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Table of Contents
George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr. was one of the greatest American athletes of all time, who went on to break professional 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.
See the fact file below for more information on Babe Ruth or alternatively, you can download our 25-page Babe Ruth worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Babe Ruth was born George Herman Ruth Jr. in Baltimore, Maryland on February 6, 1895. His family lived in a poor waterfront neighborhood, where his parents, Kate Schamberger and George Herman Ruth Sr. owned a tavern.
- George Jr. was one of eight children born to the couple, and one of only two who had lived through infancy.
- At the young age of 7, little George became too much of a handful for his busy parents, causing trouble and being caught wandering the dockyards, drinking, chewing tobacco, and taunting local police officers. His parents decided to send him to the catholic orphanage and reformatory St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, thinking it would straighten him out.
- During his 12 year stay at St. Mary’s, Ruth particularly looked up to a monk named Brother Matthias, who became a father figure to the young boy and introduced him to baseball. Matthias and the other monks saw that he excelled at the sport.
- By the time he was 15, Ruth showed exceptional skills both as a strong hitter and pitcher, but it was his pitching that initially caught the attention of Jack Dunn, owner of the minor league Baltimore Orioles. At the time, the Orioles prepared players for the major league team known as the Boston Red Sox, and Dunn saw promise in Ruth’s athleticism.
- Ruth was offered a contract to play professional baseball when he was 19, but the law at the time stated that he had to have a legal guardian before he can sign. As a result, Dunn became the young athlete’s legal guardian, making his teammates tease him Ruth as “Dunn’s new babe”. The joke stuck, and George Herman Jr. quickly earned the nickname “Babe” Ruth.
- Babe had only just started his stint with the Orioles when he was called up to the major league in Boston. The southpaw-ed pitcher immediately exceeded expectations and proved to be a valuable member of the team. In his first five years in the majors, Babe Ruth led the Boston Red Sox to three championship wins, including the 1916 title which saw him pitch a still-standing record of 13 scoreless innings in one game.
- With the club’s titles and “the Babe”, Boston was clearly the team to beat in the major leagues. However, in 1919, the team’s fate changed when Red Sox owner Harry Frazee struggled financially and needed cash to clear his debts. In December, the New York Yankees came to his rescue and offered to buy the rights to Ruth for over $100,000, which was an impressive amount at the time.
- The deal came to shape both franchises in unexpected ways: Babe’s move meant the end of the Red Sox’s winning streak, while the Yankees evolved into a dominant force in the majors, clutching four World Series titles over the next 15 seasons, with Ruth leading the pack. Babe, shifted to a full-time outfielder with the Yankees, was at the heart of all the success, unleashing a level of power that had never been witnessed before in the game.
- In 1919, while with the Red Sox, Babe Ruth made a single-season home run record of 29, which turned out to be just the start of a series of record-breaking performances.
- During his first year with the New York Yankees in 1920, he hit 54 home runs, and in his second season, Babe broke his own record by hitting 59 home runs. In less than 10 seasons, he had already made his mark as baseball’s all-time home run leader.
- Babe Ruth continued to set the bar high for everyone, including himself, as he beat his own record, again, by hitting 60 home runs in one season – a record that stood for 34 years. By this time, he was so worshipped by Yankee fans that they dubbed their new stadium (built in 1923) “the house that Ruth built”.
- Throughout his professional baseball career, Babe Ruth went on to break the sport’s most important records: most years leading a league in home runs (12), most total bases in a season (457), and highest slugging percentage for a season (.847). In total, he made 714 home runs, a history that stood still until 1974, when Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves outdid him.
Retirement and Legacy
- Babe Ruth’s victory on the pitch was paired with a lifestyle that indulged perfectly to a pre-depression America hungry for a fast and luxurious lifestyle.
- Rumors circulated of his large appetite for food, alcohol, and women, as well as his tendency toward extravagant spending and high living. These rumors were as legendary as his exploits on the field. These claims, whether true or not, bruised Babe’s chances of becoming a team manager in his later life. Franchises became skeptical of his lifestyle and did not want to risk their success on the seemingly irresponsible superstar.
- An overweight Babe Ruth reminded fans of his greatness one last time on May 25, 1935, when he hit three home runs in a single game at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He officially retired the following week, and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame a year after.
- Ruth eventually became coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938; however, he never achieved his dream of managing a team in the major leagues.
- Babe Ruth became ill in 1946 after doctors discovered he had a malignant tumor in his neck. His health continued to deteriorate until 1948 and, although he was ailing, he made one last appearance at the Yankee Stadium to celebrate its 25th anniversary on June 13, 1948.
- Babe Ruth died of pneumonia two months later on August 16, 1948, at age 63. Over 100,000 fans came out to the Yankee Stadium to honor their hero as Babe’s casket was on display.
Babe Ruth Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Babe Ruth across 25 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Babe Ruth worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr. who was one of the greatest American athletes of all time, who went on to break professional 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.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Bat Like The Babe
- Color Pitch
- Home Run!
- Touch the Bases
- Fan Club
- Play Ball!
- Home Run Kings
- Hall of Fame
- Be Like Babe
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Link will appear as Babe Ruth Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, July 28, 2018
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.