In other cases, their awe-inspiring performances transformed their respective sports. Babe Ruth, possibly the decade's most recognized athlete, had a larger influence on professional baseball than any other single player in history. He is regarded by many as the greatest baseball player of all time.
The sport was in a slump when Ruth came along - it has been said that no one loved baseball more than him - and his presence turned it into a national obsession. The Babe broke or matched almost every major league record during his time with the New York Yankees, including home run totals which have never been broken. His legendary personality made him even more popular among the public than his playing skills, helping to propel many innovative products including candy bars, soda pop, and even cars.
Ruth's fame extended beyond baseball to other sports as well. He was widely regarded as the best baseball player in the world, but he also competed in several events at the 1924 Paris Olympics. Although he did not win any gold medals, he did take home a silver medal for hitting number 9 against Japan.
Another famous athlete from this period who excelled in more than one sport was American track and field star Jesse Owens. At the 1936 Berlin Olympics he became the first man to ever beat the great German long jumper Karl Schulz.
Baseball Baseball hero George Herman "Babe" Ruth, the right fielder for the New York Yankees, was the most recognized athlete in the United States in the 1920s. The flamboyant Ruth hit more home runs than any other player in history. With his extroverted demeanor, he wowed admirers. He also received much criticism for his role in causing injuries to players with his mighty blows.
Ruth began his professional baseball career in 1902 with the Baltimore Orioles of the minor league system. That same year, he debuted in the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox. In 1918, Ruth finished with a record of 295-455 and led the Yankees to their first World Series title. In 1919, he broke the world record for home runs with 60 balls hit over fences. However, the season was cut short when he was drafted into the military service. After serving for three years, Ruth returned to the Yankees where he played until 1935, except for two seasons (1921-22) when he retired because of knee problems. During that time, he won four more World Series titles with the Yankees.
After retiring from baseball, Ruth worked as a salesman for several companies before joining the Navy in 1939 to serve during World War II. While in the Navy, he managed to get five years removed from his active duty. When he returned, he became one of the most popular athletes in America again.
Baseball is known as "America's Pastime." Babe Ruth dominated sports in the 1920s. He was the Yankees' "Murderer's Row" hero, the hard-drinking, hard-swinging hero. Ruth, along with Lou Gehrig, had one of the most illustrious baseball careers in history. N.Y. Babe Ruth & Lou Gehrig were two of the greatest baseball players ever to live.
Ruth led the Yankees to World Series titles in 1922 and 1923. That made him the first player to win three straight Triple Crown races (batting average, home runs, and RBI). The Yankees lost both games of the 1923 World Series to Walter Johnson's star-studded Washington Senators team. But Ruth still won the MVP award for his efforts that season.
After his retirement in 1930, Ruth worked for the Yankees as a baseball consultant. He helped choose the Yankees' managers and coaches. In 1934, he returned to the field as a part-time player. He played until 1955, when he retired after health problems caused by his drinking habit ended his career.
Babe Ruth is one of only eight people who have been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame twice. The other seven are Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Mel Ott, Bob Lemon, Billy Martin, Don Matheson, and John McGraw.
Ruth died at the age of 53 in Baltimore on 16 April 1935, after suffering from tuberculosis for several years.
Baseball hero George Herman "Babe" Ruth, the right fielder for the New York Yankees, was the most recognized athlete in the United States in the 1920s. In an era when few women and no black athletes dominated their respective sports, Ruth was unparalleled - he was baseball's all-time home run king with a record 714 homers when the sport was still played in parks that didn't have fences (until 1930), and his career average of.746 remains the highest of any player who spent his entire career with one team.
Ruth also became famous for other reasons, such as his involvement with actress Marilyn Monroe and his friendship with President Franklin D. Roosevelt. However, it is his sporting achievements that remain his lasting legacy.
Another great Yankee star of the early 20th century was Mel Ott, who played first base and managed the team from 1908 to 1931. The longest hitter in MLB history, Ott had 2,632 hits during his career. He also led the league in hits three times.
In basketball, James Naismith invented the game in 1891, but it wasn't until much later that players started getting paid anything close to what they are now. In 1939, college basketball's annual revenue was $1 million, which is equivalent to about $15 million in 2009.
Ruth, George Herman "Babe" Baseball hero George Herman "Babe" Ruth, the right fielder for the New York Yankees, was the most recognized athlete in the United States in the 1920s. The son of a poor family from Baltimore, Maryland, he broke into baseball at age 17 with the Providence Grays of the Class A International League. He quickly became one of the league's top hitters, and in 1914 at age 20, he made his debut with the Yankees, where he has remained ever since. In 1927, he finished with 56 home runs and 251 RBI's.
During the 1922 season, Ruth set a new record by hitting safely in all five games of the World Series against the Chicago White Sox. With his average of 1.000 becoming known as "The Babe's Bat", sales of baseballs increased by more than 50 percent after his record-breaking year.
In 1923, Ruth led the Yankees to their first World Championship. The following year, he hit over.600 for several months before finishing with a career high 49 homers and 131 RBI's. In 1926, he had another great season, batting.443 with 39 homers and 102 RBI's. That same year, he was awarded the National Football League's Most Valuable Player Award for his performance on Broadway Billions, which also earned him $10,000.
During the 1920s, the "Big Five" of sports were baseball player Babe Ruth, boxer Jack Dempsey, football player Red Grange, tennis player Bill Tilden, and golfer Bobby Jones. For the New York Yankees, Babe Ruth hit more home runs than any other player in history. He was also known for his profanity-laced interviews and controversial behavior on and off the field.
Dempsey retired from boxing in 1919 after one fight but came back in 1925 to win the world heavyweight championship again. He died at age 44 of a heart attack while playing golf.
Ruth retired from baseball in 1951 after ending up with the New York Yankees. During his career, he scored over 2,000 points and is still the most successful hitter in National League history.
Grange played football for Purdue University before becoming one of the first professional athletes when he was drafted by the Chicago Bears in 1923. In 1927, he set a world record by scoring six touchdowns in a single game. That same year, he started the College Football Hall of Fame. After retiring from football, he became one of the best swimmers in the world.
Tilden lost the final match of the 1920 U.S. Open Tennis Championships to John McEnroe, who turned pro that same year. In 1927, Tilden killed himself at the age of 40 after being diagnosed with leukemia.