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*Babe Ruth Thread*

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  • Originally posted by SHOELESSJOE3 View Post
    I don't think there is any doubt, that at the least Babe hit as many long ones, and as far as any hitter in the game.
    When they double decked Comiskey over the winter of 1926, Charles Comiskey commented, no one is going to hit one out of here now.
    Didn't take Babe long, first season of the the change, August 1927 he cleared the 50+ foot roof.
    Old, tired and worn out and he clears the roof at Forbes Field, 1935.

    Out of the game 3 years 1938 and 43 years old, heavier and out of shape. He wins a long distance hitting contest at Sportsmans Park against 3 of the National League heaviest hitters, still active and in their prime.
    Some numbers of those three hitters, two years before and after that 1938 contest.

    I could only come to one conclusion. There have been great hitters and great sluggers.
    Babe just happened to be the best combination of both, great eye, reflexes, strength and knowing the art of hitting.
    If there was no written word of what he did, I would have diffficulty believing any one player could have done what he did hitting and far better than average pitcher as a pitcher only 1915-16-17.
    Most of what I have posted on Babe were not hand me down stories, subject to dimmed memories or exaggeration. They are from the newspaper archives printed the day after the events, the games.
    Some kind of a freak.
    Awesome post, Shoeless. The Babe should have gotten crushed, being 43 years old and 3 years removed from the game. That is insane.


    • It seems some of the old timers could really hit the long ball. Honus Wagner hit some long balls when he was a Pirates coach. From the book, The Diamond Appraised, page 391.

      Wagner_old 1.JPG

      Even in old age Honus looked like a ballplayer.

      Honus Wagner BP.jpg

      honus Wagner coach.jpg
      Last edited by Honus Wagner Rules; 03-05-2013, 10:43 AM.
      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


      • I don't doubt "Old Honus" even at that age could poke one that far, opposite field on top of that.
        I would bet had he played in the live ball era his name would come up often when discussing long drives.
        This guy at the plate looks big, strong and scary.

        Read an article in the newspaper archives, during his playing days.
        In many of the high school in Pittsburgh, most boys wanted to play SS and it appeared some even trying to walk bowlegged.
        Last edited by SHOELESSJOE3; 03-05-2013, 11:18 AM.


        • Wagner was huge for a guy pushing 60. It's really a shame that he didn't get to play in 1920+.


          • It's interesting to see how fertile sportswriters were in giving the Wazir of Wham nicknames. This list is from Jenkinson's The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs.

            Babe Ruth Nicknames (Partial)

            Abou Ben Ruth Khedive of Klout
            Ace of Clubbers King of Clout
            Babe the Ruthless (or the Mighty) Kleagle of Klout
            Ball Mauling Majesty Maharajah of Mash
            Baltimore Adonis Mandarin of Maul
            Baltimore Behemoth (or Blizzard) Mightiest of Maulers
            Bambino (aka Bambina) Mighty Basso Profundo
            Banzoi of Bingle Monarch of Maulers
            Battering Infant Potentate of Pounders
            Batting Babe Prince of Pounders
            Battling Babe Prince of Punch
            Bazoo of Bust Rajah of Rap
            Behemoth Ruthless Ruth
            Behemoth Blaster Ruth the Rampant
            Behemoth of Bam Sultan of Swat
            Big Bambino Swattingest Swatter of Swatdom Sweet Swatter
            Blistering Babe Titan of Thump
            Blunderbuss Wali of Wallop
            Boston Mauler Wazir of Wham
            Buster Wazzoo of Wham
            Bustin’ Bambino Wizzard of Wallop
            Busting Brobodignagian
            Caliph of Clout
            Chief Cudgeler
            Colossus of Clout
            Czar of Crash
            Harlem Catapult
            His Royal Nibs
            Human Howitzer
            Infant Swatigy
            Jumbo Jouster
            Last edited by Badge714; 03-05-2013, 01:02 PM.
            ". . . the Ruth, the whole Ruth and nothing but the Ruth . . ."


            • --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

              Re: 1921 Popular Science Monthly article by Hugh S. Fullerton.



              I knew that Albert Pujols had taken a similar battery of tests (see second link above) that Ruth had taken in 1921. He, like Ruth, also did better than most people would do. He even swung the bat at a greater speed than Ruth. I thought this remarkable in that Ruth hit many, many, more home runs than Pujols in the 450' to 500' range. But as the second link shows Pujols was swinging a bat weighing 31.5 ounces while Ruth (in the tests) was swinging one that weighed 54 ounces. Ruth rarely used a bat that heavy in an actual game. He used ones weighing above 40 ounces for many years, finally settling on a Hillerich & Bradsby 35 inches in length and weighing a little over 30 ounces. With that lighter he was able to hit the first ball completely over the double-decker right field roof at Forbes Field, a 500 footer, the last (714) home run of his career. He was 40 years of age. No doubt that lighter bat accounted for it.

