The Babe hit #714 and then said goodbye

Babe Ruth is #3 on the home run list behind Bonds and Aaron.  However, 714 is one of those magic numbers for baseball fans like me.  Sixty (later 61) and 714 were the big baseball numbers that we grew up hearing about.  Frankly, I never thought anyone would catch Ruth's 714.  At the same time, I cheered Aaron all the way, especially after he got to 700 and eventually passed Ruth in 1974.

Babe Ruth hit #714 on this day in 1935.  Like everything else, he did it with style and noise.  This is how it went down:

Every star player's illustrious career must come to an end at some point. It only seems fitting that Babe Ruth's final home run came in a game in which he hit three on May 25, 1935.

Most players' star power begins to fade over time, and Ruth was no exception to this rule.

Released by the Yankees following the 1934 season, Ruth returned to Boston to play for the Braves.

On May 25, 1935, the Braves and Ruth lost 11-7 to the Pittsburgh Pirates, whose lineup boasted three future Hall of Famers: The Waner brothers Lloyd and Paul playing center and right field, respectively, as well as shortstop Arky Vaughan.

Ruth drove in six of the Braves' seven runs with his three blasts.

He would play in five more games that season, but did not record another hit.

I am not even sure if he knew that the curtain was closing or his career was over.  My only regret is that he did not finish with the Yankees.  He died in 1948 from cancer.

By any standard, Ruth was the most consequential player in baseball history.  He saved the game and put fans back in the seats.  He also created the Yankee mystique that still lives on.

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Image: RMY Auctions via Picryl.

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