George Herman (Babe) Ruth began his 22-year Major League Baseball career with the Boston Red Sox in 1914. After the 1919 season, Ruth was traded to the New York Yankees, starting what had been known as a Red Sox curse (Boston won the 1918 World Series and wouldn’t capture another MLB crown until 2004).
Many people would have thought the Babe would remain a Yankee or eventually call it quits in Boston with the Red Sox. Ruth did return to Boston in 1935, but it had been with the Boston Braves of the National League. After the 1934 season, Ruth got his release from the Yankees.
On May 30, 1935 (Memorial Day), the Braves played the first game of a doubleheader against the host Philadelphia Phillies before 18,000-plus spectators at Baker Bowl. Ruth occupied left field for the first game. In the top of the first, Phillies pitcher Jim Bivin induced a groundout by Ruth.
Boston took the field in the bottom of the first and the Phillies already scored two runs. Philadelphia’s Lou Chiozza looped a baseball to left field and Ruth couldn’t handle a shoestring catch, resulting in another Phillies run as the ball rolled all the way to the wall. Braves shortstop Bill Urbanski retrieved the ball from the outfield and relayed the throw to home plate in time to tag out Chiozza for the inning’s final out.
As the Braves headed to the dugout before the top of the second, Ruth tucked his glove into his back pocket and jogged to the centerfield clubhouse. Nearly the entire crowd at Baker Bowl stood up and gave the Babe a tremendous ovation. Ruth decided to retire as a baseball player and it happened in Philadelphia, PA.
The Phillies defeated the Braves, 11-6, in two hours and 25 minutes. Boston out-hit Philadelphia, 14-12, and the Braves collected home runs from Wally Berger and Randy Moore, but none by the Babe. Ruth went zero-for-one at the plate before being replaced in left field by Hal Lee, who tallied two singles and one double in four at-bats and scored one run.
In 28 games with the Braves, Ruth compiled 13 hits in 72 at-bats with 13 runs, zero doubles, zero triples, six homers, and 12 runs batted in. During his 22-year career, the Babe played in 2,503 games, batting .342 (2,873 for 8,399) with 2,174 runs, 506 doubles, 136 triples, 714 round-trippers, 123 steals, 2,062 bases on balls, and 2,214 RBIs. Ruth, who was 94-46 with a 2.28 Earned Run Average in 163 games on the mound, was inducted into the inaugural Baseball Hall of Fame class in 1939 in Cooperstown, New York.
*Details regarding Babe Ruth’s final MLB appearance can be found on page 555 in “The Phillies Encyclopedia (Third Edition)” by Rich Westcott and Frank Bilovsky. Ruth’s career statistics can be found on Baseball-Reference.com.