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Topics in Chronicling America - The Emergence of Babe Ruth

Babe Ruth began as a pitcher, but quickly became one of the most prolific hitter in the history of baseball. His sheer power earned him comparisons to Thor and Hercules and the awe-inspired appellations: the “Sultan of Swat,” the “Battering Bambino,” the “Mighty Mauler,” and the “Home Run King.” Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


Picture of Babe Ruth

Jump to: Sample Articles

Important Dates:

  • 1916. Red Sox manager, Bill Carrigan, begins to play Ruth in the outfield on days when he’s not pitching.
  • July 1, 1917. Ruth is suspended for a week and fined $100 for punching Umpire Brick Owens. September 5, 1918 Ruth pitches a shutout in Game 1 of the World Series.
  • September 12, 1918. The Red Sox win the World Series. The Red Sox had also won the World Series in 1915 and 1916, but Ruth had been held hitless in both Series. 1919 Ruth demands a salary increase from $10,000 to $20,000, even though he has two years remaining on his contract. He refuses to play the 1920 season in Boston unless his demands are met.
  • September 24, 1919. Ruth sets the single season home run record with his 28th. He would finish the season with 29 and would break his own record three times in 1920, 1921, and 1927.
  • December 2, 1919. Ruth announces his intention to train and fight Jack Dempsey for the Heavyweight boxing title. July 1920 Physicist A.L. Hodges alleges that Ruth has a “44 horse-power swing” and hits the ball of the bat at 360 mph.
  • January 5, 1920. The New York Yankees buy Ruth for $125,000 from the Boston Red Sox. No team had ever paid more than $50,000 for a player prior to the Ruth deal.
  • June 13, 1921. Ruth sets the record for longest hit with a 442-foot homer. The next day he would eclipse his own record with a 450-foot homer.
  • 1922. Ruth’s contract earns him a $75,000 salary and an additional $500 for each home run he hits.
  • May 26, 1922. Ruth climbs into the stands during a game, trying to fight a heckler.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] George Herman Babe Ruth, Battering Bambino, Mighty Mauler, King of Swat, Home Run King, Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, World Series, Bill Carrigan, and Harry Frazee.
  • It is important to use a specific date range if looking for articles for a particular event in order to narrow your results.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  June 24, 2014
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