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Babe Ruth’s Record-book Buck

Every October, baseball fans and hunters have reason to rejoice. Between hunting season and the playoffs, what’s not to be excited about? Babe Ruth, the Yankee slugger and Hall of Famer from the 1920s and ‘30s, loved hunting and baseball. Along the way, he killed at least one mighty fine whitetail buck. 


George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr.’s 22-season professional baseball career was legendary. He started as a left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in 1914. By the time he retired in 1935, he was knocking the stitches off baseballs as an outfielder for the Yankees, including a 587-foot dinger that is arguably the longest home run ever. With a .342 career batting average, Babe chalked up 2,214 RBI and 714 home runs. 

His exploits off the field were legendary as well. He liked to drink as much as he enjoyed the ladies. He gambled on horse racing like it was his job. After all, he could afford it. In 1930, he made $80,000 annually ($1.4 million in 2022). And he loved hunting. 

Babe was an avid outdoorsman, chasing everything from trout to pheasant to moose. In November 1940, Babe was hunting around Fredericton, New Brunswick, when he killed a “typical head, heavy with long tines. Main beams meet in front,” according to Boone and Crockett records from 1948. Newspaper clippings note that the “...horns are notably, symmetrical.” Babe died in 1948, the same year that taxidermist John Hansen of Jersey City, New Jersey, entered the antlers into the Boone and Crockett records. 

Babe Ruth's buck was entered under the taxidermist's name, John Hansen, in the 1949 Competition.

Babe’s whitetail rack was honored at the Club’s 3rd Awards competition in 1949 (see photo above). There, the antlers received a second award. In 1950, the Club refined its series of measurements into the system that we have today. Any records measured before 1950 had to be remeasured with the new system if they were going to be in the records. Unfortunately, Babe’s buck was never rescored. Babe retired from baseball in 1935, and we like to think he spent plenty of time hunting once his falls were free of the playoffs.

These newsclippings and the vintage score chart shown of Babe Ruth's award-winning whitetail antlers can be found in B&C's records archives.




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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt