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Old 04-24-2017, 09:21 PM
Bill77 Bill77 is offline
Bill Avery
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 202

Would he be a pitcher or an outfielder?

Another interesting question would be is how big of an impact on baseball would he have made if he remained a pitcher for his entire career?
Even today everyone is still chasing Ruth on the home run lists even though he was pasted by Hank Aaron and now Barry Bonds. If Ruth stays a pitcher who would become the original home run king? Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, someone else? Or would baseball have still remained more about hitting for high batting average and home run hitting specialists need not apply?
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:24 PM
tedzan tedzan is offline
Ted Zanidakis
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
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Default Babe Ruth

Too, too many stories about the Babe not taking care of his physique. Not really true. In 1925 Ruth was out of shape, his weight peaked up to 245 lbs,
and his "less than Ruthian" performance that year reflected this.

The Babe was determined to get back into shape. So, during the Winter of 1925 he started a rigorous physical training regime at a New York City gym.
And, every Winter there-after, Ruth continued this fitness program. By the start of the 1926 season, Ruth's weight was down to 205 lbs; and, in 1926
his fitness program paid him dividends.

Do the research, and you'll be amazed when you compare Ruth's performance from 1926 - 1932 with his performance during his younger years.

George Herman Ruth was the best there was circa 1915 - 1934. And, would be the best there is if he were playing the game today.

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Old 04-24-2017, 09:30 PM
Aquarian Sports Cards Aquarian Sports Cards is offline
Scott Russell
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Pennsylvania
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What I never understand in these scenarios is what exactly is being asked. Are we asking if Babe Ruth was magically brought into the future from let's say 1927 to 2017? Or are we saying Babe Ruth was Born in 1990 and became a player today? Some people operate under the odd misapprehension that humans are fundamentally physically different than 100 years ago. From an evolutionary standpoint this is ludicrous. Was HAS changed is diet, medicine, sports science etc. If you take Babe Ruth of 1927 and transport him to today I think he's probably still successful. If you allow Babe to be born in 1990 I see no reason why he wouldn't dominate today's game to the same degree he dominated the game of his day.

Also for those who talk about globalization etc... remember that in his day there were only 16 teams, so while the population to draw players from was smaller (largely white North American males) the number of available positions to fill was half of what it is today. That's probably not a wash, but it certainly does ameliorate the globalization issue somewhat.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:53 PM
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JollyElm JollyElm is offline
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Two words: designated hitter.
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I was such a dangerous hitter I even got intentional walks during batting practice.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:58 PM
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Pete Sycks
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Ruth would be good, borderline great in today's game, but not an all-time legend. Pitching is 100x's better today than in the 20's and 30's. Back then he'd face the same guy 3-4x's in a game, nowadays you're lucky to see a guy 3x's. Also: every bullpen today has multiple guys who can throw 95 mph with some throwing triple digits, back in the day you were lucky to have a guy throw 90. How many starters in the 20's had 3 legit pitches like most starters today? He also couldn't keep up with the training that all players do on a daily basis.
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Old 04-24-2017, 11:37 PM
nrm1977 nrm1977 is offline
Nick Mich@lovitz
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 48

It's hard to say for sure. You can't take away the natural talent he had for the game. Though, if he had modern training routines and nutrition, I'd say it could be possible.

This subject is always hard to debate due to the fact; modern training has evolved so much along with proper nutrition. Which these old-timers never had access to.
Nick M
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:00 AM
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vintagerookies51 vintagerookies51 is offline
Cole Hibbard
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Some of you are answering the question as if Ruth is being transported from the 1920s to modern times, and some as if he was born in 1990. The answer is clear to me...

If you took the Babe out of the 1920s and put him in today's game absolutely he would not be the same player, not even close. Today's game is just too different. Far more difficult pitches to hit as someone else mentioned. The equipment is a lot different. Speed is way more important in today's game unless he played 1st base or pitched. I'd say it would take him awhile to adjust and become a David Ortiz or prince fielder type player

If Ruth was born in 1990 however, then I think we would have dominated today's game just as much, because he'd already be acclimated to everything
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:26 AM
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Sean McGinty
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Japan
Posts: 148

The Babe was the right man in the right place at the right time. I don't think he would be the same person if he played today, and if you just time warped 1920s Ruth to now and put him in an MLB game, he would probably strike out each time up and get sent down to the minors.

I like this clip comparing Olympic gymnast gold medalist performances in 1932 and today, which I think sums up the problem:

The game and standards have changed so much (maybe not as dramatically in baseball as in gymnastics but still) in small increments over the decades that its basically a different game.

Walter Johnson, who was probably the hardest throwing pitcher who Ruth faced in his career, had a fastball that topped out at about 90mph. Today even guys that never make the majors can throw that hard. And that is just one example. Ruth would be facing a completely different, and much higher, standard of pitchers than what he was used to.

There are a lot of other things too which are worth mentioning. Making it to the majors was undoubtedly a lot easier in his time. The argument made in some comments that MLB quality has been watered down because now there are 30 teams is, I think, completely wrong. The population of the United States in 1920 was 106 million, today it is over three times that. So the number of teams per capita was actually higher back then that it is now and I think that is a more accurate metric for judging that - the number of MLB players is higher now but the number of people competing to become MLB players is also much higher. You also have the fact that in addition to the US population increasing, you also have players from numerous other countries playing in MLB now, so the actual talent pool it draws on is even larger still.

Also a career in MLB was nowhere near as lucrative back then as it is now, so a lot of talented people who could have had HOF careers in the early 20th century may have opted to pursue other careers (Lou Gehrig almost became an engineer instead of a baseball player, perhaps other equal talents made the other choice).

Then of course you have the usual arguments about segregation, the lack of a minor league system to develop talent, differences in sports medicine and training regimens, etc etc. There just really is no comparing the games across that much time.
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Old 04-25-2017, 04:35 AM
BobbyVCP BobbyVCP is offline
Bobby Binder
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Kauai
Posts: 283

Everyone is saying that the pitching is so much better today then back then. You are not taking into consideration that the pitchers doctored the ball, spit on it and the ball stayed in play a lot longer. With that the pitcher could make the ball move a lot more then todays pitcher. So the lack of speed is made up with movement. Much harder to hit a curve ball then a fastball.
Bobby Binder
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:33 AM
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rats60 rats60 is offline
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Originally Posted by seanofjapan View Post

Walter Johnson, who was probably the hardest throwing pitcher who Ruth faced in his career, had a fastball that topped out at about 90mph. Today even guys that never make the majors can throw that hard. And that is just one example. Ruth would be facing a completely different, and much higher, standard of pitchers than what he was used to.
Greg Maddux topped out at about 90mph and he was one of the greatest pitchers of all time. Walter Johnson was timed as high as 99mph. I don't think pitchers throw that much harder, even though that is really irrelevant. It is just easy for people to dismiss pitchers of that era because they didn't have speed guns timing every pitch.
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