The Babe’s Legend is Born

Babe Ruth (1895–1948) made his Major League Baseball debut on July 11, 1914. Back then, he was known as more of a pitcher than a slugger. In his first game as a pro, Ruth pitched seven strong innings to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians.

Within a few years, The Babe had become a national sensation. In 1919, his last season with Boston, he hit 29 home runs, and each shot seemed more prodigious than the last. Apparently, he also gave the U.S. Postal Service a boost. In his book The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth, Ruth biographer Leigh Montville explains that The Babe was a popular fellow among letter writers:

He was the talk of baseball. He had hit a home run in every park in the American League, including the longest home runs ever seen in New York, Detroit, St. Louis, Boston, not to mention Tampa, Florida. Fan mail had arrived in such piles that he now asked teammates and the Red Sox front office to handle it. He had opened the window to the future of the game while playing for a sad sixth-place team.

In 1983, Ruth appeared on a 20-cent U.S. postage stamp. In 2000, he was part the U.S. Postal Service’s Legends of Baseball stamp issuance. The pane featured 20 baseball Hall of Famers.

Babe Ruth also appears in Play Ball! A Celebration of Baseball’s Greatest Moments. The 40-page softbound book, along with the Major League Baseball All-Stars stamps, are available for pre-order now!

Major League Baseball trademarks and copyrights are used with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc.