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*Babe Ruth Thread*

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  • And let's not forget the good Brothers of St. Xavier at St. Mary's who considered sports the eighth sacrament and baseball specifically as its liturgical component. Lee Montville wrote that Ruth was playing 200 games a year by the time he left St. Mary's. According to Smelser St. Mary's had 44 uniformed teams playing in the big and little yards (they made their own uniforms). I love that story about knowing when Ruth was at bat in the big yard. Play was temporarily suspended in the little yard so that the players could turn around and look and thus avoid being walloped by one of Ruth's blasts. And of course, it was Brother Matthias who hit those high arching fungos to Ruth and whom he eventually emulated.
    Below you'll note the left handed catcher (in play he'd wear that mitt on his right hand) and a young Babe Ruth in 1902 at age seven already playing the game.

    Babe Ruth - St. Mary's Industrial School Catcher.jpgBabe Ruth 1902.JPG
    Last edited by Badge714; 02-21-2015, 06:32 AM.
    ". . . the Ruth, the whole Ruth and nothing but the Ruth . . ."

    Comment


    • As of 1996 Ruth held these Red Sox records for left-handed pitchers. And he still has the best lifetime winning percentage against the New York Yankees (minimum 20 decisions), 17-5, .773.

      Babe Ruth Red Sox Records as of 1996.jpg




      Originally posted by four tool View Post
      he won 94 (more or less) as a pitcher, so 300 would be within reach.
      ". . . the Ruth, the whole Ruth and nothing but the Ruth . . ."

      Comment


      • One of the playing fields at St. Mary's.
        Also one of my favorite quotes about the Bam, tells the whole story.
        Attached Files

        Comment


        • Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
          Thats not the point I was making in my previous post.
          You pointed out that Ruth led the league in strikeouts 5 times and had the most career strikeouts at that time.
          What I said was that had much to do with Ruth playing longball in a period in the game that was mostly contact and that Foxx did the same, free swinger, lots of strikeouts.

          So you would give Ruth maybe 45 in todays game but Schmidt 60 in Ruth's time.
          What your saying is that Schmidt is the more proficient home run hitter, if they switched time periods.
          Are you going to try and sell that one,
          I'm not saying Schmidt is better , I don't know that and as for giving schmidt 60 Hr it's just a referance. If 60 HR is the standard than Schmidt would be somewhere in that range plus or minus a few just, and I believe if 35-50 is the standard Ruth would be in that area plus or minus a few. Rising tide lifts all boats if Ruth were to play the 2015 season he very well may win MVP , but his numbers would be in line with the standards of this era. He would not hit .350 and 50 plus HR only fanning 70 times.
          Last edited by carsdaddy; 03-03-2015, 04:23 AM.

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          • Below is a box score from the school paper of the St. Mary's Industrial School, the Saturday Evening Star. The year is 1912 when Ruth was 17 years of age. The White Sox beat the Pirates 4-3. In this game he caught, played third base and pitched. In five at bats he doubled, tripled, and homered. As a pitcher he struck out 6 and walked 2. He had nine assists in errorless play in the field. The narrative below the box score states that the White Sox were undefeated for the year. Their schedule included many high school and athletic-club teams. My apologies if this has been posted before. I don't recall an earlier box score with Ruth in the line up. I found the info in Martin Weldon's Babe Ruth which was published the year of Ruth's death, 1948. Weldon also wrote that in the year 1919 Ruth homered in every American League park, something that had never been done before.

            P1020637.jpg
            ". . . the Ruth, the whole Ruth and nothing but the Ruth . . ."

            Comment


            • Originally posted by four tool View Post
              he won 94 (more or less) as a pitcher, so 300 would be within reach.
              A long, long shot.

              Ruth had 67 wins through age 22. There have been 24 pitchers who had more wins than that at age 22. Some had a LOT more wins than 67 at age 22. Of those 24, only 2 (or 8%) actually got to 300. In fact, many never reached 200!


              Realistically, given Ruth's propensity to party and gain weight, my guess is that as a pitcher, he probably is struggling by age 30, if not before then. It's hard to say whether Ruth's temperament would enable him to play as a #3 or #4 pitcher on teams.

              Thus, 180-220 career wins isn't a bad estimate, imo, given his raw talent. But you don't reach 300 wins on raw talent. There's a lot of work to make changes as you lose physical strength, stamina and speed, and those that are unwilling to make those changes suffer the most.


