US Stamps

By Michael Baadke

Born Feb. 6: Babe Ruth

February 06, 2015 05:55 AM

  • Baseball legend Babe Ruth was born 120 years ago today, on Feb. 6, 1895. He has been honored on three U.S. stamps.

Babe Ruth was born George Herman Ruth Jr. in Baltimore, Md., on Feb. 6, 1895. During his years at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, he was introduced to the game of baseball by Brother Matthias, one of the school’s disciplinarians.

Ruth began playing with the Baltimore Orioles, then a minor league team, at age 19. He was a pitcher at first, but after a stint in the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox, his contract was sold to the New York Yankees, and he was converted to the outfield so his powerful bat could be in the lineup every day.

As a hitter Ruth regularly broke major league records, including the season record for home runs, which he set at 54 in 1920, 59 in 1921, and 60 in 1927.

When he retired in 1935, Ruth had hit 714 career home runs, another record. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936, one of the first five players to be so honored.

A 20¢ engraved commemorative showing Ruth at bat was issued July 6, 1983 (Scott 2046). In 1998 Ruth was featured on a 32¢ stamp in the Celebrate the Century series (3184a). Just two years later, Ruth was honored again, on a 33¢ stamp in the Legends of Baseball commemorative set (3408h).