Going down swinging
Etched in stone, are the words of Cardinal Spellman: "May the divine spirit that animated Babe Ruth to win the crucial game of life, inspire the youth of America." They are placed on the tomb of the great Babe Ruth. To understand their significance, one should consider Babe Ruth's younger days, baseball career, charitableness and death.
George Herman Ruth, Jr. was born to Kate and George Ruth on February 6, 1895. Ruth was born in his grandparent's home in Baltimore, Maryland. Ruth was blessed from the beginning. Out of eight children born to the Ruth family, he was one of two to survive infancy. Ruth's father was a bartender at a local tavern. Owning a tavern was his father's dream. Ruth's father opened a tavern, thus beginning Ruth's separation from his parents. Because the business consumed them, Ruth was deprived of much needed love. Lack of attention forced Ruth to the streets.
Ruth without guidance spent his first seven years of life on the filthy, busy streets of the Baltimore. Gossip around the city spread, it was rumored that Ruth was an orphan. Overwhelmed with his business and his out of control son, Ruth's father could no longer care for him.
On June 13, 1902, Ruth's father enrolled him at the St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys. Custody of Ruth was signed over to the Xaverian Brothers, who ran the school. Ruth was to remain at the school until his 21st birthday. Ruth's reputation from the streets followed him. He was labeled as "incorrigible" upon his admission to St. Mary's. Ruth felt he was being
imprisoned. Perhaps it was his environment that made him feel so. St. Mary's was a reformatory and orphanage that housed over 800 children. Walls that resembled a large prison surrounded the school.