The Best Lefthanded Batters and Lefthanded Pitchers in Baseball
Babe Ruth started his career as a lefthanded pitcher with the Boston Red Sox in 1914, pitching in four games near the end of the season. Over the next three years he started 106 games and completed 74 of them, throwing 866 innings, winning 65 games and losing just 33 games. Ruth won 23 games in 1916 and 24 games in 1918, but as great as he was pitching, his powerful bat was proving to be just as valuable.
For the next two years he was a part-time starting pitcher and a part-time outfielder, In 1919 he lead the league with 29 home runs and 113 runs batted in, while winning 9 games in 133 innings pitched. Ruth only pitched in 5 more games during the rest of his career. He finished with 94 wins and only 46 losses for a .671 winning percentage, with a 2.28 earned run average and 107 complete games in 147 starts. If he had continued as a pitcher he might have still made the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Babe Ruth was traded from the Red Sox to the New York Yankees before the 1920 season. In his first Yankee season he batted .376 with 158 runs scored, 54 home runs and 135 runs batted in. All of these numbers led the league and surpassed previous league records. Ruth surpassed all of these numbers the following year when he batted .378 with 177 runs scored, 59 home runs and 168 runs batted in.
For the next 15 years he was the most dominant player in the game. He lead the league in home runs 12 times (finished second 3 more times), lead the league in runs scored 8 times, and lead the league in runs batted in 5 times (finished second 5 more times). He also lead the league in walks 12 times (finished second 2 more times), on-base percentage 10 times, and slugging percentage 13 times.
Babe Ruth finished his career with 714 home runs (the most ever until Hank Aaron and later Barry Bonds broke his record) 2214 runs batted in (2nd most ever), and a .342 batting average (9th best of all time). His 60 home runs in 1927 were the single season record until Roger Maris broke this record in 1961.
During his 15 years with the Yankees, they won the American League Championship seven times, and the World Series four times. While there were other great players on the Yankees at that time, Ruth was the best. He helped the game evolve from a low-scoring game of strategy to a game where home runs become a major factor. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.