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Babe Ruth

Baseball icon Babe Ruth set numerous records as a pitcher and slugging outfielder. He was among the first five players inducted into the sport's Hall of Fame.
George Herman Ruth Jr., born on February 6, 1895 in Baltimore, Maryland, was one of eight children, although only he and his sister Mamie survived. George Jr.’s parents worked long hours, leaving little time to watch over him and his sister. George Jr. often skipped school and caused trouble in the neighborhood. When he turned 7 years old, his parents sent him to the St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys run by Catholic monks from an order of the Xaverian Brothers. St. Mary’s provided a regimented environment that helped shape George Jr.’s future. Only 19, the law at the time stated that Ruth had to have a legal guardian sign his baseball contract in order for him to play professionally. As a result, Dunn became Ruth's legal guardian, leading teammates to jokingly call Ruth "Dunn's new babe." The joke stuck, and Ruth quickly earned the nickname "Babe" Ruth.
Ruth was only with the club for a short time before he was called up to the majors in Boston. The left-handed pitcher proved immediately to be a valuable member of the team. Over the next five years, Ruth led the Red Sox to three championships. In 1919, while with the Red Sox, Ruth set a single-season home run record of 29. This turned out to be just the beginning of a series of record-breaking performances by Ruth. In 1920, his first year in New York, he knocked 54 home runs. In his second season, he broke his own record by hitting 59 home runs and, in less than 10 seasons, Ruth had made his mark as baseball's all-time home run leader.
Over the course of his career, Ruth went on to break baseball's most important slugging records, including most years leading a league in home runs; most total bases in a season; and highest slugging percentage for a season.
On June 13, 1948, he made one last appearance at Yankee Stadium to celebrate the building's 25th anniversary. Two months later, on August 16, 1948, Babe Ruth died of cancer.

Babe Ruth, 1919
71 Media in collectionpage 1 of 1

Photograph of Babe Ruth Sliding into Third Base

Master File Photographs of U.S. and Foreign Personalities, World Events, and American Economic, Social, and Cultural Life

Babe Ruth, King of Swat, at St. Petersburg, Florida

George Herman "Babe" Ruth, full length, standing, facing front; wearing baseball uniform; in field with hands on hips; other players in background.

Babe Ruth, King of Swat, at St. Petersburg, Florida

George Herman "Babe" Ruth, full length, standing, facing front; wearing baseball uniform; in field with hands on hips; other players in background.

[Babe Ruth, Ernie Shore, Rube Foster, Del Gainer, Boston Red Sox, American League]

Photograph shows George Herman "Babe" Ruth, Ernest G. "Ernie" Shore, George "Rube" Foster, and Dellos "Del" Gainer, facing front, wearing Boston Red Sox baseball team uniforms, sitting on a low wall in front of a dugout.

[Babe Ruth, Ernie Shore, Rube Foster, Del Gainer, Boston Red Sox, American League]

Photograph shows George Herman "Babe" Ruth, Ernest G. "Ernie" Shore, George "Rube" Foster, and Dellos "Del" Gainer, facing front, wearing Boston Red Sox baseball team uniforms, sitting on a low wall in front of a dugout.

Babe Ruth rolls 'em down a new groove

Photograph shows George Herman "Babe" Ruth, half-length portrait, seated, facing slightly right, rolling a cigar.

Babe Ruth rolls 'em down a new groove

Photograph shows George Herman "Babe" Ruth, half-length portrait, seated, facing slightly right, rolling a cigar.