Babe Ruth of the 1918 Red Sox — 1918: Babe Ruth and the World Champion Boston Red Sox by Allan Wood

George Herman Ruth
“Babe,” “The Colossus,”
“Tarzan”, “The Caveman”
Pitcher, Left Field, First Base, Center Field

6’2″, 215 lbs., Batted Left, Threw Left
Born: February 6, 1895, Baltimore, Maryland
Died: August 16, 1948, New York, New York

Debut: July 11, 1914

Elected to Baseball Hall of Fame: 1939


Babe Ruth debuted with the Red Sox in July 1914. He joined the regular rotation the following spring and over the next three seasons had a record of 65-33. In 1916, he was the best pitcher in the American League: 23-12, with nine shutouts and an ERA of 1.75.

Although he did nearly as well in 1917 (24-13, 2.01), Ruth began voicing his displeasure with playing only every fourth day. In 1918, after the military draft weakened the Red Sox lineup, and at the suggestion of Harry Hooper, Everett Scott and Heinie Wagner, Ed Barrow penciled in Ruth at first base and left field.

The experiment was a huge success. Ruth led the major leagues with a .555 slugging percentage, tied for the American League lead with 11 home runs, tied for second in doubles and tied for third in runs batted in — all while having 75 to 150 less plate appearances than his opponents.

On the mound, he allowed the fourth fewest hits per game, had the fourth lowest opponents batting average and third lowest opponents on-base percentage. Only Walter Johnson allowed fewer baserunners per nine innings.

In the World Series, Ruth won two games on the mound, including a Game One shutout; he also clubbed a triple which catapulted Boston to victory in Game Four.

In 1919, he was even better, leading both leagues in on-base average, slugging percentage, runs scored and runs batted in. That year, he became a household name by belting a record 29 home runs. However, his off-field activities and prima donna attitude caused problems with management, and on January 5, 1920, he was sold to the New York Yankees.

Pitching

Year Ag Tm  Lg   W   L   G  GS  CG SHO SV   IP      H   ER  HR   BB   SO  ERA  lgERA  ERA+
1914 19 BOS AL   2   1   4   3   1   0  0   23.0   21   10   1    7    3  3.91  2.68   68
1915 20 BOS AL  18   8  32  28  16   1  0  217.2  166   59   3   85  112  2.44  2.79  114
1916 21 BOS AL  23  12  44  41  23   9  1  323.2  230   63   0  118  170  1.75  2.77  158
1917 22 BOS AL  24  13  41  38  35   6  2  326.1  244   73   2  108  128  2.01  2.58  128
1918 23 BOS AL  13   7  20  19  18   1  0  166.1  125   41   1   49   40  2.22  2.69  121
1919 24 BOS AL   9   5  17  15  12   0  1  133.1  148   44   2   58   30  2.97  3.03  102
1920 25 NYY AL   1   0   1   1   0   0  0    4.0    3    2   0    2    0  4.50  3.83   85
1921 26 NYY AL   2   0   2   1   0   0  0    9.0   14    9   1    9    2  9.00  4.24   47
1930 35 NYY AL   1   0   1   1   1   0  0    9.0   11    3   0    2    3  3.00  4.32  144
1933 38 NYY AL   1   0   1   1   1   0  0    9.0   12    5   0    3    0  5.00  3.90   78
10 Yr WL% .671  94  46 163 148 107  17  4 1221.1  974  309  10  441  488  2.28  2.77  122

