Why Babe Ruth Never Hit for the Cycle, and Other Hitting for the Cycle Tidbits


Babe Ruth is arguably the greatest player to ever swing a bat. His nicknames include the Bambino, Sultan of Swat, Big Bam, Behemoth of Bust, Colossus of Clout, and Maharajah of Mash. There is an old saying in sabermetrical studies: If you conduct a sabermetrical analysis of the greatest players in history and Babe Ruth does not come out at or near the top, then there’s something wrong with your study.

You get the idea—the Babe was a phenomenal batter. It is less well-known that he was also a great pitcher. Some researchers believe that the Sultan of Swat would have been elected to Baseball’s Hall of Fame as a pitcher. For instance, he never had a losing season. He had a .671 career winning percentage (94–46) and a lifetime earned run average of 2.28, leading the American League in 1916 with a 1.75 mark in 40 starts, including nine shut-outs. He was part of a combined no-hitter with Ernie Shore in 1917. But let’s talk about batting for now.

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1 Comment

  1. The part Babe Ruth played in the no hitter does not reflect on his talent as a pitcher (which was considerable). He walked the first batter and then was thrown out of the game for arguing with an umpire. Ernie Shore relieved Ruth, and the batter Ruth walked was immediately thrown out attempting to steal second base. Shore then retired the next twenty-six batters and was credited with a perfect game until 1991 when MLB Commissioner Fay Vincent reclassified the game as a combined no-hitter.