“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.” This insightful quote is well known not only in the baseball community, but all around the world. It is not only used in baseball, but as empowerment to daily life and struggles we must overcome. For those who have never heard this, or need a refresher, these are the words of Babe Ruth.
Babe Ruth was born George Herman Ruth on Feb. 6, 1895, in Baltimore. Due to unfortunate circumstance and a deviant childhood, Ruth was sent to St. Mary’s Industrial School when he was only 7 years old. His parents signed over custody of Ruth to the school, where he was expected to stay until he turned 21. By the time he was 15 years old, St. Mary’s had him playing catcher and pitcher for the varsity team. He was so talented at such a young age that all those around him had hope he would do well.
Sure enough, when Ruth turned 19 he was signed to the Baltimore Orioles by Jack Dunn. Due to custody issues involving the school, Dunn had no choice but to adopt Ruth. This adoption led to George Herman Ruth receiving the nickname “Dunn’s baby.” Later this nickname became “Babe,” which stuck with him his whole career.
After only five months with the Orioles, Ruth was signed to the Boston Red Sox, where he spent six seasons (1914-1919) of his career. Starting off as a pitcher, it wasn’t until the Yankees bought him from the Red Sox in 1920 that his hitting was encouraged and used. Babe Ruth was an active Yankee from 1920-1934, in which he set new records consistently and played more than 2,000 matches. In 1935 he was sold to the Boston Braves, where he ended his career. On May 25, 1935, Ruth hit his 714th career home run and five days later played his last game. Because of his accomplishments, Ruth was one of the first inductees to the newly founded Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. Ruth was such a strong and giving person that he did not just sit around after his retirement. He participated in many activities, founded charities, hunted and visited sick children in hospitals until 1946 when he was diagnosed with cancer.
Sadly, after a short battle with cancer, Ruth passed due to pneumonia on Aug. 16, 1948. His body was memorialized at Yankee Stadium for the fans to pay tribute.
Sixty-five years ago, on April 27, 1947, Babe Ruth Day was held in Yankee Stadium. Today, many people around the world remember and celebrate Babe Ruth Day. The retired number 3 Yankee will always be a legend and in our hearts.