Happy Birthday, Babe Ruth

We've been in a daylong baseball planning meeting here at ESPN, so I'm short on time. But we can't ignore Babe Ruth's birthday. I figure you know about him, anyway. This is also the 100th anniversary of the start of his career. Ruth made his debut with the Red Sox on July 11, starting against the Indians. He allowed eight hits in seven innings and -- get this -- was removed for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the inning, picking up the win when the Red Sox scored to take the lead.

Ruth would appear in just four more games with the Red Sox that year (he was sent down to Providence in August), starting twice and making one pinch-hitting appearance. He was a regular in the rotation the next season, winning 18 games and helping the Red Sox win the World Series. That year, Ruth hit four home runs -- and allowed three. He repeated that feat again in 1916 and 1918, hitting more home runs than he allowed.

Ruth's legacy is simple: He played his first game 100 years ago and we still talk about him as the greatest player in the game's history. Doesn't that say it all?

Oh, and the second-greatest player born on Feb. 6? Probably former 1970s and '80s outfielder Richie Zisk or longtime catcher Smoky Burgess (who made nine All-Star teams). And then there's Dale Long, who shares the record of homering in eight consecutive games with Don Mattingly and Ken Griffey Jr.