Babe Ruth was a great hitter and pitcher. Was he the best ballplayer ever?
Yes, he was. Babe Ruth was the greatest baseball player ever.
I agree with James. When you look at his stats as a pitcher then you realize the magnitude of his abilities. I looked a couple of things up and here are a couple of striking (pun intended) stats: He pitched over 1,200 innings and compiled an aggregate ERA of 2.28! He pitched 31 innings in the World Series and had an ERA of 0.87 including a consecutive scoreless innings pitched streak of 29 2/3 innings in World Series play which was a record that stood until 1961! So he didn't just pitch. He was dominant. I would give a bit of a hedge due to the fact that he pitched in the dead-ball era but he single-handedly ended that with the excitement of his home runs. When the call Yankee Stadium "The House That Ruth Built" it was a testament to the fact that baseball exploded as the national past time because of the excitement he brought to the game. It is true that he played in an era of segregation but I believe the way to measure a player's greatness is to see how he did in his era and nobody has ever approached Ruth in terms of his combined pitching and hitting capabilities. He transformed the game and is today still the name that gives baseball it's tradition and mythical status.
For his time, but he sure is no modern athlete, but for his time absolutely.
Before he hit 60 homeruns no ballplayer had ever hit more than 29 and that was him. Without steroids modern hitters would still have trouble hitting more than 40. He also did it with dead baseballs that didn't have the pop that modern balls do. I don't think he was a great athlete but he was the best baseball player.
Honestly I cant say he is because I never saw him play! Thats the problem with the arguement of best ever!! If you go by stats he's one of the best ever I just wish I saw him play, wait were did I put my time machine????
Ruth was everything you could ask for in a ball player from his time, he was barrel chested, gregarious, and he could straight up hit the ball. His pitching prowess was almost as impressive, but not near as popular as homeruns were at the time. I doubt Ruth could have lived the lifestyle he did during todays game, but I'm convinced he could most assuredly still bop with the best no matter the era.
The pitching and hitting mechanics back then were not close to where they are today and because of that the skill level wasn't either. Take skill level out of it and he for sure is at the top of that list, but put him out there today and I don't know if he would be able to even compete!
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