Babe Ruth : biography
Ruth’s penchant for hitting home runs altered how the game is played. Prior to 1920, home runs were unusual, and managers tried to win games by building a run by getting a runner on base, and bring him around to score through such means as the stolen base, the bunt, and the hit and run. Advocates of what was dubbed "inside baseball", such as Giants manager McGraw, disliked the home run, considering it a blot on the purity of the game.Reisler, p. 18. According to sportswriter W. A. Phelon after that season, Ruth’s breakout performance in 1920 and the public response in excitement and attendance, "settled, for all time to come, that the American public is nuttier over the Home Run than the Clever Fielding or the Hitless Pitching. Viva el Home Run and two times viva Babe Ruth, exponent of the home run, and overshadowing star."Reisler, p. 236. While a few, such as McGraw and Cobb, decried the passing of the old-style play, teams quickly began to seek and develop sluggers.Reisler, pp. 237–239.
One long-term survivor of the craze over Ruth may be the Baby Ruth candy bar. Although the original company to market the confectionary, the Curtis Candy Company, maintained that the bar was named after Ruth Cleveland, daughter of former president Grover Cleveland, Ruth Cleveland had died in 1904 and the bar was first marketed in 1921, at the height of the Ruth craze.Smelser, p. 208. The slugger later sought to market candy bearing his name; he was refused a patent because of the existence of the Baby Ruth bar. Corporate files from 1921 are no longer extant; the brand has changed hands several times and is now owned by the Nestlé company. Due to a marketing arrangement, in 2005, the Baby Ruth bar became the official candy bar of Major League Baseball.
Sites and memorials
Yankee Stadium, "The House that Ruth Built", survived until 2009, replaced after the 2008 season by a new Yankee Stadium, across the street from the old. The site of the stadium in which Ruth played is today a park at which youth baseball is played. Moved from old stadium to new were the tributes to Ruth housed in Monument Park, which remains in center field in the new ballpark, as it was in the old. Ruth’s uniform number 3 is among those of Yankee greats who have had theirs retired; he is one of five Yankees players or managers to have a granite monument erected to him there. Until the renovation of the old Yankee Stadium in the 1970s, the monument was in play together with similar tributes to Huggins and Gehrig, and a flagpole. (subscription required)
The Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum is located at 216 Emory Street, a Baltimore row house where Ruth was born and is located three blocks west of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, where the American League’s Baltimore Orioles play. webpage. Official website of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum and the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards. Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation, Inc. Retrieved October 21, 2011. webpage. Official website of the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum and the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards. Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation, Inc. Retrieved October 28, 2011. The property was restored and opened to the public in 1974, by the non-profit Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation, Inc. Ruth’s widow, Claire, his two daughters, Dorothy and Julia, and his sister, Mamie, helped select and install exhibits for the museum.
Honors and awards
- For records and achievements, see List of career achievements by Babe Ruth
- The Babe Ruth Award is an annual award given to the Major League Baseball (MLB) player with the best performance in the World Series. The award, created by the New York chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA) in honor of Babe Ruth, was first awarded in 1949, one year after Ruth’s death.
- The Babe Ruth Home Run Award is an annual award presented to the leading home run hitter in MLB. It is usually presented to the recipient by Ruth’s daughter, Julia Ruth Stevens, or her son, Tom Stevens.
- Babe Ruth Field is a ballpark in Ventura, California, that was located at the Ventura County Fairgrounds and was used as a minor-league park from 1948 to 1955.. Baseball-Reference. Retrieved October 27, 2011.
- The Babe Ruth League is named in Babe Ruth’s honor.Johnson, Gary. . Shelbyville (TN) Times-Gazette, July 29, 2005, Retrieved August 3, 2012.