Boston Red Sox: Ten Greatest Starting Pitchers of All-Time

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#4: Babe Ruth

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Before revolutionizing the game of baseball as the legendary Great Bambino with the New York Yankees, Babe Ruth was a dominant left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. He is arguably the best player of all-time, and will obviously always be best remembered as a Yankees’ slugger. That being said, Ruth’s time in Boston was impressive and has an important place in Red Sox history.

Ruth made his big league debut with the Red Sox at 19-years-old in 1914, before really starting to make a name for himself in 1915. Ruth went 18-8 with a 2.44 ERA in 1915, and was a huge reason for the Red Sox winning the World Series that season.

Ruth’s best year as a pitcher came in 1916, when he led the league by making 40 starts, going 23-12 with a league-leading 1.75 ERA. The Red Sox won the World Series again in 1916, making Ruth the ace pitcher for back-to-back World Series championship teams.

He backed that season up with an equally impressive 24-13, 2.03 ERA campaign in 1917.

It was the next season when the Red Sox started to see Ruth’s value as a hitter in, allowing him to play other positions on days he did not pitch in 1918. He was an immediate star at the plate (leading the league in home runs and slugging percentage), but continued to star on the mound, going 13-7 with a 2.22 ERA.

With Ruth’s continued success on the mound, and powerful bat emerging, he led the Red Sox to another World Series title in 1918. The Babe pitched in only 17 games in 1919, as the Red Sox tried to get him into the line-up more and more. His pitching days were clearly coming to an end, as Ruth hit .322/.456/.657 in 1919, leading the league in OBP, SLG, runs scored (103), home runs (29) and RBI (113).

He had become far and away the best hitter in baseball in his first season in his first full season at the plate, and was only 24-years-old. Why the Red Sox sold him to the Yankees that very next off season, no one will ever know.

As you know, Ruth went on to become one of the best players in the history of the game as a power-hitting outfielder like no one had ever seen before.

When talking about Babe Ruth and is time with the Boston Red Sox, there is so much what could have been to imagine. But even the way it played out, Ruth is one of the best players in the history of the franchise, and a particularly notable mention when we are just talking about pitchers.

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