In all the hoopla over Barry Bonds and the home run record, it's worth remembering that no modern player comes close to Babe Ruth in terms of overall dominance of the game. In his prime years, Babe Ruth hit more home runs all by himself than any other team in baseball. In 1927, the Red Sox and Senators combined didn't hit as many home runs as Ruth did -- and neither of those teams finished last in the league in home runs. To have that kind of impact today, a player would have to hit 200 home runs a season.
Had he remained a pitcher, Ruth probably could have made the Hall of Fame on that alone. As it was, he set a World Series pitching record that lasted for decades.
And then there was the Ruth charisma: rags to riches, a boy in a man's body, abounding in excess, full of life and charm, the American dream in a pot-bellied package. He was one of a kind, and no number of asterisks will ever change that.