Hall of Fame Speech - June 12, 1939


“Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I hope some day that some of the young fellows coming into the game will know how it feels to be picked in the Hall of Fame. I know the old boys back in there were just talking it over, some have been here long before my time. They got on it, I worked hard, and I got on it. And I hope that the coming generation, the young boys today, that they’ll work hard and also be on it.

And as my old friend Cy Young says, “I hope it goes another hundred years and the next hundred years will be the greatest. You know to me this is just like an anniversary myself, because twenty-five years ago yesterday I pitched my first baseball game in Boston, for the Boston Red Sox. (applause)

So it seems like an anniversary for me too, and I’m surely glad and it’s a pleasure for me to come up here and be picked also in the Hall of Fame. Thank you.”

Famous Quotes by Babe Ruth


“The only real game, I think, in the world is baseball.”

“I hear the cheers when they roared and the jeers when they echoed.”

“Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.”

“I said I'm going to hit the next one right over the flagpole. God must have been with me.”

“I have just one superstition. Whenever I hit a home run, I make certain I touch all four bases.”

“Baseball changes through the years. It gets milder.”

“I won't be happy until we have every boy in America between the ages of six and sixteen wearing a glove and swinging a bat.”

“All ballplayers should quit when it starts to feel as if all the baselines run uphill.”

“The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime.”

“Baseball was, is and always will be to me the best game in the world.”

“If I'd tried for them dinky singles I could've batted around six hundred.”

“How to hit home runs: I swing as hard as I can, and I try to swing right through the ball... The harder you grip the bat, the more you can swing it through the ball, and the farther the ball will go. I swing big, with everything I've got. I hit big or I miss big. I like to live as big as I can.”

“As soon as I got out there I felt a strange relationship with the pitcher's mound. It was as if I'd been born out there. Pitching just felt like the most natural thing in the world. Striking out batters was easy.”

“Baseball is the greatest game in the world and deserves the best you can give it.”

“Watch my dust.”

“I've never heard a crowd boo a homer, but I've heard plenty of boos after a strikeout.”

“All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it. I get back to the dugout and they ask me what it was I hit and I tell them I don't know except it looked good.”

“I thank heaven we have had baseball in this world... the kids... our national pastime.”

“You know this baseball game of ours comes up from the youth - that means the boys. And after you've been a boy, and grow up to know how to play ball, then you come to the boys you see representing themselves today in our national pastime.”

“I know, but I had a better year than Hoover.”
- Reported reply when a reporter objected that the salary Ruth was demanding ($80,000) was more than that of President Herbert Hoover's ($75,000)

“I'd give a year of my life if I could hit a homerun on opening day of this great new park.”
- April 18, 1923, about the newly built Yankee Stadium

“Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.”

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from coming up to bat.”

“To my sick little pal. I will try to knock you another homer, maybe two today.”

“It's hard to beat a person who never gives up.”

Famous Quotes About Babe Ruth


“Some 20 years ago, I stopped talking about the Babe for the simple reason that I realized that those who had never seen him didn't believe me.”
 - Tommy Holmes (sportswriter)

“Ruth made a grave mistake when he gave up pitching. Working once a week, he might have lasted a long time and become a great star.”
 - Tris Speaker (on Babe Ruth's future, 1921)

“He has created an expectation of hero worship on the part of the youth of this country, and it was a most fortunate thing that Ruth kept faith with the boyhood of America because they loved him.”
 - Branch Rickey (ex-Manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers)

“No one hit home runs the way Babe did. They were something special. They were like homing pigeons. The ball would leave the bat, pause briefly, suddenly gain its bearings then take off for the stands.”
 - Lefty Gomez (teammate)

“In today's marketplace, Ruth could command a $10 million annual contract without even blinking an eye.”
 - Ron Shapiro (baseball agent)

“Every big leaguer and his wife should teach their children to pray, God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, and God bless Babe Ruth.”
 - Waite Hoyt (teammate)

“He wasn't a baseball player. He was a worldwide celebrity, an international star, the likes of which baseball has never seen since.”
 - Ernie Harwell (broadcaster)

“To understand him you had to understand this: he wasn't human.”
 - Joe Dugan (teammate)

“I've seen them; kids, men, women, worshippers all, hoping to get his name on a torn, dirty piece of paper, or hoping for a grunt of recognition when they said, 'Hi-ya, Babe.' He never let them down; not once. He was the greatest crowd pleaser of them all.”
 - Waite Hoyt (teammate)

“He hits the ball harder and further than any man I ever saw.”
 - Bill Dickey (teammate)

“No player has held onto the nation's affection longer. George Herman 'Babe' Ruth - who mixed a batsman's steely gaze and a happy-go-lucky lifestyle - tops a USA TODAY reader's poll as the greatest sports star of all time.”
 - Mel Antonen (sportswriter)

“To say 'Babe Ruth' is to say 'Baseball'.”
 - Will Harridge (ex-President of the A. L.)

“Sometimes I still can't believe what I saw. This 19-year-old kid, crude, poorly educated, only lightly brushed by the social veneer we call civilization, gradually transformed into the idol of American youth and the symbol of baseball the world over - a man loved by more people and with an intensity of feeling that perhaps has never been equaled before or since.”
 - Harry Hooper (teammate)