              Babe on the bats he used:

              Since I gave bats quite a bit of thought, you might profit from an account of my experiences and the opinion they left with me. In my first three years as a fielder, following five or six years of pitching, I used bats 36 inches long and anywhere from 40 to 54 ounces in weight. I then began experimenting with the length, and found out what I should have known all along, that I could do better with a shorter bat. So I switched to 35 inches and sometimes slightly less in the twelve or thirteen years that followed. I continued to use heavy bats, though, and never went to anything lighter than 40 ounces until my last two years, when it dropped to 37 and 38 ounces. Going to the shorter bat was one of my best moves, and I have wondered many times since why any player would bother with swinging a stick an inch or two longer than was absolutely necessary. My idea on weight is that you should use a bat as heavy as you can handle. If you can swing a bat weighing, say, 38 ounces as fast as one weighing 35 ounces, you're bound to get a longer hit. What's more, you get real solid timber in the heavier bats, and that, too, adds to driving power. I learned recently that according to the records of Hillerich & Bradsby, who made every bat I ever used, more Louisville Sluggers were made up for my personal use than for any other single player. That no doubt is true. However, compared with most other players I really broke very few, all because mine were heavier and could stand a whole lot more punishment. I gave away dozens of bats each season to friends as souvenirs. As I have said, bats were always important to me, and it is no wonder that I like to recommend Louisville Sluggers every chance I get. Every hit and every hitting record to my credit speaks for the oval Slugger trademark.

              Babe Ruth Home Runs in excess of 450' and 500' by year.

              Year 500+ 450+

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


              • Sorry about the run-on single column entry for the nicknames. I copy and pasted it in a double column format.
                ". . . the Ruth, the whole Ruth and nothing but the Ruth . . ."


                • Question:

                  Why did Ruth hit so poorly (relatively speaking) at Fenway Park

                  For his career he hit .339/.467/.683 on the road (since 1916) yet at Fenway, a great hitters park, he only hit .323/.443/.586. Ruth's OPS at Fenway Park was lower than at any other stadium that he played at (min. 10 games). What gives?
                  My top 10 players:

                  1. Babe Ruth
                  2. Barry Bonds
                  3. Ty Cobb
                  4. Ted Williams
                  5. Willie Mays
                  6. Alex Rodriguez
                  7. Hank Aaron
                  8. Honus Wagner
                  9. Lou Gehrig
                  10. Mickey Mantle


                  • Interesting question. I do wonder what those figures would be if his years as a player for the Red Sox were deleted. In other words, what would the stats be if they included data from the time he was a Yankee only?

                    Originally posted by GiambiJuice View Post

                    Why did Ruth hit so poorly (relatively speaking) at Fenway Park

                    For his career he hit .339/.467/.683 on the road (since 1916) yet at Fenway, a great hitters park, he only hit .323/.443/.586. Ruth's OPS at Fenway Park was lower than at any other stadium that he played at (min. 10 games). What gives?
                    ". . . the Ruth, the whole Ruth and nothing but the Ruth . . ."


                    • From 1916-1918, Ruth slugged only .468 in 269 at-bats at Fenway. Pitching while hitting part time During the Dead Ball era hurt his stats in that big park. However, from 1919-1934, he slugged .630. .630 is still a very low number for Ruth. I guess I'm baffled a bit too. Ruth's road slugging stats from 1919-1934 were close to .700. That 70 pt drop in Fenway is huge. From 1926-1933, Fenway was 358 feet down the right field line. From 1934-1939, it was 334 feet downt the right field line. IN 1940, the right field line was only 302 feet and the entire right side of the field was moved in 23 feet from the previous year. So although Fenway was a decent hitters park in the late 1920s, it was nothing like the 1940s park that Williams hit in.


                      • New York Times: March 8, 1920 - "Ruth Swings a 54-Ounce Bat . . ."

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


                        • There is one thing he did well at Fenway, home runs by visitors. Have to double check the at bats for all, been a while since I looked at this one.
                          The home run total is certain. Not only was the park bigger when Ruth played there, also for some of Dimaggio's years, but Babe is the only LH hitter to make the list and he's tied for first. No splits on Mick batting RH/LF at Fenway.
                          Check out that CF distance when Ruth played there.
                          Attached Files


                          • Originally posted by Badge714 View Post
                            New York Times: March 8, 1920 - "Ruth Swings a 54-Ounce Bat . . ."

                            That he did but not for very long, 44 Oz most of his career, at times a bit lighter than that, also tried a 48 short term.


                            • I believe that this and other excessively heavy bats we used in spring training only, so that when Babe switched to a "lighter" 46 oz. cudgel it would feel lighter and be easier to handle. I believe Cobb may have used weighted baseball shoes to make traditional ones feel light on his feet when the season started.
                              Originally posted by Badge714 View Post
                              New York Times: March 8, 1920 - "Ruth Swings a 54-Ounce Bat . . ."



                              • The Babe even experimented with using this Hack Wilson style bat in the early 30s.Note the handle is straight,does not flare into the knob.[ATTACH]121416
                                Attached Files


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