"Babe Ruth". Anti Essays. 31 Aug. 2017

Babe Ruth arrived in New York City at the best possible time for his outsized hitting and hedonistic lifestyle. It was the Roaring Twenties, the Jazz Age, a time of individualism, more progressive social and sexual attitudes, and a greater emphasis on the pursuit of pleasure. (Prohibition, instituted in 1920, had no effect whatsoever.) Sportswriter Westbrook Pegler called it “the Era of Wonderful Nonsense.”

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Wood, Allan. Babe Ruth and the 1918 Red Sox (San Jose CA: Writers Club Press, 2001)
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Miller Huggins passed away suddenly near the end of the 1929 season—and Babe lobbied for the manager’s job for 1930. (Ruth would drop hints about wanting to manage for the next four years, but the Yankees never seriously considered it.) Ruth also asked for his salary to be increased to $100,000—this coming a few months after Black Tuesday and the start of what became the Great Depression. He ended up signing a two-year deal for $80,000 per season. With exhibition game receipts, movie shorts, personal appearances, and endorsements, Ruth probably earned close to $200,000 in 1930.

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On August 11 in Cleveland, Ruth hit the 500th home run of his career. The New York World called it “a symbol of American greatness”. The man who retrieved the homer got two signed baseballs and, after posing for a photo with Ruth, the Babe slipped him a $20 bill.

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George Herman "Babe" Ruth was an American icon or symbol just as Uncle Sam was; the Babe started it all. He was the best pitcher in his day and still remains the strongest slugger in the game. Ruth had power, strength, an appetite and a desire for the game that no other player would ever have. It was ", a hero of prowess who had achieved greatness by the sheer extent of his extraordinary ability" that put a smile on all the youngsters faces. No matter where he was the fans would follow; the attendance was always the greatest in his presence.

Babe Ruth essaysGeorge Herman Ruth Jr

After becoming a Yankee, Babe transitioned to a full time outfielder became complete. Babe dominated the game, gathering numbers that had never been seen before. He changed baseball from grind style to one of power and high scoring games. He re-wrote the record books from standpoint, combing a high batting average with an unbelievable power. The result was an assault on baseball’s most hallowed records. In 1920 he bested the homerun record he set in 1919 by belting a staggering 54 homeruns , in a season in which no other player hit more than 19 and only one team hit more than Babe did individually. But Babe wasn’t done as his 1921 season may have been the greatest in MLB history. That season, he blasted a new record of 59 homeruns, drove in 171 RBI (runs batted in), scored 177 runs, batted .376 and had an unread .876 slugging percentage. Babe was officially a superstar and enjoyed a popularity never seen before in professional baseball. With Babe leading the way, the Yankees became the most recognizable and dominant team in baseball, setting attendance records along the ways. When the Yankees moved to new stadium in 1923 it was appropriately dubbed The House That Ruth Built.

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With the Red Sox offense sputtering after the sale of Tris Speaker in 1916, the suggestion to play Ruth every day was renewed when he tied a record with a home run in three consecutive games. Ruth hated the helpless feeling of sitting on the bench between pitching assignments, and believed he could be a better hitter if given more opportunity. In mid-season, with all three Boston outfielders in slumps, Carrigan was reportedly ready to give Babe a shot, but it never happened. Ruth finished the 1917 season at .325, easily the highest average on the team. Left fielder Duffy Lewis topped the regulars at .302; no one else hit above .265. Giving Ruth an everyday job remained nothing more than an entertaining game of “what if”—until 1918.