A dominant figure both on and off the field, a charismatic and athletic Babe Ruth made Americans fall in love with baseball. Newspapers covered his every move, his games were broadcast, and he appeared in advertisements and movies. He lived the life of a modern celebrity.
Ruth still resonates nearly a century later, evidenced by Americans recently voting him as the second greatest sports star of all time, sandwiched between Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali. The Bambino played 22 seasons and blasted 714 home runs, a record that would stand for 39 years. Before Ruth's 714, the home run record was 138.
The Sultan of Swat was born George Herman Ruth, Jr. in Baltimore, Maryland on February 6, 1895. Deemed "incorrigible" at age seven he was sent to St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys, a reformatory and orphanage where he would learn to play baseball.
Ruth began his Major League career with the Boston Red Sox as a lefty hurler who won 89 games in six years while setting the World Series record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched. But Ruth's contract would be sold in 1919 to the New York Yankees, who made him a fulltime outfielder because of his power, a move that led to him amassing numbers thought to be impossible.
A 7-time World Series champion, Babe Ruth was inducted in to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in the inaugural election of 1936, just one year after his retirement.