The Great Bambino: Babe Ruth

Nathan Chandler

Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

He was the carousing showman of professional baseball. But Babe Ruth was no clown -- when he stepped onto the diamond he was a force to be reckoned with. How much do you know about this legendary baseball player?

Ruth is the all-time leader in career home runs.

Ruth established the record with 714 home runs. But he was surpassed by Hank Aaron (755) and Barry Bonds (762).

Ruth struggled with which problem throughout his career?

He loved to eat and drink and his excesses resulted in too much weight for his frame. He was more than 260 pounds at one point, far too heavy for a major league player.

In the late 1920s, the Yankees put together one of the most fearsome hitting lineups ever, including Ruth. What was the nickname for these potent hitters?

Ruth was part of the Murderer's Row, the first six hitters in the Yankee batting order. No pitcher wanted to face these powerful hitters.

Ruth achieved his first baseball fame at which position?

It was Ruth's pitching that first made him famous. In six seasons with the Red Sox, he pitched the team to 89 wins.

Ruth was known for hitting home runs. What was the most home runs he hit in a single season?

After he converted to outfield, Ruth's hitting got better and better. In 1927, he hit 60 home runs; the following year he hit 54.

Why did Ruth often change the side of the field on which he played outfielder?

In one famous game, Ruth lost a fly ball when he was blinded by the sun. From then on, he insisted on playing the side of the field where the sun wouldn't interfere with his catching ability.

Babe Ruth had a well-known affinity for which food?

Ruth was known to binge on hot dogs and sugary soda, both of which probably contributed to health problems during his playing days.

During the 1932 World Series, Ruth really did point to the centerfield bleachers just before blasting a home run.

Film from the game confirms the legend -- Ruth pointed to the outfield with his bat and the proceeded to smack the ball over the wall. Historians debate exactly what his gesture meant, but it's often taken as evidence of his cockiness and supreme ability.

Ruth's first major league hit was a home run.

Ruth managed his first hit on Oct. 2, 1914, against the Yankees. It wasn't a home run -- it was a double.

Ruth was known for having what kind of personality?

Babe Ruth was an in-your-face kind of guy who continually confronted anyone who crossed him. He was also capable of well-publicized acts of kindness and charmed the pants off of many admirers.

In which city did Ruth grow up?

Ruth grew up in Baltimore and attended a Catholic school. Between classes, he and the other boys played countless rounds of baseball, which honed his athletic skills.

What was NOT one of Ruth's nicknames?

No one called him Judge, but Ruth had numerous nicknames during his career, from The Great Bambino to simply Babe.

In addition to English, what language did Ruth speak?

He was indeed bilingual. Ruth's parents had an extensive German background, so he was familiar with the language.

When he was a child at a Catholic school, Ruth learned which skill?

The monks at the school realized that Ruth had a knack for making clothes. That gift landed him an apprenticeship with a tailor.

What was the most Ruth ever earned in a single season?

In 1930 and 1931, his salary was $80,000 per season. That would be about $1.2 million today.

After a very successful run as pitcher Ruth converted to which position?

He wanted to play every game, and of course, pitchers must often rest. Ruth converted to outfielder and then began his legendary hitting displays.

Ruth signed his first contract with a minor league team in which city?

He signed his first professional contract with the minor league Baltimore Orioles in 1914. Then he began building his legend on the diamond.

How did Ruth affect the outcome of the final play of Game 7 of the 1926 World Series?

The Yankees were trailing the Cardinals by one run when Ruth tried to steal second base. He was caught … and the game ended with a Cardinals victory.

During hot summer days, Ruth allegedly used which vegetable in order to stay cool?

Ruth devised a method of icing leaves of cabbage, which he then stuffed under his cap. His teammates copied the trick to stay more comfortable on miserably hot days.

How many home runs did Ruth hit in his first year as a pro?

He played just five games in 1914 and didn't hit any home runs. He had two hits, though.

Why did Ruth serve jail time?

Ruth was a notoriously reckless driver, and he racked up traffic violations throughout his life. He spent about a day in jail for his unwillingness to slow down.

In Game 2 of the 1916 World Series, Ruth pitched a complete game. How many innings did he pitch?

Ruth showed his stamina by throwing a complete 14-inning game. His efforts helped the Red Sox beat the Dodgers 2-1.

Which of Ruth's records still stands today?

Several of Ruth's records have been bested, but his record for career on-base plus slugging (1.164) still stands as a testament to his hitting ability.

Ruth played with the Red Sox for six seasons. How many World Series titles did the team win during that stretch?

Ruth was a powerhouse who had the ability to transform every game. He propelled the Sox to three titles in just six years.

Ruth was an orphan.

Ruth's parents were a bit overwhelmed with their high-energy son, so they sent him to Catholic school. The experience helped shape his young adulthood.

After his playing days ended, Ruth served as a first base coach for which team?

For a short time, Ruth joined the Dodgers as first base coach. The team leveraged Ruth as an attraction to sell tickets.

Ruth was renowned for his long-lived baseball career. How many seasons did he play?

He played from 1914 to 1935, for 22 total seasons. In his final season he appeared in just 28 games.

With which team did Ruth retire?

Ruth created his legend in New York but retired in Boston, but not with the Red Sox. He ended his career in 1935 with the Braves.

How did Ruth die?

Ruth developed malignant tumors in his head and neck. Some experimental treatments initially showed promising results but he died two years later at age 53.

Ruth played with the Yankees for 15 seasons. How many titles did New York win during that stretch?

With his winning ways, Ruth helped the Yanks win four titles in 15 years. They also won the AL championship seven times.

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