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  • Babe Ruth question

    when he was primarily a pitcher did he always bat 9th, or was he put elsewhere?
    "Batting stats and pitching stats do not indicate the quality of play, merely which part of that struggle is dominant at the moment."

    -Bill James

  • #2
    Originally posted by sturg1dj View Post
    when he was primarily a pitcher did he always bat 9th, or was he put elsewhere?

    I have a good number of game recaps, accounts of games when he played as a pitcher only 1914-1917 but not many box scores that would show the batting order. I would have to think that up till 1916 he was most likely in the 9th position batting as he pitched. My hunch, that some where in the 1917 season although he pitched only he may have appeared further up in the batting order, his power was becoming evident enough to put him more in the middle of the batting order.

    For sure in the years he did some playing first base, outfield and pitched 1918-1919 I am sure even in some games where he pitched he batted further up in the line up.
    Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 03-14-2008, 07:26 PM.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by sturg1dj View Post
      when he was primarily a pitcher did he always bat 9th, or was he put elsewhere?


      In August of 1915, Paul Eaton wrote the following in two Sporting Life articles, a week apart.

      "Ruth appears to be one of the best natural sluggers ever in the game, and might even be more valuable in some regular position than he is on the slab - a free suggestion for Manager Carrigan."

      "...Ruth would be a valuable asset if he could be fitted in somewhere as a regular. This pitcher is the most natural batsman who has broken into the game since Ty Cobb."


      Carrigan, and Barry in '17, were pretty traditional managers. When not pitching, Ruth pinch hit here and there, but while he was on the mound he always batted ninth in the order. Knowing of Ruth's hitterish desires, perhaps Carrigan was guarding against let-up on the mound. Keeping Ruth ninth when pitching was the right thing to do imo.

      Anyway, the first time he appeared in the lineup at a spot other than pitcher, was on May 6, 1918 when he filled in at first for an injured Dick Hoblitzell. Barrow had him batting sixth and just like he had done a game earlier, he homered.

      The next game he was back at first base but this time hit cleanup and homered again. This one came against Big Train and is the famous "war garden" shot in Washington.

      The next game he was still at first and batting cleanup, double off the scoreboard.

      He pitched the next day and still hit cleanup. He went 5-5 with three doubles, a triple, and a single but never came to bat with a runner in scoring position. He pitched 9.2 innings and gave up 2 earned but took the loss.

      The next game he started in left field and played well in the field but went 0-5to end a 10 game hitting streak.

      He was back at first the next day and went 3-4 with a long double against the wind that reportedly would have been out otherwise.

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