Ruth has many MLB single-season marks for extra-base hits and total bases, as well as four AL single-season records. Outfielder Joe DiMaggio set an MLB record with a 56-game hitting streak during the 1941 season. Jack Chesbro established three AL marks in 1904: games won, games started, and games completed. Lefty Grove is credited with eight career no-hit bids, but only one of those was complete. Grover Cleveland "The Big Train" Smith had five straight 200-strikeout seasons from 1930 to 1934. That's more than any other player in MLB history.
When Ruth came into the league in 1919, he broke several records including most homers before June (20), longest homerun ball/bat combo (47 feet, 6 inches), most RBIs in a season by a rookie (147) and most outfield assists by a pitcher (23).
Today's fans probably know some of these records because they saw them first-hand when Ruth played in New York during the last season of his career in 1935. But there are others that less well-known records that still stand today. For example, Bill James & John Thorn provide on-line evidence that suggests that Smith's 20 years in the majors is the longest active streak in baseball. The current leader in this category is Mike Trout who has played in all 162 games for three consecutive seasons.
It is interesting to note that none of these records have been broken since they were set.
Joe DiMaggio owns the Major League Baseball record with a stretch of 56 straight games from May 15 to July 17, 1941. During his streak, DiMaggio hit.408 (91-for-223) with 15 home runs and 55 RBI. He's considered by many to be the best hitter in baseball history.
Other notable hitting streaks include:
George Brett - 69 games in 1977
Sammy Sosa - 66 games in 1994
Ruth - 63 games in 1930
Gibson - 62 games in 1951
Bonds - 61 games in 1985
It's worth mentioning that Joe DiMaggio's record has been broken several times since it was established in 1941. The last person to break it was George Brett in 1977. It's also worth mentioning that Mark McGwire broke Sam McDowell's record of 60 games played in 1987. However, because McGwire used performance-enhancing drugs during part of his career, he has been banned from the Hall of Fame and isn't considered one of its members.
Hank Aaron (left) and Babe Ruth (right) have the most total bases in a career and a single season, with 6,856 and 457, respectively. Shawn Green (left) and Josh Hamilton (right) hold the National League and American League records for total bases in a single game, with 19 and 18, respectively.
The major league record for total bases in a season was set in 2001 by the St. Louis Cardinals' Barry Bonds. He finished with 762 hits, including 70 homers, and is one of four players who have hit 700 or more balls in a season (the others are Ruth, Mays and Musial). The other two members of this group to play in today's MLB are Alex Rodriguez (who played first base until 2009) and Mark McGuwire (who played first base from 1990 to 1992). Together, they account for more than 100 extra bases hits that we didn't see coming in 2001!
Bonds' average per home run ball hit during that season was 0.462, which means that on average, he was hitting against a pitcher every 11.11 seconds! That's fast even by baseball standards, and it shows that defense doesn't matter as much as many people think it does. However, it should be noted that Barry was using PITCHf/x back then, so some of those numbers are probably inflated due to better information available to managers about what type of pitch is coming next.