Thursday, June 2, 2011

On This Day in Baseball: Ruth's Retirement

On June 2, 1935, Boston Braves outfielder Babe Ruth announced his decision to retire from baseball.  He had wanted to retire three weeks earlier, but Braves' owner Emil Fuchs persuaded him to continue to play because Boston hadn't played in every National League park.  Ruth was forty years-old at the time of his retirement.  In 22 seasons (six for the Red Sox, 15 for the Yankees, one for the Braves), the Sultan of Swat smashed the old career home run record, hitting 714 big flies (now third all-time).  He ranks 10th all-time with a .342 batting average, second in on-base percentage at .474, first in slugging at .690, and second all-time in RBIs with 2,213.  Here are his full stats at Baseball-Reference.

After his playing career ended, Ruth was one of the first five players elected into Cooperstown in 1936.  He then became the first base coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938.  In 1947, he became director of the American Legion's youth baseball program.  On August 16, 1948, Ruth died of pneumonia.  He was 53

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