Babe Ruth (top row, far left) on the st. Mary's Industrial School for Boys varsity baseball team. Photo/mysticalrosedesign.blogspot.com
As a young boy at the age of seven in Baltimore, Ruth was always getting into trouble for drinking, chewing tobacco, wandering the dockyards and taunting the local police. Just too much for his parents to handle, they decided to send George to a Catholic orphanage, St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, to straighten him out.
For the next 12 years, Ruth lived there and was guided by a monk named Brother Mathias, who, along with several other monks, introduced him to the game of baseball. His teachers also taught him to become a tailor, of all things, and although he graduated as a “qualified shirt maker,” Ruth believed he was no good at it.
By the time he was 15, Ruth began to excel at baseball, both as a pitcher and a hitter.
The teen then caught the eye of the then minor league Baltimore Orioles owner Jack Dunn, who scouted young talent and groomed them to play for the Boston Red Sox.
At age 19, Ruth wanted to play the sport professionally, but the law back then said he would need a legal guardian to sign his baseball contract for him to play in the minor leagues. Dunn became Ruth’s legal guardian which led teammates to jokingly call him “Dunn’s new babe,” which eventually led to the nickname “Babe” Ruth.
Ruth stayed in the minors for just a short time and was then called up to the majors to play for the Red Sox, where he helped lead the team to three world championships in five years.
So The Rolling Stones' Keith Richards isn’t the only one who can say that smoking and drinking helped get him to the place he is at today.