore team of the International League.
Later in the same year he
played for the Providence team of the International League
and then became a member of the Boston Red Sox of the American
League. He pitched for Boston until the 1919 season, when
his unusual ability as a batter and fielder caused the Boston
management to convert him into an outfielder.
From 1920 to 1935 he played
the outfield for the New York Yankees of the American League.
In 1935 he became vice-president of the Boston Braves of the
National League and played a number of games as an outfielder.
Three years later he was a coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers
of the National League. Ruth was one of the best left-handed
pitchers the game has ever known; he played in 163 games as
a pitcher, winning 92 and losing 44, for a percentage of .676.
From 1919 to the end of his
career he was the outstand ing outfielder of his time and
one of the best in baseball history. He was particularly noted
as a home-run hitter. In 1927 he hit 60 home runs in 154 games,
a major league record that stood until 1961, when Roger Maris,
another American League player, hit 61 home runs in the expanded
Ruth led the American League
in home runs in ten seasons and tied for the home-run hitting
championship in two seasons. His lifetime record of 714 home
runs in regular-season play was broken by Hank Aaron in 1974.
In his major league career of 22 years, Ruth played in 2503
games and had a lifetime batting average of .342. He was elected
to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.
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