Babe Ruth Carved Into His Iconic Bat After Games – Here’s Why

Published 12/20/2021, 11:17 PM EST


Babe Ruth, is a baseball icon. Today, very few would ever stop and think about why because this statement is a part of the general conscious now. But lest we forget how much the right fielder from the Yankees impacted the game. How much George Herman Ruth changed the game with his unstoppable hits out of the ballpark.

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Babe Ruth the Power Hitter

In only his 3rd season as a position player, in 1921, he had surpassed Roger Conor’s record of homers hit. So it would be safe to say that the power hitter had set the Bronx alight by 1927, ushering in a new era of power hitting. In fact by this time, he was already at 356 Home runs, more than 150 ahead of the closest player, Cy Williams.

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It was this year that gave us Ruth’s famous notched bats. The Babe has started to carve small notches on his bats for each home run in the second half of the ’27 season. A season in which Ruth managed 60 round trippers. Call it memento for every time he managed to knock it out of the ballpark.

A label next to the carvings on one of the bats from that season reads: “Each notch on this War Club of the Babe’s represents one Apple knocked out of the Ball Orchard.”

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Ruth later went on to mention in a biographic piece that his practice of carving the notches was inspired by the gun-men of yore, who would mark a notch on their guns for every man that they killed.

Babe Ruth’s notched bats

Like some would expect, most of the roster did little other than share a light moment with him about it, but the more homers he managed to pop off his barrel, the more laughs he converted to statements in awe. Ruth mentions,

“Every time I would hit a home run I would cut a notch in the bat handle of the club I had used.”

In an incredible 1927 season, Babe Ruth was sitting on a tally of 43 homers at the end of August, and while formidable, he was considerably behind his own record of 59 homers in a season. To the surprise of most sportscasters at the time, Ruth rampaged in the final month of the season hitting 17 pitches for home runs and carving every one of those onto his club.

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And while there is a specimen available with the National Baseball Hall of Fame that is up for display with 28 notches on it, the record keepers are unaware of the exact games the club has been used in.

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Even so, Ruth mentioned briefly that while his teammates used to have a good laugh about it early on, the more runs he notched with the clubs, the more hesitant his teammates grew to handle the bats. He says, tongue-in-cheek,

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“By putting those notches in the bat I identified my own clubs and the other fellows would leave my bats strictly alone.”

Whatever the reason may have been. The 1927 Yankees seemed to have gotten the message, when Ruth was on the prowl, his clubs would be handled by only those that could match the blistering record of 60 homers a year.

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Aditya Deshingkar

162 articles

Aditya Deshingkar is a US Sports writer at EssentiallySports. An aspiring lawyer, Aditya is a final year student of the law program at GLC. Notably, as an avid sports lover, he shares a keen interest in NBA, MLB, and Formula 1.

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