Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Babe’s last homer

Babe Ruth stopped playing baseball 80 years ago. He was a Depression Era celebrity. I didn’t realize the whole Bambino thing was that long ago.

George Herman Ruth (1895-1948) was a “bad boy” kind of kid, his parents sent him to an orphanage and he stayed there until the Baltimore Orioles signed him as a pitcher when he was 19 years old. The rest is history.

The Sultan of Swat hit his last home run on May 25, 1935, at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. That was number 714, a career record that stood for almost 40 years. In fact, the Babe hit three home runs that day and drove in six runs.

The Boston Red Sox bought Ruth’s contract soon after he started playing ball. He was a standout pitcher for the Sox, and did noble work on the mound as the high-flying Red Sox went to the World Series three times during his tenure.

In what turned out to be one of the worst trades in baseball history, the Sox sent the Babe to the New York Yankees before the 1920 season. I think everyone on the planet knows how long it took the Red Sox to get back to the World Series. (Hint: 86 years).

By the standards of his time, Babe Ruth got rich playing baseball. In 1930, the Yanks paid him $80,000, roughly equivalent to $1,240,000 today….and that was before TV broadcast revenues corrupted the culture of pro sports salaries.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015 All rights reserved.

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