Babe Ruth was honored at The White House on Friday as one of the seven individuals who were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
It was a posthumous accolade for the iconic slugger, and there was one glaring mistake and a number of bizarre statements made throughout his tribute.
One of those statements came right at the top of Donald Trump’s remarks when he stated that “most people don’t know that [Ruth] was a pitcher.”
That is a fact that most baseball fans are well aware of, along with the fact that Ruth player for three major league baseball teams – the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees and the Boston Braves.
Trump incorrectly stated that he played for four major league teams during his career.
“It is also my honor today to award the medal of freedom to one of the most celebrated sports heroes in world history, the Sultan of Swat, the Great Bambino, the one and only Babe Ruth,” began Trump.
Then the speech began to list of a number of facts that were either flat-out inaccurate or very misleading.
“At the age of 19 he was signed by the Boston Red Sox as a pitcher and soon became one of the best pitchers in baseball,” began Trump.
“People don’t know that. Babe Ruth was one of the best pitchers. He still has records today.”
Most baseball fans are very aware of the fact that Ruth was a pitcher and he holds no pitching records of note.
“In 1920 he started with the New York Yankees and I have heard for many years what’s the worst trade in the history of sports? Babe Ruth, 19-year-old pitcher, for $100,000 and a 35-year-old third baseman,” stated Trump.
“That was not a good trade. Of course, $100,000 is probably like $25 million today, but it was still a lousy deal. But he became one of the greatest hitters of all time. They drafted him, they took him as a pitcher but knew they wanted to make him a hitter.”
Ruth was 25 when he was traded to the Yankees, and a key factor in that trade was his transition from pitcher to outfielder because he wanted to hit more, an opportunity pitching did not afford him as he had to sit out in between starts.
It was also the most money ever paid in for a trade in the history of the sport at that time.
Today, @realDonaldTrump posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Babe Ruth.
Ruth set records that stood for decades & remains unmatched with a .690 slugging percentage. Ruth led the Yankees to 7 American League championships & 4 World Series championships. pic.twitter.com/pEWMzZbB35
— GOP (@GOP) November 16, 2018