Ask people to name five baseball players. Most will include “Babe Ruth,” even though his prime was 80 or 90 years ago and he died in 1948, 67 years ago this week.
Many consider George Herman Ruth Jr. one of the greatest icons not only in baseball, but in all of American history.
He was the most dominant player ever. In the 1922 season, he hit 54 home runs. No other player hit more than 19 and only one team hit more than Babe did individually. The next year, 1922, he made a new record of 59 home runs, drove in 171 runs, scored 177 runs, batted .376 and had an unheard of .846 slugging percentage. He was a superstar and became the most popular player ever.
He was also a cultural icon. Bill Veeck, who was involved with pro baseball for nearly 60 years before his death in 1986, did a TV special called A View from the Bleachers in 1982. When Veeck was asked by host Bill Brashler who was his greatest hero, of course, Babe Ruth was first.