Babe Ruth Fact File: Lifespan: 1895 – 1948 *** Full Name: George Herman Ruth, Jr *** Nickname: Babe Ruth *** Occupation: American Professional Baseball Player *** Date of Birth: Babe Ruth was born on February 6th 1895 *** Place of Birth: Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA *** Family background: His father was George Herman Ruth, Sr and his mother was Katherine Schamberger, both of whom were of German ancestry. His father had been a streetcar operator as well as a salesman for lighting rods amongst other jobs before he worked behind the counter of a family owned grocery store and saloon and would eventually have his own saloon with accommodation above where his family lived *** Early life and childhood: He was born in his maternal grandfather’s home and grew up with his only surviving sibling, Mamie *** Education: Babe Ruth was sent to the St Mary’s Industrial School for Boys when he was seven years old. This school was usually for orphans or to reform wayward boys. The school curriculum consisted of classes in academia, religious education, work in industrial areas as well sports periods ***
Babe Ruth Fact 1: Babe Ruth was born on February 1895 and during the 19th century period in history when great strides were made in the industrial revolution, the Victoria era was coming to a close and there were vast technological advances being made.
Babe Ruth Fact 2: It would appear that George, behind his father’s back, took to drinking beer in the saloon, was skipping school and hanging around the streets. His parents made the decision to have him enrolled in St Mary’s Industrial School for Boys in June of 1902 and would pretty much spend the next twelve years in attendance there.
Babe Ruth Fact 3: Apart from their academic lessons the pupils were taught working skills and Ruth would become a shirtmaker as well as a talented carpenter.
Babe Ruth Fact 4: It has been said that he ended up in St Mary’s because he was breaking windows by playing baseball in the streets near his home and was particularly good with long hits, others that he learned baseball as one of the activities he joined while attending St Mary’s.
Babe Ruth Fact 5: Ruth developed a huge respect and fondness for Brother Matthias, who was the schools Prefect of Discipline, and whose eye caught Ruth as soon as he arrived. A natural born hell raiser, Brother Matthias would become his role model and mentor.
Babe Ruth Fact 6: As he got older and his skill in baseball grew, he would be allowed to leave the premises of St Mary’s and attend local games where he gained more experience.
Babe Ruth Fact 7: By 1914, at the age of nineteen, Ruth would be signed to a professional baseball contract. Jack Dunn was the manager and owner of the minor-league Baltimore Orioles. Exactly how he came to the attention of Dunn is unclear and there is also some speculation that Ruth was supposed to remain at St Mary’s until he was twenty one.
Babe Ruth Fact 8: Once he joined the team he was the rookie and as such subject to various pranks played on him by the veteran players. It was around this time that he is likely to have been given the nickname Babe Ruth as they teased him by calling him Dunnie’s Babe with Babe being used commonly as a nickname such as for Babe Adams because he looked so young.
Babe Ruth Fact 9: Dunn soon began to suffer losses as the Baltimore Terrapins, a third major league team had begun to play in the Federal League and the no one went to see the Orioles. The time came when Dunn was having to sell of his major players and Ruth’s contract would be sold to the Boston Red Sox together with that of Benjamin Egan and Ernie Shore. He joined the team on July 11th 1914.
Babe Ruth Fact 10: As a rookie, it would have suited his new teammates if he had kept himself inconspicuous but that was not Ruth’s style, he wanted to practice batting and one time turned up to find that his bats had all be sawn in half. His treatment did not diminish his enthusiasm.
Babe Ruth Fact 11: Ruth married Helen Woodford, who he had met on his first day in Boston, at seasons end in 1914.
Babe Ruth Fact 12: The following year he would hit his first home run in a game against the New York Yankees and the Red Sox finished that year with one hundred and one wins.
Babe Ruth Fact 13: By 1919 he would be sold to the New York Yankees. Briefly he was the on-field captain but his temper would get the better of him as he threw dirt at the umpire and had the captaincy taken from him.
Babe Ruth Fact 14: In 1923 he would lead the Yankees with magnificent performance to their first World Series which the won against the Giants.
Babe Ruth Fact 15: During 1925 Ruth’s health began to deteriorate and so did his game. He collapsed in North Carolina and was sent back to New York where he spent a brief time in hospital. Once released he was found in his hotel bathroom where he had collapsed again and once in hospital suffered several seizures and although he remained in hospital he took time out for practice with supervision.
Babe Ruth Fact 16: By 1927 the New York Yankees squad would be considered the greatest that ever was.
Babe Ruth Fact 17: From the 1930’s onwards his game began to deteriorate and there was mention that he might become a manager but he was still reluctant to give up actually playing.
Babe Ruth Fact 18: In 1946 Ruth’s health began to deteriorate to the extent that he checked himself in the French Hospital in New York when he started to experience difficulty with swallowing and a terrible pain over his left eye. He would be diagnosed with inoperable malignant tumor in his next at the base of his skull. He was not given a full diagnoses, his family feared he would harm himself if he knew the extent of how seriously ill he was.
Babe Ruth Fact 19: He was fortunate that his being a famous sports personality gave him access to new treatments not otherwise available to the general public at the time such as chemotherapy and teropterin and he exhibited a huge improvement.
Babe Ruth Fact 20: He traveled some after his diagnosis but life became difficult as his body suffered the affects of the cancer. George Herman “Babe” Ruth, Jr died on August 16th 1948 in his sleep in Memorial Hospital in New York aged fifty three years. His body was laid to rest at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York after spending two days at the Yankee Stadium so his fans and supporters could pay their respects.
Influence & Legacy: Aside from his public side Ruth kept back a very private side to his nature, probably from his time spent in St Mary’s and his respect and devotion to Brother Matthias. He spent much of his private time visiting schools, hospitals and orphanages, shunning publicity. When Brother Mathias’ Cadillac was destroyed he was happy he could replace it for him.