Batting

Year Ag Tm  Lg   G   AB    R    H  2B  3B  HR  RBI  SB  CS   BB   SO    BA   OBP   SLG   TB  SH HBP
1914 19 BOS AL   5   10    1    2   1   0   0    2   0        0    4  .200  .200  .300    3   0   0
1915 20 BOS AL  42   92   16   29  10   1   4   21   0        9   23  .315  .376  .576   53   2   0
1916 21 BOS AL  67  136   18   37   5   3   3   15   0       10   23  .272  .322  .419   57   4   0
1917 22 BOS AL  52  123   14   40   6   3   2   12   0       12   18  .325  .385  .472   58   7   0
1918 23 BOS AL  95  317   50   95  26  11  11   66   6       57   58  .300  .411  .555  176   3   2
1919 24 BOS AL 130  432  103  139  34  12  29  114   7      101   58  .322  .456  .657  284   3   6
1920 25 NYY AL 142  458  158  172  36   9  54  137  14  14  148   80  .376  .530  .847  388   5   3
1921 26 NYY AL 152  540  177  204  44  16  59  171  17  13  144   81  .378  .512  .846  457   4   4
1922 27 NYY AL 110  406   94  128  24   8  35   99   2   5   84   80  .315  .434  .672  273   4   1
1923 28 NYY AL 152  522  151  205  45  13  41  131  17  21  170   93  .393  .545  .764  399   3   4
1924 29 NYY AL 153  529  143  200  39   7  46  121   9  13  142   81  .378  .513  .739  391   6   4
1925 30 NYY AL  98  359   61  104  12   2  25   66   2   4   59   68  .290  .393  .543  195   6   2
1926 31 NYY AL 152  495  139  184  30   5  47  146  11   9  144   76  .372  .516  .737  365  10   3
1927 32 NYY AL 151  540  158  192  29   8  60  164   7   6  138   89  .356  .487  .772  417  14   0
1928 33 NYY AL 154  536  163  173  29   8  54  142   4   5  135   87  .323  .461  .709  380   8   3
1929 34 NYY AL 135  499  121  172  26   6  46  154   5   3   72   60  .345  .430  .697  348  13   3
1930 35 NYY AL 145  518  150  186  28   9  49  153  10  10  136   61  .359  .493  .732  379  21   1
1931 36 NYY AL 145  534  149  199  31   3  46  163   5   4  128   51  .373  .495  .700  374   0   1
1932 37 NYY AL 133  457  120  156  13   5  41  137   2   2  130   62  .341  .489  .661  302   0   2
1933 38 NYY AL 137  459   97  138  21   3  34  103   4   5  114   90  .301  .442  .582  267   0   2
1934 39 NYY AL 125  365   78  105  17   4  22   84   1   3  103   63  .288  .447  .537  196   0   2
1935 40 BSN NL  28   72   13   13   0   0   6   12   0       20   24  .181  .359  .431   31   0   0
22 Seasons    2503 8399 2174 2873 506 136 714 2213 123 117 2056 1330  .342  .474  .690 5793 113  43

Fielding

Year Ag Tm  Lg Pos   G    PO    A    E   DP   FP   lgFP  RnF  lgRnF  GS  Inn      LF   CF   RF
1914 19 BOS AL  P    4     0    7    0    0 1.000  .936  2.74  2.97   3   23.0
1915 20 BOS AL  P   32    17   63    2    3  .976  .937  3.31  3.01  28  217.2
1916 21 BOS AL  P   44    24   83    3    6  .973  .945  2.97  2.98  41  323.2
1917 22 BOS AL  P   41    19  101    2    4  .984  .947  3.31  3.04  38  326.1
1918 23 BOS AL OF   59   121    8    7    3  .949  .962  2.19  2.17               47   12    0
                P   20    19   58    6    5  .928  .952  4.17  2.82  19  166.1
               1B   13   130    6    5    8  .965  .986 10.46 10.89           
1919 24 BOS AL OF  111   222   14    1    6  .996  .958  2.13  2.16              111    0    0
                P   17    13   35    2    1  .960  .948  3.24  2.83  15  133.1
               1B    5    35    4    1    4  .975  .988  7.80 10.44           
1920 25 NYY AL OF  141   259   21   19    3  .936  .962  1.99  2.16               36   20   85
               1B    2    10    0    1    1  .909  .990  5.00 10.40           
                P    1     1    0    0    0 1.000  .949  2.25  2.70   1    4.0
1921 26 NYY AL OF  152   348   17   13    6  .966  .960  2.40  2.21              134   18    0
               1B    2     8    0    0    0 1.000  .991  4.00 10.15           
                P    2     1    2    0    0 1.000  .956  3.00  2.70   1    9.0
1922 27 NYY AL OF  110   226   14    9    3  .964  .964  2.18  2.22               71    0   40
               1B    1     0    0    0    0  .000  .000  0.00 10.60            
1923 28 NYY AL OF  148   378   20   11    2  .973  .965  2.69  2.26               68    7   73
               1B    4    41    1    1    2  .977  .990 10.50 10.22           
1924 29 NYY AL OF  152   340   18   14    4  .962  .970  2.36  2.27               50    7   99
1925 30 NYY AL OF   98   207   15    6    3  .974  .965  2.27  2.27               33    0   66
1926 31 NYY AL OF  149   308   11    7    5  .979  .966  2.14  2.23               82    0   68
               1B    2    10    0    0    2 1.000  .990  5.00 10.30           
1927 32 NYY AL OF  151   328   14   13    4  .963  .964  2.26  2.22               56    0   95
1928 33 NYY AL OF  154   304    9    8    0  .975  .973  2.03  2.22               55    0   99
1929 34 NYY AL OF  133   240    5    4    2  .984  .966  1.84  2.28               55    0   78
1930 35 NYY AL OF  144   266   10   10    0  .965  .965  1.92  2.16               53    0   91
                P    1     0    4    0    2 1.000  .946  4.00  2.20   1    9.0
1931 36 NYY AL OF  142   237    5    7    2  .972  .969  1.70  2.25               51    0   91
               1B    1     5    0    0    0 1.000  .991  5.00  9.70           
1932 37 NYY AL OF  128   209   10    9    1  .961  .967  1.71  2.28               44    0   87
               1B    1     3    0    0    0 1.000  .989  3.00  9.80           
1933 38 NYY AL OF  132   215    9    7    4  .970  .970  1.70  2.21               55    0   78
               1B    1     6    0    1    0  .857  .989  6.00  9.90           
                P    1     1    1    0    0 1.000  .960  2.00  2.30   1    9.0
1934 39 NYY AL OF  111   197    3    8    0  .962  .968  1.80  2.16               34    0   77
1935 40 BSN NL OF   26    39    1    2    0  .952  .971  1.54  2.31               22    0    4
Position Total OF 2241  4444  204  155   48  .968  .966  2.07  2.22             1057   64 1131
                P  163    95  354   15   21  .968  .946  3.31  2.95 148 1221.1
               1B   32   248   11    9   17  .966  .988  8.09 10.51           
Overall Total     2436  4787  569  179   86  .968  .965  2.20  2.35

