July 11, 1914. Baseball legend Babe Ruth made his debut in Major League Baseball. George Herman Ruth, Jr., known as “Babe” Ruth and nicknamed “the Bambino” and “the Sultan of Swat”, was an American baseball player who spent 22 seasons in Major League Baseball, playing for three teams: the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees and the Boston Braves. Ruth set multiple career records, including hitting 714 home runs, a record since beaten by Hank Aaron in 1974. He was also the first player to hit 60 home runs in one season in 1927, a mark surpassed by Roger Maris in 1961 with 61 home runs. Ruth initially began his career as a pitcher but after he was sold to the New York Yankees in 1919 he became a full-time right fielder. Thanks in large part to Ruth’s brilliance with the bat, the Yankees won four World Series titles. A platform had been set for the Yankees’ golden age, which lasted until the 1960s, and which saw other great players such as Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle follow in Ruth’s footsteps. In 1936, Ruth became one of the first five players to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Ruth is credited with driving the change of baseball into a high-scoring power game. He also helped increase the popularity of the sport and he is now regarded as one of the greatest sports heros in American culture and one of the best baseball players of all time.
Also on July 11: Pope Clement VII excommunicates Henry VIII of England (1533); Waterloo railway station opens in London (1848); the Vichy Regime is formally established during World War II and Philippe Pétain becomes France’s Prime Minister (1940); To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is published (1960); Martin Luther King Jr. is posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1977); beginning of the 11-day Srebrenica massacre (1995).
Born on July 11: Léon Bloy (1846), Millie and Christine McCoy (1851), Carl Schmitt (1888), Giorgio Armani (1934), Oscar D’León (1943), Rachael Taylor (1984), Kelsey Sanders (1990).
Picture credits: Associated Press