              Career wise and fame wise, everyone made the right choice for Ruth to swap to hitting.
              Last edited by drstrangelove; 03-01-2015, 05:10 PM.
              "It's better to look good, than be good."

              Comment


              • My point, he was still developing on the mound, and well on his way to a great pitching career. We'll never know for sure, but let's not argue over, again, the meaningless 300 number. I don't put importance on "milestones."
                I think this an accurate assessment. There's simply no telling about what would have happened. I think he was on a Hall-of-Fame trajectory as a pitcher. And you're right about Ruth's motivation to improve by physical conditioning. He proved this at Artie McGovern's gym. He was in a tail spin and pulled out. That '25 season could have destroyed a lesser man. Ruth was about as low as a man could be. But somehow he tapped into some great reserve of deviant resiliency. Lest we forget he averaged 50 home runs per season from 1926 thru 1931 (47-60-54-46-49-46). Of course he led the league in slugging each of those years also. And on longevity: Smelser (1974) "Through 1973 only sixty-three players, of ten thousand, have lasted twenty seasons, and twenty of them were pitchers. Of the men on major-league rosters in 1915, Ruth's first full season, only three played after 1934 and none after 1935. Ruth turns out to have been one of the most toughly knit of all. Whatever his early gluttonous excesses, they didn't shorten his playing life."
                ". . . the Ruth, the whole Ruth and nothing but the Ruth . . ."

                Comment


                • Originally posted by Badge714 View Post
                  I think this an accurate assessment. There's simply no telling about what would have happened. I think he was on a Hall-of-Fame trajectory as a pitcher. And you're right about Ruth's motivation to improve by physical conditioning. He proved this at Artie McGovern's gym. He was in a tail spin and pulled out. That '25 season could have destroyed a lesser man. Ruth was about as low as a man could be. But somehow he tapped into some great reserve of deviant resiliency. Lest we forget he averaged 50 home runs per season from 1926 thru 1931 (47-60-54-46-49-46). Of course he led the league in slugging each of those years also. And on longevity: Smelser (1974) "Through 1973 only sixty-three players, of ten thousand, have lasted twenty seasons, and twenty of them were pitchers. Of the men on major-league rosters in 1915, Ruth's first full season, only three played after 1934 and none after 1935. Ruth turns out to have been one of the most toughly knit of all. Whatever his early gluttonous excesses, they didn't shorten his playing life."
                  Too many think of Babe as an athlete not in the best of shape.
                  Don't judge him by his physical appearance.
                  Sure there were times when he carried too many pounds, his going on a conditioning program was a wise choice.

                  From 1900-1950 there were only six players who played more than his 2503 games.
                  Only six others reached 2500 games.

                  I think the notion that his condition would not permit him to last long enough to reach 300 wins is wrong.
                  With that said, no way to know if he reaches 300 but it doesn't seem like it's stretch to believe it was possible.

                  Comment


                  • Per BBR, here are the players with the most HRS through their age 25 seasons, along with Ruth's total(not sure where he ranked)

                    Rodriquez....241
                    Foxx...........222
                    E Mathews...222
                    Ott.............211
                    Mantle........207
                    F Robinson..202
                    Pujols.........201
                    Cepeda.......191
                    Griffey.........189
                    A. Jones......185
                    Ruth............49

                    HRs through age 30........... % of career HRS through this season
                    A-rod...........464......................n.a.
                    Griffey..........438......................69.5%
                    Foxx.............429......................80.3
                    Pujols...........408.......................n.a
                    Mantle..........404.......................75.3
                    Mathews........399......................77.9
                    F Robinson.....373.....................63.6
                    Ott...............369......................72.2
                    A Jones.........368......................84.7
                    Aaron............366.....................48.4
                    Ruth..............309.....................43.2

                    Now granted, pitching is a whole different ballgame. Pitchers were abused in Ruth's day. They didn't have pitch counts. Guys like Walsh and Chesbro were pitched way too often and they fried their arms. But given his terrible start on HRS, what were the odds that anybody would hit 700+, given his start? Heck, what were the odds that anybody would hit 500 with where he was at through age 25, or even age 30?

                    They shattered the mold when they made the Bambino.
                    Last edited by pheasant; 03-02-2015, 03:13 PM.

