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‘The Sultan of Swat’
Famed home-run slugger George Herman ‘Babe’ Ruth, who died on August 16, 1948, is credited with turning baseball from a game of speed and skill to one of power. During a flamboyant major league career that began as a pitcher with the Boston Red Sox in 1914 and ended with his retirement from the Boston Braves in 1935, the Babe hit an astonishing total of 714 homers, a feat that was not surpassed until Henry Aaron of the Atlanta Braves broke Ruth’s record in 1974. The fans loved the warm-hearted Babe Ruth, who had a reputation as a hard drinker, carouser and womanizer. In 1931, at the height of his career with the Yankees, Ruth earned $80,000, which made him the highest-paid ballplayer in history. At a special ‘Babe Ruth Day’ just two months before his death, the cancer-stricken Babe donned his uniform for the last time and appeared before a cheering crowd at Yankee Stadium.

Photo: Library of Congress