Babe Ruth Park History
George Herman Ruth, Jr. (February 6, 1895 – August 16, 1948), also popularly known as "Babe", "The Bambino", and "The Sultan of Swat", was an American Major League baseball player from 1914 to 1935. He has been named the greatest baseball player in history in many rankings and surveys. Ruth was the first player to hit 60 home runs in one season (1927), a record that held for 34 years until broken by Roger Maris in 1961. Ruth's lifetime total of 714 home runs at his retirement in 1935 was a record for 39 years, until broken by Hank Aaron in 1974. His .690 career slugging percentage, and 1.164 career OPS, remain the major league records.
Ruth led the league in home runs during a season twelve times, slugging percentage thirteen times, OPS thirteen times, runs scored eight times, and RBIs six times. Each of those totals represents a modern record (and also an all-time record, except for RBIs).
Ruth was one of the first five players elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. In 1969, he was named baseball's Greatest Player Ever in a ballot commemorating the 100th anniversary of professional baseball. The Sporting News ranked Ruth Number 1 on the list of "Baseball's 100 Greatest Players" in 1998. In 1999, baseball fans named Ruth to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. ESPN says that he was the first American sports celebrity superstar whose fame transcended baseball. In a 1999 ESPN poll, he was ranked as the third greatest US athlete of the century, behind Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali.
Baseball became much more popular in the 1920s, in large part due to Ruth’s contributions. Ruth helped baseball evolve from a low-scoring, speed-dominated game to a high-scoring power game. Today Babe Ruth is an American icon, and his name is still one of the most famous in all of American sports.