George Herman "Babe" Ruth was an American icon or symbol just as Uncle Sam was; the Babe started it all. He was the best pitcher in his day and still remains the strongest slugger in the game. Ruth had power, strength, an appetite and a desire for the game that no other player would ever have. It was "Babe Ruth, a hero of prowess who had achieved greatness by the sheer extent of his extraordinary ability" that put a smile on all the youngsters faces. No matter where he was the fans would follow; the attendance was always the greatest in his presence. .
After the 1919 World Series scandal by the "Black Sox", along with the problems in the National Commission, professional baseball was reorganized and a new commissioner was appointed. In 1921 the new ball, which is also the current ball, was introduced; this new ball was tightly wound which made it much easier for more home runs and created more of an active game; this also was the year which Ruth's home runs increased from twenty-nine to fifty-nine, hitting a career total of 714. With an increase in the action of the game, the media coverage increased drastically as well, including both paper coverage and radio coverage. The idea of the home run was more of a new concept and with Ruth's improvement it became a symbol of The Babe. The idea of the home run also symbolized the creation of a strong willed nation and self-confident young men, enforcing the idea that innovations and expansion would constantly be occurring. .
It was believed that by watching baseball, youngsters would learn to be better people because they would begin to imitate the professionals who became their heroes. Baseball taught quick decision making skills, competitiveness, how to sacrifice for the team, as well as how to accept authority. Hugh Fullerton, a modern student of baseball at the time, spoke of his thoughts of baseball:.
Baseball to my way of thinking, is the greatest single force working for Americanization.