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The Contender
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Babe Ruth in the modern era of baseball

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/21/2011 Category: Sports
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,313 times Debate No: 15530
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)




Babe Ruth is considered by many baseball experts to be one of the best to have ever stepped on the field. He set many records, including home runs in a season and all time, Yankee record for both career average and highest average in a season, as well as being as winner of the Triple Crown. Many believe that is Ruth played in the modern era, he would have hit over one thousand home runs. However, I believe that in he modern era of baseball, Ruth's statistics would not have been as staggering as they currently are.


I accept the challenge and will be arguing on the negative side which defends the notion that Babe Ruth would likely have good numbers. The burdon of proof will be on the affirmative to prove that his numbers would not be as staggering.

I wish you the best and I look forward to seeing your 1 AC in Round 2. Surbs
Debate Round No. 1


Thank You

1. His lifestyle:
Babe Ruth, off the field, lived a very unhealthy lifestyle. First, he smoked, which would eventually lead to throat cancer and death. Second, a majority of his meals consisted of up to twelve hot dogs, with him once going as high as eighteen. Third, he drank, according to many reports, too much beer to go along with his hot dogs. Ruth was in such poor shape that in his later years, he hired a personal trainer to help get him into shape to play.

In the modern era, players do everything humanely possible to be in the best shape possible. Strict diets, workout sessions, and sleep among many. Babe Ruth would not be fit to keep up with these current players as he did in his era.

2. Players:
There were less teams and less players in Ruth's era. Walter Johnson has been said to have been the hardest thrower of his era, yet historians only project him to have thrown around ninety miles per hour. Ty Cobb once said that the only way he could be Johnson was to lean over the plate and try to get hit due to Johnson not liking to hit people. With that being the hardest thrower and modern pitcher reaches the hundreds, it seems highly unlikely that Ruth could catch up to a pitch of that speed.

Any person with knowledge in baseball will tell you that seeing more pitches gives an advantage to the hitter. In Ruth's era, there were less teams which meant less pitchers. To add to that, pitchers would pitch more frequently on shorter rest which increases the number of times you see a pitcher and will thus give the hitter an advantage. In the modern age, with thirty teams to go along with a five man rotation, the best chance you have for seeing a pitcher twice is if they are in your division.

In the modern age, if you are a good player, you will get a shot to play baseball. In Ruth's era, baseball was segregated and some of the best players never versed each other. For example, Satchel Paige never faced Babe Ruth.

The burden of proof is now on you to show how Ruth could overcome all of that and still put up the same numbers he did when he played.


I would like to thank my opponent for this debate. I will start with his case, then signpost my outline for further discussion.

My opponent is assuming all things constant. There is no evidence that if Babe Ruth were playing in this era, that he would indeed indulge in such activities. In his era that lifestyle obviously went unchecked. In this era, there are a number of checks and balances to discourage such behaviors. Some of these include negative media publicity, assistant coaches, and personal trainers. My opponent does not take into account that all of Ruth's previous behaviors were a personal choice, he could have just as easily chosen to hit the gym everyday and maintained a much better balance of diet and rest.

Fewer teams with fewer athletes actually implies that the players receiving contracts were among the elite in the nation. More teams with more players tends to water down the aura of eliteness.

I concur that the more pitches a batter sees allows him to become more familiar with the pitcher. Fats forward to the modern era of baseball and we see assistant coaches with pitching charts that predict the pitch selection, velocity, and location of pitcher tendencies. Hitting coaches simulate these pitches in batting practice.

Many great hitters still do not face all of the great pitchers due to being in either the AL of the NL. Even interleague play doesn't accomodate some of the matchups I personally would love to see.

Finally, the burden of proof remains with the Affirmative throughou tthe debate. The negative's burden of rejoinder is merely to clash with the affirmative.

Moving on to my points which I shall expound upon later.

1. In the former era, there was an inconsistency in the types of baseballs used. In this era, the balls are regulated.

2. In the former era, pitchers could alter a ball. Again this is now better regulated.

3. As homeruns became increasingly popular, ballparks became increasingly smaller. During Ruth's era, homeruns did not enjoy the same hoopla that fans now go to the ballpark to see.