* Innings Played rather than Games Played was used in Range Factor calculations.
# Breakdown of outfield by position games played is for entire career. 

World Series Pitching

Year Team  Opp    G   ERA   W-L  SV CG    IP   H  ER  BB  SO
1916 BOS   BRO    1   0.64  1-0   0  1  14.0   6   1   3   4
1918 BOS   CHC    2   1.06  2-0   0  1  17.0  13   2   7   4
 2 World Series   3   0.87  3-0   0  2  31.0  19   3  10   8

World Series Batting

Year Team  Opp    G  AB  R  H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO   BA    OBP   SLG SB
1915 BOS   PHI    1   1  0  0  0  0  0   0  0  0  .000  .000  .000  0
1916 BOS   BRO    1   5  0  0  0  0  0   1  0  2  .000  .000  .000  0
1918 BOS   CHC    3   5  0  1  0  1  0   2  0  2  .200  .200  .600  0
1921 NYY   NYG    6  16  3  5  0  0  1   4  5  8  .312  .476  .500  2
1922 NYY   NYG    5  17  1  2  1  0  0   1  2  3  .118  .211  .176  0
1923 NYY   NYG    6  19  8  7  1  1  3   3  8  6  .368  .556 1.000  0
1926 NYY   STL    7  20  6  6  0  0  4   5 11  2  .300  .548  .900  1
1927 NYY   PIT    4  15  4  6  0  0  2   7  2  2  .400  .471  .800  1
1928 NYY   STL    4  16  9 10  3  0  3   4  1  2  .625  .647 1.375  0
1932 NYY   CHC    4  15  6  5  0  0  2   6  4  3  .333  .474  .733  0
10 World Series  41 129 37 42  5  2 15  33 33 30  .326  .463  .744  

Minor League Pitching

Year Team        Lg   W  L   G  GS  CG SHO SV   IP    H    R  ER   BB   K  HBP WP  ERA
1914 Baltimore/
Providence  IL  22  9  35  30  24  4   1  244.2 219  88  65  101 139   11 11  2.39

 

Minor League Batting

Year Team       Lg POS    G  AB   R   H 2B  3B  HR  TB  SB  BB   K   BA   OBP  SLG
1914 Baltimore/
Providence IL P-OF  46 121  22  28  2  10   1  53   4   9  26  .231 .285 .438

Minor League: IL – International League.