St. Mary's Industrial School in Baltimore MD
St Mary's was a Trade school, Orphanage, and reformatory. George Herman Ruth Jr. would sleep in a room with 100 beds. He had a schedule that made him regemented. He was not a bad kid. In fact he proved to have a big heart.
George's nickname was "Jidge"and he was not an orphan. He had parents and a sister Mamie. He grew up in the tough Inner Harbor and learned to cus and drink in his father's bar. A gun went of in the bar one night and a truant officer told George Sr. that this will not do. His son would miss school and run the streets. So the decision was made to put him in St Mary's Industrial school. He was not abandoned. His mother made the decision to let him stay there. She no longer wanted to put them all through the suffering, after many times of taking him home, and having the heart wrenching seperation when he had to go back. It turned out to be a good decision.
" If it wasn't for baseball , I'd be in either the peniteniary or the cemetery" Babe Ruth
"I've never heard a crowd boo a homer, but I've heard plenty of boos after a strikeout' Babe Ruth
A young Brother Matthias who was 6'5" "Brother of Discipline" who took George under his wing and put a bat in his hand. George was making fun of the boy at bat and Brother Matthias asked if George could do better, guess Georges answer was yes!
George Ruth on far right learning to slide
Babe Ruth Field at the St. Gibbons School (now closed) was 440 ceters field fence, 333 in alleys. Bigger than most Stadiums.! They had to flip the field at the time, so George would not break the windows in trade building. In a training field that size, no wonder he hit homeruns so far throughout his career!!
To punish George Jr. They would position him on the road between two babeball fields and he could only watch and not participate. He was unbearable for him!
In the cold he would get the cooks to make hot cross buns with molasses and give them to the minums (little ones) to keep them warm. One day his count was short one shirt and the Brothers look up and saw tails for the minums kites.
He would save his points he got from working and buy candy from the school store for the other boys.
On Saturday he got two hotdogs for dinner.
Recent pictures of field
Letter written to his Manager's son
In 1918 while with the Red Sox in Boston, for every home run hit that year, Babe promised a pair of shoes for St. Mary's boys. Helen and Babe giving 20 pairs out. Bet you every kid got a pair anyway.
Took care of St Mary's and then helped build Cardinal Gibbons and helped them all through his career. He never forgot where he came from.
At the age of 19 the Brothers summond Jack Dunn from the Oriole organization to come watch their star ballplayer. The last two ears at St. Mary's, he was trained as a left-handed pitcher. The Brothers would let George leave the school from time to time to pitch for different local leagues, changing his name to Erhart, Gerhard on the rosters so no one would know he was off school grounds. Jack Dunn liked what he saw and had to sign as his guardian so he could leave the school. Dunn asked George if he wanted to play ball for him. My grandfather said he would do anything, mend uniforms, sew hide back on balls, if Mr Dunn would let him play ball. George would knock the hide off balls all the time, so he knew how to sew them back together! Jack Dunn said he would pay him and my grandfather could not believe it.
When he was set to go he went to dinner to say goodbye to all the boys. He promised them that he would "do good" for them. He also asked the Brothers, if he failed playing ball could he come back and work at St. Mary;s.
"Watch my dust!" Babe Ruth
Babe as a minor Leaguer with the Providence Greys, 1914
After hitting a 405 ft home run using a 42 oz bat, these teamates asked who the heck was this guy, "Jack Dunn's baby" His nickname "Babe" stuck! March 7, 1914
Babe Ruth's first professional homerun
Boston Red Sox 1914-1919
Helped them win 3 World Series
Baby faced Babe in 1915
' As soon as I got out there I felt a strange relationship with the pitcher's mound. It was as if I'd been bornout there. Pitching just felt like the most natural thing in the world. striking out batters was easy." Babe Ruth
Babe loses his 2 1/2 carat diamond ring at St Mary's
Boston wanted his bat too. They put him in right field.
FYI moment, for you, OMG moment for me!
This was taken in Japan in 1934. The reason I picked this picture is to show his nose. I met a German woman, Marina, at the Watside Inn in Sudbury MA, close to Babe's Homeplate Farm. She told me my grandfather had a typical German face. I told her how dark he tanned in the summer and she said it happens to her. I got an insight to his complextion. But the cool part is there is a name for Babe's typical German nose. It is called, in German, "Regenschirm nase" translate to "Umbrella Nose", because it keeps the rain off some of your face!
Oh yes and I reccomend visiting the Wayside Inn!
Very tanned George
Two years before Ted Williams passed, I was able to have breakfast at the Babseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. I wanted to get a first hand story about my grandfather since Ted admired him so much. He told me that there was only one word that could describe my grandfather "THE GREATEST" he said. He had wish that they had more time to talk without the press, and then he then told me there was only one player he had ever asked to sign a ball for him....you see it at right.
" If I'd just tried for them dinky singles I could've batted around .600"
May grandfather was then SOLD to the New York Yankees for $125,000.00 and other considerations. He had no choice to go there was no such thing as free agent. You were traded and sold so off he went on a new adventure. He found the "candy store" that is New York City!
New York Yankees 1920-1934
"The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. you may have the greatest bunch of individual stars, but if they don't play together, the club won't be worth a dime." Babe Ruth
Yankee Stadium, Opening Day
April 18, 1923
Here is Babe with his team mate and friend Frank Corsetti. In clubhouse they were always pulling pranks on each other.
My grandfather was always up for some fun! Here the theme that day was the Rodeo. The other raised hat is Lou Gerhig
My grandfather jumped off car onto a horse and continued to ride all over the field! He never disappoints pleasing his fans!
"Every strike brings me closer to the next home run." Babe Ruth
Babe and manager Miller Huggins
Babe with his idol, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. In fact his first 54 oz bat was hand whittled by the man who did Jackson's bats.
My grandfather's 1920 passport from when he and Helen visited Cuba. His eyes are brown. An MLB documentary reported they were blue. He also found out he was a day younger. He thought his birthday was on Feb 7!
SWING BIG! HIT BIG! MISS BIG!
August 22, 1920, Boston Globe
Ruth's famous swing!
Let's not forget he was a pitcher!
In fact he played every position great. In exhibitions, he would change position every inning.
"Its hard to beat a person who never gives up" Babe Ruth
More to come in future on technique...
Babe studying pitcher...
"Baseball was, is and always will be to me , the best game in the world" Babe Ruth
What? Asked to manage Yankees in 1925! Player/Manager?
Poughkeepsie Eagle, 1925
Did you know... in order to get a Babe autograph, it cost you two Hoovers in trade.
Yes he really said this:
When told his contract was for money than the President.
"What the hell does Hoover has to do with this? Besides I had a better year than he did."
When in Washington D.C. my grandfather would often walk in the whitehouse kitchen and have a sandwich with the President. Here he is leaving after giving him a Babe Ruth cap like the one he is wearing.