4. Hitters are able to adjust to the pitching they see.

Babe Ruth was a very talented baseball player, poor habit choices notwithstanding. Similarly, many players today indulge in unhealthy habits, yet they compensate to meet expectations. There is no reason to think that Ruth would not compensate as well. He was a popular ballplayer who was loved by the fans.

Finally, every good ballplayer's skills diminish with age. Most recently, Sammy Sosa, Ken Griffey Jr., and Roger Clemens all had to leave the game they loved so dearly.

For these reasons I respectfully request a negative ballot. Thanks
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to thank you for debating me.

Lifestyle: There is no evidence that he would not indulge in these activities in the modern era. He was a person who grew up living a bad life, so much that he was put into a reformatory at age seven. I am saying that modern age of not, Ruth grew up living a "rough" lifestyle, as he put it. He was known to have a personality of loving kids and not be the healthiest person. It was who he was so in the modern era, they might be different activities, but based on Babe Ruth as a person one must assume he would do the same. A gym is a gym in every era. Babe Ruth is Babe Ruth in every era. He did not go to the gym when he was alive so why would he in this day and age. Babe Ruth was not phased by negative reviews of who he was. If he was, he would not have punched an umpire and gotten suspended. Also, he would not have gone barnstorming, which was illegal and led to him being suspended. If Ruth did not do things because the media would not like it, he would not have thrown dirt on an umpire before chasing a heckler in the crowd and then get stripped of the captaincy. Babe Ruth was against authority and that was who he was.

Players: No, it does not imply that. There are reasons as to why fewer teams on fewer athletes does not mean they are the elite players of the nation. For example, segregation. Also, the manager/owner/scout is an idiot. Maybe the scouts do not travel to all parts of the country. The owners are cheap and do not want to spend the money. You are making an assumption and is not true. Baseball expanded along with country and the world so we are now simply getting players from everywhere.

1. What are you saying, that if Ruth had perfectly rounded baseballs he would have hit more home runs?
2.Well we may not have spit balls, but there motions were like that of the slider and splitter, and they did not have them. Both eras made that ball move, just in different ways.
3. The parks adjusted to the style of play. At the old Yankee Stadium, the wall used to be past Monument Park. Since the re-modeling of the stadium, only one player has hit the ball over that wall past Monument Park. They adjusted to accommodate the game in general. The pitching also got better through those years.

There were not too many players the size of Ruth in his day. None that I can think of. I see no reason to think Ruth would compensate to meet expectations, no matter what era.


twsurber forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


Lifestyle: If the Babe were living and playing in this era, he like any ball player, would conform to the norms of this era. There was nothing during his era to discourage such behavior. This goes back to the adage that nothing illegal unless something prohibits it. In this era of baseball, there are higher levels of accountability and scrutiny for behaviors and lifestyles of ball players.

Many kids grow up in a rough lifestyle and go on to do well. There is no reason to believe that Babe couldn't as well. Babe didnt have to do as much as other less talented players because he had raw talent. Many players had to work hard just to be mediocre, he had a gift of talent that required little work to sustain during his prime.

1. Baseballs back then had no set standard. In this era, balls are designed for pop and lively play. The balls of Ruth's era were dead balls. Given his prowess, he would be able to smack a modern ball out more easily than an old ball.

2. Hitters can adjust to pitches and speed. Ruth was a great ball player, he could adjust.

3. While pitching has improved, so has hitting. But the ballparks now have shorter fences then they did in Ruth's era. There is no doubt that if Ruth could hit the ball out of a larger park, he could also hit it out of a smaller park.

Prince Fielder & Barry Bonds are horses and they play (ed) the game extremely well. Ruth would do equally well in this era.
Debate Round No. 4


ArthurBlair forfeited this round.


My opponent wasn't a jerk, nor will I be. I extend my positions and respectfully request a NEG ballot.

Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by ArthurBlair 5 years ago
no worries. i cannot respond to anything so it we be like a four round debate.
Posted by twsurber 5 years ago
Sorry I missed the 3rd round. I'll address & rebuild in the 4th.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 4 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con just better nuff said
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: The burden of proof is with Pro, and it seems to me there is no telling for sure what Ruth would have done in the modern era. Con gave reasons why it is possible Ruth would have done as well or better. Pro had a few S