Babe Ruth and Baseball
"The Great Bambino"

Thesis: Babe Ruth united the country by becoming the face of baseball in the 1920's. His personality and powerful swing were admired by many. Because of his playing ability, the sport became very popular in America. The Great Bambino" helped to create a culture of people interested in playing and watching baseball.

Who was Babe Ruth?
-Born in 1895 in Baltimore, Maryland.
-Signed by the Boston Redsox in 1914 as a Pitcher.
-In 1917 had a record of 24-13 with a 2.02 earned run average, and on days off he played in the outfield.
-Because of run-ins with his owners and managers over curfews, fines, and suspensions, he was sold from Boston to the New York Yankees for 125,000 dollars and a 300,000 dollar loan.
-Once with New York, he really took off as a power hitter, he hit 54 homers and batted .376 in 1920.
-The Yankees moved into a new stadium in 1923, which was later nicknamed "The House that Ruth Built" because Ruth hit the first home run at the field and how good he was when the field opened.
-In 1925, he missed the first two months of the season due to a "stomach-ache heard round the world," which was caused by Ruth eating too many hot dogs and drinking a lot of beer.
-From 1926 to 1931, he led the league in home runs, including sixty in 1927.
-In 1930, his salary was raised to 80,000 dollars, which was even more than President Hoover made that year.
-In 1932, he is said to have called his shot in a World Series game against the Cubs. This is one of the most mysterious moments in MLB history because it has not been confirmed.
-Career ended in 1935.
-He hit 714 home runs over his career, which was the record for 39 years.
-Died in 1948 from cancerous growth on the side of his face.

How did he unify the country?
His long home runs brought attention to the sport because prior to him no one was hitting more than a few home runs a season. He also seemed to do it with such ease because he was known for drinking a lot of beer and consuming many hot dogs. People idiolized this because not only was he by far the best player the sport had ever seen, but he also had fun in the process. He grew so popular that the sport of baseball did too, it grew attendance-wise, so new teams from cities across the country joined the MLB, resulting in more Americans getting together to play and watch the sport.

-His homers began a new Era of home run hitting. (Before great players like Ty Cobb and Honus Wagner were known more for their batting average, fielding, and stolen bases.)
-Still recognized by many as the greatest of all time due to the fact that recent power hitters like Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Mark McGuire used steriods.(Even though Hank Aaron did pass his career home run total.)
-Helped baseball greatly from a financial standpoint. In fact, because of the publicity caused by his outstanding play, in 1920, the Yankees became the first team to attract one million fans to their games. Now, some baseball teams attract a million fans in a month.
-Still holds records for extra-base hits, runs, and total bases. Even after the steriod Era.
-Baseball leagues for kids and teens have been named in honor of him.