On June 2, 1935, Babe Ruth, one of the greatest players in the history of baseball, ends his Major League playing career after 22 seasons, 10 World Series and 714 home runs. The following year, Ruth, a larger-than-life figure whose name became synonymous with baseball, was one of the first five players inducted into the sport’s hall of fame.
George Herman Ruth was born February 6, 1895, into a poor family in Baltimore. As a child, he was sent to St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, a school run by Roman Catholic brothers, where he learned to play baseball and was a standout athlete. At 19, Ruth was signed by the Baltimore Orioles. Ruth’s fellow teammates and the media began referring to him as team owner Jack Dunn’s newest “babe,” a nickname that stuck. Ruth would later acquire other nicknames, including “The Sultan of Swat” and “The Bambino.”
Ruth made his Major League debut as a left-handed pitcher with the Red Sox in July 1914 and pitched 89 winning games for the team before 1920, when he was traded to the New York Yankees. After Ruth left Boston, in what became known as “the curse of the Bambino,” the Red Sox didn’t win another World Series until 2004. In New York, Ruth’s primary position changed to outfielder and he led the Yankees to seven American League pennants and four World Series victories. Ruth was a huge star in New York and attracted so many fans that the team was able to open a new stadium in 1923, Yankee Stadium, dubbed “The House That Ruth Built.”
The southpaw slugger’s final season, in 1935, was with the Boston Braves. He had joined the Braves with the hope that he’d become the team’s manager the next season. However, this dream never came to pass for a disappointed Ruth, who had a reputation for excessive drinking, gambling and womanizing.
Many of the records Ruth set remained in place for decades. His career homerun record stood until 1974, when it was broken by Hank Aaron. Ruth’s record of 60 homeruns in a single season (1927) of 154 games wasn’t bested until 1961, when Roger Maris knocked out 61 homers in an extended season of 162 games. The Sultan of Swat’s career slugging percentage of .690 remains the highest in Major League history.
OTHER EVENTS ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:
On June 2, 2015, Sepp Blatter, president of international soccer’s governing body FIFA, steps down, just a few days after he had been re-elected to a fifth four-year term. His resignation came amid rumors that he would soon be under investigation by the United States and Sweden …read more
Timothy McVeigh, a former U.S. Army soldier, is convicted on 15 counts of murder and conspiracy for his role in the 1995 terrorist bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. On April 19, 1995, just after 9 a.m., a massive truck bomb exploded outside the …read more
With Congress’ passage of the Indian Citizenship Act, the government of the United States confers citizenship on all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the country. Before the Civil War, citizenship was often limited to Native Americans of one-half or less …read more
On June 2, 1953, Queen Elizabeth II is formally crowned monarch of the United Kingdom in a lavish ceremony steeped in traditions that date back a millennium. A thousand dignitaries and guests attended the coronation at London’s Westminster Abbey, and hundreds of millions listened …read more
In an event that is generally regarded as marking the end of the Civil War, Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of Confederate forces west of the Mississippi, signs the surrender terms offered by Union negotiators. With Smith’s surrender, the last Confederate army …read more
The 32-year-old race car driver Bruce McLaren dies in a crash while testing an experimental car of his own design at a track in Goodwood, England on June 2, 1970. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, McLaren contracted a childhood hip disease that would keep him in hospitals for …read more
On June 2, 1985, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) bans English football (soccer) clubs from competing in Europe. The ban followed the death of 39 Italian and Belgian football fans at Brussels’ Heysel Stadium in a riot caused by English football hooligans at that …read more
President Grover Cleveland becomes the first sitting president to marry in the White House on June 2, 1886. Cleveland entered the White House as a bachelor and left a married man and father of two. His new wife was a young woman 27 years his junior named Frances Folsom. Frances …read more
On June 2, 1989, the boys’ prep school drama Dead Poets Society, starring Robin Williams, is released in selected U.S. theaters. Set in 1959 at a fictional all-male preparatory school called Welton Academy, the film starred Robin Williams as John Keating, a charismatic English …read more
Leonard Lake is arrested near San Francisco, California, ending one of the rare cases of serial killers working together. Lake and Charles Ng were responsible for a series of particularly brutal crimes against young women in California and the Pacific Northwest during the …read more
Senator Joseph McCarthy charges that communists have infiltrated the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the atomic weapons industry. Although McCarthy’s accusations created a momentary controversy, they were quickly dismissed as mere sensationalism from a man whose career was …read more
On June 2, 1774, the British Parliament renews the Quartering Act. The Quartering Act, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Government Act, the Administration of Justice Act and the Boston Port Act, were known as the Coercive Acts. READ MORE: 7 Events That Enraged Colonists and …read more
On June 2, 1915, Austro-Hungarian and German troops continue their attacks on the Russian soldiers holding Przemysl (now in Poland), the citadel guarding the northeastern-most point of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Used as the Austrian army headquarters during the first months of …read more
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