He wasn’t The Babe yet. Just George; one of the students enrolled at St. Mary’s Industrial School. It was coming, though. His skill on the baseball diamond was impossible to miss, even as a teenager and soon he’d be discovered, signed to a pro baseball contract and sent on his way to immortality.
Only a small number of photos were taken of Ruth during his time at St. Mary’s and this survivor is one of the featured items in RMY Auctions’ current sale, set to close Saturday night.
It was stamped on the back by Wide World Photos and again later in 1927.
The Xaverian Brothers were so impressed with young George’s improvement as a player during his years at the Baltimore school that they invited Jack Dunn, owner of the minor league Orioles to watch him play. In February of 1914, after watching him for less than an hour, Dunn offered the 19-year-old Ruth a contract. He became the boy’s legal guardian in order to comply with the law.
After his future pro teammates watched him work out, they referred to him as Dunn’s “newest babe” and the nickname stuck.
The photo is one of hundreds scheduled to be sold, most from a Cleveland newspaper archive and being made available for the first time via RMY Auctions.