The “Babe” was born George Herman Ruth in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1895. By age seven, he was known as an incorrigible child due to many counts of misbehavior. Perhaps due to his parents’ long work hours, they signed over custody of young George to the Xaverian Brothers at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, which was both a reformatory school and an orphanage. St. Mary’s served as his home for the next 12 years.
At St. Mary’s, George found a mentor in Brother Matthias, a man who was large in both his physical build and his impact on the future baseball star. After years of training under Brother Matthias, when George was 19, Jack Dunn, owner and manager of the minor league Baltimore Orioles, recruited this rising talent. Here, he also earned his famous nickname. Because of George’s young age he became known as Jack’s “babe,” and the name stuck.
Within five months, the Boston Red Sox signed him to his first major league contract. Later he joined the New York Yankees. During his 22-year professional career, when he set the record of the time with 60 home runs in one season, he carved his name into baseball history and American folklore as “The Great Bambino” and “The Sultan of Swat.” His lifetime record of 714 home runs was unbeaten until 1974.
The Babe spent his post-baseball life doing radio talk shows and speaking at orphanages and hospitals. He was among the first five players inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame with Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson and Honus Wagner. Fittingly, numerous awards granted to him after his death in 1948, such as the Associated Press’ Athlete of the Century, have acknowledged his legendary status as the most well-known baseball player of all time.
Drive. Pass It On!
This billboard about Drive features Babe Ruth (1895-1948); Major League Baseball player.