Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Babe

"I have just one superstition. Whenever I hit a home run, I make certain I touch all four bases." - Babe Ruth

I am not a Yankees fan.....about as far from it as can be, actually.  But I bleed baseball, and I've been enamored with Babe Ruth since I was a kid.  An American icon.  The single most dominant player in the history of team sports.  More feared, revered and loved in his time than any other athlete ever.  He's been my answer to the "If you could meet any one person, from any point in history, who would it be?" question since I was 7....and if I ever do get that time machine, I know exactly where I'm pointing it.

Here come the stats! (Look away, Timmy.....)

Ruth's Career Stats:

Batting average: .342
Home runs: 714
Hits: 2,873
RBI: 2,213
OPS: 1.164
BB: 2,062
AB:  8,399

Pitching W/L record: 94-46
ERA: 2.28
CG:  107

Ruth led the AL in Home Runs 12 times.  But what always astounded me is how he did it, and the time in which it was done.  In 1919, Ruth led the league with 29 HR.....the next closest to him hit 10.  In 1920, Ruth's first season with the Yankees, George Sisler was second in the league with 19 HR....... Ruth hit 54!

Hank Aaron, easily one of the greatest players ever, and the All-Time Home Run King (until modern medicine took over), hit 755 HR in his career, 41 more than the Babe.  Aaron did that in 12,364 at bats........3,965 more than Ruth.  Project Ruth's totals over the same number of at bats (which is silly, I know) get 1,051 HR (not to mention, 3,258 RBI).

And as sick to my stomach as he makes me, I'll even do the same with Barry Bonds.  Bonds hit 762 career HR (roughly 317 of which were, um, juicy....that we know of).  That was over 9,847 career at bats.  Give Ruth that many get 837 HR.

And here, have a look at the greatest (statistical) season ever, Ruth's 1921 campaign:

.378 AVG, 59 HR, 171 RBI, 177 R, 457 TB, .512 OB, .846 SLG, 145 BB

I could go on I'll stop. 

Rich Hennemann, 2011
11 x 15, Watercolor on cold press block


  1. A man amongst boys.

    Great portrait, Rich.

  2. Who do you think you are, Chiarello? ;o) -- J

    (Actually, I thought we had a guest post from Chi on first glance. Really nice piece Rich.)

  3. Ha.....if Chi slipped and hit his head on the tub, and forgot everything he knew about painting, he'd be me.

    Or he'd invent time travel.

    One of those two.

    Thanks, though! I want to start doing more of this. My idea is to use this blog to try different things, maybe learn something. And of course, Mark's baseball painting are amazing...

    - Rich