Babe Ruth Once Punched an Umpire, Opening the Door for a Wild No-Hitter
Babe Ruth played for both the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees and had power at the plate and a rocket arm on the mound. Ruth spent 22 seasons in the big leagues and was as dominant a player as there ever was. He could hit for power, slugging more than 50 home runs in a season more than four times and hitting better than .350 in eight seasons. On the mound, Ruth had a pair of 20-win seasons and led the league in ERA once. Ruth also had a little bit of a temper and that became evident on June 23, 1917.
Babe Ruth’s ridiculous statistics
Babe Ruth’s numbers would probably make him the top fantasy player of all time. His statistics are jaw-dropping, especially considering he was both a pitcher and a batter for the better part of five seasons. He spent the better part of his career with the New York Yankees after spending his first six seasons with the Boston Red Sox.
As a hitter, Ruth led the league in home runs in 12 of his 22 seasons. His biggest home-run production came during the 1927 season when he hit 60 and drove in a league-leading 137 runs. He also led baseball with 158 runs scored that year. In eight seasons, he led all of baseball in runs scored. He was the league leader in runs scored for five seasons and was tops in walks for 11. His career batting average is a whopping .342, not bad for a guy who also led the league in strikeouts five times. He finished his career with 714 home runs and 2,214 RBIs.
On the mound, Babe Ruth did the bulk of his pitching for the Boston Red Sox. In 1916 and 1917, he put together consecutive 20-win seasons. During the ’16 season, he finished with a record of 23-12 and led the league with a 1.75 ERA. The following season he went 24-13 with a 2.01 ERA. In his career, he was 94-46 with a 2.28 ERA.
Babe Ruth off the field
George Herman Ruth was a monster on the baseball field and he was also quite the player off it. Despite being married, he was known for chasing women and he also had a reputation for drinking and being up all hours of the night.
It got to the point where New York Yankees owner Colonel Jake Ruppert became concerned about his star. Things became so concerning that Ruppert drew up a contract in 1922 to make sure his baseball star would control his late-night drinking and partying. His behavior was so out of hand that the league had suspended him five times before August of the 1922 season.
Ruth eventually signed Ruppert’s contract. He agreed to stop the drinking and to curb his late-night partying. He agreed to the terms under one condition. “I’ll promise to go easier on drinking and to get to bed earlier, but not for you, fifty thousand dollars, or two-hundred and fifty thousand dollars will I give up women,” Ruth said. “They’re too much fun.”
The Babe loses his temper, punches umpire
On June 23, 1917, Babe Ruth was on the mound for the Boston Red Sox against the Washington Senators and it didn’t take much to set off the Babe that particular day. In fact, it took just four pitches. After walking leadoff hitter Ray Morgan, Ruth confronted umpire Brick Owens and the scene quickly turned ugly.
According to the Boston Globe, Ruth was upset over a couple of close pitches and after being warned and then ejected by Owens, Ruth slugged the umpire. “Then in rushed Ruth. Chester Thomas tried to prevent him from reaching Owens, who had not removed his mask, but Babe started swinging both hands. The left missed the arbiter, but the right struck him behind the left ear. Manager Barry and several policemen had to drag Ruth off the field. All season Babe has been fussing a lot. Nothing has seemed to satisfy him.”
Ruth was replaced by Ernie Shore, who came in and did the unthinkable. After Morgan was caught stealing second base, Shore threw to perfection as he retired the next 26 batters. He only recorded two strikeouts in the 4-0 victory. Shore, too, went on to play for both the Red Sox and the Yankees and finished his seven-year career with a 65-43 record and a 2.47 ERA.