Happy Birthday, Babe

Today is Babe Ruth’s 118th birthday. It’s been 78 years since he played his last game and he remains the greatest ballplayer of all time – bar none.  Everyone knows about his home run prowess (in 1920 he smacked 54 homers, more than any other team except one) but before he became a slugger he was an extraordinary pitcher.  A few facts: he has the 11th best won/lost percentage in baseball history; his 2.277 lifetime ERA is 17th best all-time, just behind the great Mariano Rivera (2.214); he won 89 games by the time he was twenty-four,  far more than Tom Seaver (57), Randy Johnson (3), Tom Glavine (33), Roger Clemens (60), Greg Maddux (60),  and Steve Carlton (47), all of whom are members of the hallowed 300 Win Club.  When the bat was in his hands, he did a lot more than hit home runs.  He’s in the top ten with a career batting average of .342 and he stands #1 in OPS at 1.16.  And for those sabremetric fans out there, the Sultan of Swat is numero uno all-time in WAR.  Oh yeah, he also led the majors each year in eating hot dogs, drinking booze, and screwing dames.  All long before there was anything known as a performance enhancing drug.  (Can you imagine?  The Babe on steroids!!)  So, Babe, Happy Birthday to you!!