New York Sports Legends Player Profile: Babe Ruth by Christopher Halajian
To say that Christopher Halajian is a huge fan of New York’s sports teams would be an understatement. He remains loyal to his favorite teams even now that he has moved miles away from his home state of New York (he now lives in California). Like most fans, Christopher Halajian knows that behind every great team is a great player; someone who stands out among the rest, someone who carries the team to victory, and someone the team can rely on no matter what.
This is why Christopher Halajian deemed it only fitting to pay tribute to some of New York’s greatest players; they who have been written down in history as legends. And what better way to start this series than with one of the country’s greatest and best players of all time, Babe Ruth?
George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr. was a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox before he became the New York Yankees’ outfielder. His career in professional baseball (for MLB) started on July 11, 1914, pitching for the Red Sox. But even before then, he was already playing in minor league baseball (for the Baltimore Orioles), and before that, for St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys as a catcher, third baseman and shortstop.
Throughout his career, Babe Ruth would always praise and thank his mentor Brother Matthias Boutlier, the Prefect for Discipline at St. Mary’s. Boutlier encouraged Babe Ruth to pursue playing ball, and it was him who guided the young Babe Ruth during his time at the school. Biographers note that Babe Ruth’s running and hitting styles bore a close resemblance to that of his teacher’s/mentor’s.
One remarkable fact about Babe Ruth’s playing history with St. Mary’s, which Christopher Halajian shares, is that he was made to play using gloves and mitts designed for right-hand players (he was left-handed). But even with the ill-fitting and uncomfortable mitts and gloves, he displayed strong prowess on the field.
He won his very first game with the Boston Red Sox on his first day playing for the team. It was against the Cleveland Naps, with a score of 4-3. While his years with the Red Sox gave him a string of successes, it was with the Yankees that Babe Ruth truly shined, according to Christopher Halajian. He played for the Yankees from 1920 to 1934, and it was during these years that he showed his strength as an outfielder highly regarded as a “power-hitting outfielder.”
Quick fact: The Yankees Stadium was built with Babe Ruth in mind, where the design was developed in a way that would help the left-hand player make home runs, and the right field (Babe Ruth’s defensive position) doesn’t point in the afternoon sun (veering away from traditional design) to spare Babe Ruth’s eyes from the glaring sunlight.
Career Highlights by Christopher Halajian
- Batting average – .342
- Hits – 2,873
- Home runs – 714
- Runs batted in – 2,213
- Win-loss – 94-46
- Earned run average – 2.28
Awards and Recognition
- 2 All-Star (1933, 1934
- 7 World Series championships (1915, 1916, 1918, 1923, 1927, 1928, and 1932)
- AL MVP (1923)
- AL Batting Champion (1924)
- 12 AL home run leader (1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1923, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1930, and 1931)
- New York Yankees No. 3 retired
- Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame
- MLB All-Century Team
- MLB All-Time Team
- Inducted to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936 with 95.13% votes