100 years ago today, May 6, 1915, a young Boston Red Sox pitcher named Babe Ruth tossed 12 1/3 innings against the New York Yankees, collected three base hits and his first career home run.
The Yankees beat the BoSox 4-3, but the young kid they called Baby Ruth had hit home run number one of what would be a magnificent Hall of Fame baseball career that culminated in a whopping 714 home runs, a record that would stand for 39 years.
When the discussion starts among baseball fans as to baseball's greatest all around player, Willie Mays generally gets the nod, but for me, it's Ruth, and it's because of his pitching.
Ruth wasn't just another good pitcher in the American League, he was very good.
As a young pitcher Ruth won 18 games with a 2.44 era in 1915, and in 1916 Babe won 23 games and led the Junior Circuit with a 1.75 era and a big league record 9 shutouts.
Ruth won 24 games in 1917, and in 1918 Babe compiled a 13-7 record, but started playing more in the field, batting .300 and leading the A. L. in homers, with 11 round trippers.
In 1919 Ruth played more as a regular position player, and less as a pitcher, as Ruth set the standard for home runs with an amazing 29 dingers.
Ruth was infamously sold to the Yankees in the off season, and his pitching days were behind him, pitching in just 1 game in 1920 and 2 in 1921, as The Sultan of Swat took flight, booming 54 home runs.
The World Series is where Ruth shined greatest as a pitcher, posting a 3-0 record with a 0.87 era in 31 innings and World Series Titles in 1916 and 1918.
Ruth's 29 1/3 scoreless innings pitched in the World Series was a big league record that stood until 1961.
Ruth's 94-46 record, 2.34 era, along with 714 home runs, 2,214 RBI, and 2,874 base hits, make Ruth the best player, in any era, in big league baseball history.
My personal Top 5 Big League Baseball Players are Ruth, Mays, Ty Cobb (best hitter ever), Hank Aaron, and Ted Williams.
Let the debate begin... PLAY BALL!!