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George Herman Ruth was born in Baltimore, Maryland on February 6, 1895. His parents sent him to a reform school at the age of seven and he remained at St. Mary's Industrial School until he was nineteen. The owner of the Baltimore Orioles, Jack Dunn agreed to be his guardian and offered Ruth a contract for $100 a month to play for the Orioles.
Ruth's teammates nicknamed him "The Babe" and the name stuck.

In 1914 the Boston Red Sox purchased Ruth and made him a pitcher with their Providence farm club. After winning 22 games he returned to Boston. Ruth was one of the best in the American League from 1915-1917. He won 18 games for the Red Sox in 1915 and 23 games in 1916 to lead the Red Sox to a pennant. In 1918, he moved primarily to the outfield but still had a pitching record of 13-7 for the season. Ruth hit 11 home runs that year as well, which was a remarkable number for that time period. The following year he hit 29 home runs and swatted 114 RBIs. The Red Sox owner, Harry Frazee became financially strapped while putting together a theatrical project and as a result sold Ruth to the New York Yankees for $125,000 in December of 1918. The "Curse of the Bambino" was born and still haunts the Red Sox today.

In 1920, Ruth hit 54 home runs for the New York Yankees and attracted a great deal of media attention and fan support. Eager fans clamored to see the "Bambino" in New York and set the first million-plus attendance record in major league baseball history. This inspired the Yankees to build a new stadium in 1923 that seated 60,000 people. Yankee Stadium is sometimes referred to as "The House That Ruth Built."

Ruth led the 1923 Yankees to their third straight pennant and their first of twenty-five World Series titles. Ruth set a single-season home run record of 60 in 1927 and that mark stood until Roger Maris broke it with 61 in 1960. In 1934, Ruth asked to manage the Yankees and was snubbed by then owner, Jacob Ruppert who instead offered Ruth New York's top farm club. Ruth signed with the Braves next and had his final hoorah on May 25, 1935 when he hit three home runs in a single game. When Ruth retired a few weeks later he had 714 career home runs, a career batting average of .342, and the honor of leading the league in home runs for twelve years.

Babe Ruth was one of the highest paid baseball players in his era. By his second season with the Yankees, Ruth was earning $30,000. In 1922, he signed a five-year contract with the Yankees for $52,000 per year and when that was up he resigned for three more years at $80,000 per year. His salary peaked in 1931 with a two-year contract of $80,000 per year.

Ruth was elected to the Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1936 and was one of the founding five members. He died on August 16, 1949 in New York, New York and is buried at Gate of Heaven in Hawthorn, New York.