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                    • The Boy Scouts book called Boys' Life (June 1927).

                      Boys Life June 1927 pg 11.jpg


                      Boys Life June 1927 pg 39.jpg


                      Boys Life June 1927 pg 40.jpg
                      Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 03-03-2015, 01:57 PM.
                      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                      Comment


                      • Thanks, Good stuff Honus. I liked the part about how obliging Ruth was, even when he was dead tired and in need of rest and sleep. The guy had a rugged constitution and a gizzard like a cement mixer. I can't even imagine what it was like to be Babe Ruth. His schedule would kill me. I remember his sister saying that she doubted if Ruth ever had a decent night's sleep during his whole career. Some of those accounts of all night benders are no doubt exaggerated but there are way too many accounts of his performing at peak performance after a night out to dismiss those stories out of hand. Lesser mortals would have been less than agreeable under such circumstances, but the Babe seemed to be the very model of equanimity.
                        Last edited by Badge714; 03-02-2015, 07:37 PM.
                        ". . . the Ruth, the whole Ruth and nothing but the Ruth . . ."

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by Badge714 View Post
                          Thanks, Good stuff Honus. I liked the part about how obliging Ruth was, even when he was dead tired and in need of rest and sleep. The guy had a rugged constitution and a gizzard like a cement mixer. I can't even imagine what it was like to be Babe Ruth. His schedule would kill me. I remember his sister saying that she doubted if Ruth ever had a decent night's sleep during his whole career. Some of those accounts of all night benders are no doubt exaggerated but there are way too many accounts of his performing at peak performance after a night out to dismiss those stories out of hand. Lesser mortals would have been less than agreeable under such circumstances, but the Babe seemed to be the very model of equanimity.
                          Seems like the casual fan and even some that know something about the game and it's history have it all wrong when it comes to Babe.
                          Forget that he at times carried more weight than he should have. Also most of those home run trots we see over and over and over were in late career.
                          Thats what leads many to believe, big strong guy, not much of an athlete.
                          Just the opposite, teammates often spoke about his power of recovery. Stay out half the night, came to the park ready to play and so often punish the opposing pitcher. Also his recovery time when injured, he was a far better physical specimen then the public's perception of him..

                          This is from April 1930, Lefty Grove pitching. This would have given Babe the most career home runs off of Grove 10, tied with Gehrig and Greenberg with 9 each.
                          What were the odds, "again" in September 1930, his drive clears the wall at Shibe, strikes speaker support, only a double.
                          He ended the year with 49 homers, losing those two cost him another 50 homer season. He would have had the most 50 homer seasons with 5 seasons.
                          Later ground rule changed, any ball clearing wall, striking speaker supports, ground rule home run.
                          Attached Files

                          Comment


                          • This morning while researching newspaper archives I ran across the following in the "Appleton Post Crescent" for October 1, 1927, Page Twelve: "Billy Evans, famous ump and sports writer, claims rules lost Babe at least 10 more (home runs) this year. Formerly when a ball was hit out of the park if it was fair when it went over the fence, it was fair. Now it must be fair when it disappears from view behind the fence." Interesting stuff. This Billy Evans was the third umpire elected to the Hall of Fame in 1973. I think him a creditable source. Of course, Ruth hit sixty in '27 according to the record book, and not 70 as Evans suggested under the then existing rule. I was a bit skeptical of Jenkinson's assertion that Ruth lost at least 50 and as many as 78 in his career due to this rule. Now, I'm not so sure.

                            Re: Billy Evans -

                            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Evans
                            ". . . the Ruth, the whole Ruth and nothing but the Ruth . . ."

                            Comment


                            • Fat guys can't pitch well for long. David Wells, Fat Freddie, that Lolich guy and Rick Rueschel never happened...


                              Plus Ruth was buildt like a tank, and moved around in rf well for Years. C' mon. I don't ' see ' 300 wins for Ruth, but then I never saw 300 wins for Big Unit either--later start only reason--so there you go. Maybe he could have.
                              Last edited by Bucketfoot; 03-03-2015, 03:35 PM.

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Bucketfoot View Post
                                Fat guys can't pitch well for long. David Wells, Fat Freddie, that Lolich guy and Rick Rueschel never happened...
                                And this guy never won an American League Cy Young award.

                                Bartolo Colon.jpg...Bartolo Colon 1.jpg
                                Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                                Comment

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