Babe Ruth may no longer be with us but his achievements, like 60 homes runs in a single season, 714 home runs in his entire career and his seven World Series championships have immortalized him in the sports world. Here are 10 reasons why Babe Ruth is so THE MAN!
Despite his popularity, no one really knows a lot about his early life. So he is essentially a mystery. We do know that he believed he was born on Feb. 7th, 1894 but later learned it was February 6th, 1895, although biographers had disputed this. There's virtually no info on his mother or siblings or dad, except that the latter was killed during a dispute with his 2nd wife's brother.
He Was A Tough Cookie
His partying lifestyle caught up to him in 1925 during a game. He began feeling feverish and developed horrible cramps. But he kept on playing. Then while on a train ride he collapsed and hit his head. Rumors about his illness went as far as claiming that he had contracted syphilis, which didn't surprise anyone given that he was popular with LOTS of ladies.
The Legendary Home Runs
Ruth is known for having hit an estimated 714 home runs but if you include the number of home runs he hit while barnstorming in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, the estimate would likely be close to 1,031, including the longest home run ever of a 180 meters.
He Was Bilingual
Both his parents had German ancestry so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he picked up the language when he was a child. He even butted into a conversation between Lou Gehrig and baseball historian Fred Lieb and started talking in German!
He Wasn't An Orphan
Ruth attended the St. Mary's Industrial School for Orphans, Delinquent, Incorrigible and Wayward Boys In Baltimore. But he was allegedly taken there by authorities after they found his living arrangements to be unsuitable. He was also a known trouble maker and some accounts suggest his father sent him there. Ironically, it was through the school that he discovered his love for Baseball.
He Loved Giving Back
Ruth was charitable with the money he earned. He donated to the American Legion Crippled Children's Hospital in Florida, orphanages and even lent a hand to the Red Cross when injured WWII soldiers returned.
Ruth came up with the first sports agent whose name was Christy Walsh and handled all of his finances, contract negotiations and public relations. He was also the first sports star to hire a personal trainer in 1925 to fully recover after being hospitalized that year.
Touring In Japan
1934 was a pretty sticky time for a baseball star to visit Japan, especially considering that relations between them and the U.S. were not so cozy. But it was a goodwill tour after all and thousands of fans gathered to worship the amazing baseball player. Eiji Sawamura's career soared after meeting Babe Ruth and in a twist, striking him out. This launched his career as a pitcher until his death in WWII.
He Supported African-Americans
Unlike another baseball star named Ty Cobb, who was quite racist, Babe Ruth played with other African-American baseball players and attended fundraisers by black churches. He even invited Bill Robinson (aka Bojangles), a famous black entertainer to the Yankees clubhouse. He was also suspended when he defied a ban to play exhibition games against teams from the Negro League.
He Was A Willing Guinea Pig
Babe Ruth was one of the first people to undergo chemotherapy and even took an experimental anti-cancer drug called Teropterin, which had only been tested on rodents. Unfortunately, the experimental drug only improved his condition temporarily and he eventually died at 53 from throat cancer.