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How Babe Ruth Changed Baseball

             The game of baseball traces its roots back to 1839 to Cooperstown New York. Two boys schools were playing a loosely structured game called town ball. Over the next several decades the rules evolved into the game we know today as baseball. In 1869 the first professional team took the field, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. .
             From the early days until World War I baseball used a rag type of a ball. This was known as the Dead Ball Era. Since the ball was not lively the strategy of the game revolved around defense, speed, and especially base running. The early ballparks featured spacious outfields. The combination of the dead ball and the huge outfield distances made home run hitting extremely difficult. .
             From 1876 through 1919 only eight players hit as many as 27 home runs in a season. Both fans and managers viewed home runs as being unusual and not integral part of the game. In 1919 this was all to change when George Herman Ruth moved from pitcher to outfielder. To this day baseball has never been the same. .
             A child named George Herman Ruth was born on February 6, 1895. Little did the baseball world know he would be one of the best if not the best player who ever played the game. Ruth's early childhood was rough. At age seven his parents could not handle him anymore and he was sent off to St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys. It was a reform school run by Catholic brothers. During his stay at St. Mary's he was tutored in baseball skills by Brother Matthias.
             Ruth started to improve on his baseball skills and became a good baseball player. In 1914 Jack Dunn signed Ruth to a contract as a pitcher. Dunn was the owner of the Baltimore minor league team. In order to sign Ruth, Jack had to become the legal guardian. Ruth's deal was $100 a month for six months. On his first day in spring training a player yelled, "Look at Dunnie and his new babe." The name Babe would stick with Ruth for the rest of his life.

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