. . . but the greatest transformation from pitcher to hitter was of course "The Bambino" himself. Ruth broke in with the Red Sox in 1914
and found almost immediate success as a lefthanded pitcher, winning 23 games in 1916 and 24 in '17. In 1918, he remained an effective pitcher but also saw his first significant time in the outfield, hitting 11 homers in 380 plate appearances. In '19, he had his final season of more than 100 innings pitched while breaking out as a slugger, hitting 29 homers and driving in 114 runs in 130 games. You know what happened after the final season with the Sox -- he was sold to New York for $100,000, and immediately became perhaps the most dominant and transcendent player in baseball history, hitting 54 homers in 1920.
AP Photo / National Baseball Library