Shoken: How Babe Ruth became Babe Ruth in Baltimore

From SABR member Fred Shoken at the Baltimore Sun on April 29, 2019:

A century ago in old Oriole Park, Babe Ruth hit four home runs during an exhibition game, changing the path of his career and the game of baseball.

Babe Ruth started his professional baseball career as a 19-year-old pitcher for the minor league Baltimore Orioles. He soon became a starter with the Boston Red Sox and won more than 20 games in both 1916 and 1917. His pitching helped his team win championships.

Although he was an excellent pitcher, Babe Ruth transitioned into a position player during the 1918 and 1919 seasons. It was as a batter and more specifically as a home run hitter that he became famous.

As the Red Sox were preparing for the 1919 season, Boston played several exhibition games while heading north from Florida. They stopped in Baltimore playing two games against the Orioles on April 18 and 19, 1919.

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Originally published: May 1, 2019. Last Updated: May 1, 2019.