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Babe Ruth Gave Home Runs Their Due

Babe Ruth hit his first major league home run on May 6, 1915, as a member of the Boston Red Sox. The last of his 714 home runs came 20 years later, when he played for the Boston Braves, where he ended his career (after 15 seasons with the New York Yankees). In between, Ruth gave the home run its status as a potent weapon in the game of baseball.

With Barry Bonds poised to top Ruth's 714 home runs, we remember the Bambino's accomplishments by speaking with the author of a new biography of Ruth.

"He just was a colossus above everybody in the game," says Leigh Montville, author of The Big Bam: The Life and Times of Babe Ruth. "He really invented the home run. Before Babe Ruth came along, the home run was kind of a mistake.... [But he] showed the value of hitting the ball out of the ballpark."

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Renee Montagne
Renee Montagne, one of the best-known names in public radio, is a special correspondent and host for NPR News.