His Nickname Helped Separate the Babe From This Lineup of Georges
Boston Sent Babe To The Bronx The Day After Christmas In 1919
Babe Ruth sprouted up throughout the day, which would not be all that unusual if it were the middle of the summer in the heat of a pennant race. The fact was, however, the calendar indicated the day as December 26, when baseball was far from the minds of most people.
Exactly one hundred years ago began the Curse of the Bambino, the day when the Boston Red Sox sold Babe Ruth to the rival New York Yankees. Owner Harry Frazee was just one year removed from a Red Sox World Series Championship, yet he was swamped with debt.
He received what would by today's economic standard be a mere trifle, and the rest is baseball history. Ruth would thereafter become the most famous man in baseball, based mostly on his tremendous talent.
Part of his lasting fame, though, should be credited to his endearing nickname. Had he been simply known by his given name of George, he might have been relegated to the standing of simply legendary.
Even without being the Babe, the slugger also known as the Sultan of Seat would still ranks among the greatest Georges to ever don a Big League uniform. Here is a possible roster of which he would be a part.
Catcher, Jorge Posada
Dominance defined the Yankees from the Nineties to the century's First decade, and Posada was the unheralded leader too often taking a back seat to Derek Jeter.
First Base, George Scott
Boomer combined power with a high batting average, making him a key part of the lineups of both his Milwaukee and Boston clubs.
Second Base, Jorge Orta
Several teams were glad to have the All-Star infielder in their lineup, for he offered the consistent offense rarely seen during the Seventies.
Shortstop, Jorge Polanco
It was no coincidence that the Minnesota Twins have made the postseason twice in the three years since Polanco was promoted, as he has provided them with a much needed ability to Swat on base in front of their sluggers.
Third Base, George Brett
Cooperstown was the destination for the face of the Kansas City Royals, a prolific hitter who in 1980 came within a dozen points of being the first player to hit .400 since Ted Williams.
Left Field, George Foster and George Bell
In 1977 Foster of the Cincinnati Reds became the first guy to hit at least fifty home runs since Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle, while Bell as a Toronto Blue Jay was for several seasons the most feared slugger in all of baseball. At the end of his career he became known as the player the Cubs traded to get Sammy Sosa.
Center Field, George Springer
At the top of the Houston batting order that led to two American League pennants as well as a World Series Championship was Springer, whose combination of power and clutch hitting has helped redefine the role of the leadoff hitter.
Right Field, George Herman Ruth
No hitter in the history of the game has outshined his colleagues as did the Bambino, whose record for home runs (714 career, 60 season) remained for almost half a century.
Designated Hitter, George Hendrick
At six feet three inches Hendrick was a scary presence for opposing pitchers, a slugger who finished as a runner up for Most Valuable Player for four straight seasons as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Starting Pitcher, George Medich
After finishing third for Rookie of the Year for the 1973 Yankees, Doc the very next year won nineteen games for New York.
Relief Pitcher, George Sherrill
He accumulated nearly sixty saves in ten seasons, during which he spent time with Seattle, Atlanta, Baltimore and the Dodgers.