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How it all began....
George Ruth Jr. was born in 1895 in Baltimore. He was born in the same year as J.Edgar Hoover, Bud Abbott and Buster Keaton. George was always in trouble as a child. He got into fights and disobeyed his parents and teachers. His father decided that he needed some stern discipline and, at age seven, he was sent to St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys.
Here he was fortunate to meet Brother Mathias who was one of the monks who taught at the school. George Jr. joined one of the many baseball teams at St. Mary's, and, with Brother Mathias' guidance, learned some of the finer points of baseball.
One day George was taunting his own pitcher during a game - the poor fellow was having a "bad day" - so Brother Mathias put George in as the relief pitcher. George pitched a great game and went on to become their regular pitcher.
He played on the traveling team for St. Mary's and was soon scouted by the Baltimore Orioles. He was only eighteen years of age and, in order for him to play for the Orioles, he had to have a trustee. The man who had scouted him was Jack Dunn, the owner of the team, and he became George's trustee.
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George Jr. Becomes Babe Ruth
Fun facts on Babe Ruth begin to emerge. Here is one of the first instances. This is how he earned his nick name Babe Ruth.
George appeared with Jack Dunn for his first spring training. The two of them walked together to the pitcher's mound. George quickly became known to the other Orioles as "Jack's babe" and the nickname stuck. George soon became known to the baseball fans as Babe Ruth.
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His baseball career is well documented in many places, but there are some fun facts that are lesser known about this extraordinary man.
- Quite often he was called the Great Bambino. Bambino is Italian for baby or babe.
- Babe Ruth always wore the number three on his jersey because he batted third in the line up.
- Babe Ruth wore a cabbage leaf under his cap to keep him cool. He changed it every two innings.
- Babe Ruth was asked about his superstitions. He said "I only had one superstition. I made sure to touch all the bases when I hit a home run"
- In 1995 the Girl Scouts of America used a 1923 photo of Babe Ruth standing with a Girl Scout to promote their Girl Scout cookie sales. They said that the next year was their sixtieth anniversary of Girl Scout cookies and that it tied in with Babe Ruth batting sixty homers in one season. This was rather a humorous tie-in as the new cookies had "reduced fat!"
- It has been reported that Babe Ruth once ate twelve hot dogs and drank eight bottles of pop between the games of a double header.
His career statistics are quite incredible:
- Slugging percentage, .690. In one season it was .847 (that record stood for 81 years when Barry Bonds broke it .863)
- Home runs, 714
- Base on balls, 2056. In one season he had 170 (that record stood for 78 years and also was broken by Barry Bonds, 177)
- Before Spring training each season Babe Ruth liked to toss a medicine ball (a very large weighted ball) around. He went deep sea fishing for large fish - hauling them in kept his muscles in shape! He also played golf.
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Babe Ruth Candy Bars
Look at a picture of Babe Ruth. Does he look like an athlete at the top of his game? Why or why not? Do you think that the reason for the Babe Ruth candy bar was to celebrate his baseball achievements or to play on the fact that he loved sweet things?
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A Man With Good Heart
George Ruth was an awesome baseball player who came from humble beginnings. Although he loved the spotlight and the adulation of his fans he was also a very generous and thoughtful man. He always had time to go visit orphanages or sick children in hospital. He signed autographs and baseballs until his arms ached.
The fun facts on Babe Ruth just go to illustrate that he was an approachable, jolly man who made the best of his life.
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Babe Ruth Biography, http://baberuthcentral.com/Bio/