Via the Star-Ledger:
George Herman “Babe” Ruth was born on Feb. 6, 1895. While baseball fans are well-versed in the both Babe’s statistical and hot dog-eating accomplishments, here are some lesser-known facts about one of the original five inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Ruth was one of eight children . Only he and his sister, Mamie Ruth Moberly, survived infancy.
By the age of 15, Ruth’s talents as both a pitcher and hitter had become known to Baltimore Orioles manager Jack Dunn. The minor league team’s manager scouted talent for the Boston Red Sox. By 19, Ruth wanted to play professionally, but needed a legal guardian to sign a contract for him. Dunn became Ruth’s guardian, and teammates began to refer to Ruth as “Dunn’s new babe;” the nickname stuck.
Ruth and his illustrious teammate, Lou Gehrig, did not speak to each other for years, with clubhouse talk tracing the dispute to Ruth’s wife having once criticized Gehrig’s mother. When the two stars did speak, it was often in fluent German. Both were sons of German immigrants.
Ruth ended his career bitter with the New York Yankees because he felt they should have named him manager. No other team gave him the opportunity either. The only on-field position he ever held following his playing days was as a first-base coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938.
I never knew that Ruth and Gehrig talked to each other in German. And, how about The Babe and Donnie Baseball? Both wanted to manage the Yankees and both ended up as a coach with the Dodgers instead. (Of course, Mattingly later became the Dodgers skipper.)
Last, Hank Aaron was born on February 5th and the Babe was the 6th. How cool would it have been if they both had been born on the same day? Man, they just missed….