American legend Babe Ruth (1895-1947) lived and played the game of baseball with passionate gusto. Born George Herman Ruth, Jr. in Baltimore, Maryland, he had a tough upbringing and was raised in an orphanage where he learned how to play baseball.
"Never let the fear of striking out get in your way," Ruth once said. "Watch my dust."
At age 19, he was signed by the Baltimore Orioles then traded to the Boston Red Sox where he was a successful left-handed pitcher. He moved to the New York Yankees in 1919 and promptly set a major league record with 29 homers.
"The only real game, I think, in the world is baseball," he said.
The Babe hit 54 home runs the next year and an astounding 60 in 1927. The slugger became a beloved icon, giving fans hope amidst the 1919 Black Sox gambling scandal and Great Depression of the 1920s.
"I had only one superstition," he explained. "I made sure to touch all the bases when I hit a home run."
The highest-paid player of his time, with a career total of 714 home runs, the immortal Ruth scored six RBI titles and had a career batting average of .342.
He credited his teammates for his success: "The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they donít play together, the club wonít be worth a dime."
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