However, the truth is that the only season in which he came relatively close to a normal workload in both pitching and hitting was 1918, the last time the Boston Red Sox won the World Series before 2004.
That year, Ruth pitched 166.1 innings (down from two years in the 300s) with a 2.22 ERA; and totaled 380 plate appearances, with 11 home runs.
He had lots of seasons with at least 3.0 WAR (Wins Above Replacement) as a hitter, but just two as a hurler: 1916 and 1917.
He wasn’t a full-time hitter back then.
Ruth, therefore, never had any campaigns with at least 3.0 WAR both as a pitcher and as a hitter.
Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani, on the other hand, can say he has done that twice already.
“MLB seasons with 3+ Wins Above Replacement as a hitter and 3+ Wins Above Replacement as a pitcher: 2 <—– Shohei Ohtani; 0 <—– Babe Ruth and everyone else,” Codify Baseball tweeted.
MLB seasons with 3+ Wins Above Replacement as a hitter and 3+ Wins Above Replacement as a pitcher:
2 <—– Shohei Ohtani 🦄
0 <—– Babe Ruth and everyone else pic.twitter.com/xtwGVIRIEQ
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) November 17, 2022
It’s very, very difficult to compare players who were at their prime with a difference of 100 years.
There Is Only One Ohtani
Baseball was entirely different back when Judge played, and the competition level is obviously a lot higher in our days.
WAR helps us in that regard.
Last year, Ohtani finished with a 3.18 ERA and 3.0 WAR as a pitcher, with a 2.33 ERA this season and a 5.6 WAR finish.
Ohtani also hit 46 home runs last year and 34 in 2022.
Between the two seasons, Ohtani accumulated 8.8 WAR as a position player: it could have been more had he played more outfield because the DH penalty in WAR is considerable.
Now, Ruth as an offensive player can only be compared with maybe two or three players, and Ohtani is not one of them.
However, when we talk about two-way prowess, there is no one in MLB like Ohtani, and never has been.
Not even Ruth.