The fact that George Herman “Babe” Ruth, often heralded as the greatest baseball player of all time, was born in Baltimore, Maryland is no secret. However, the fact he attended a “reform school” is a little less known.
At the age of seven, Ruth was sent off to live at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys near the far southwestern edge of the city. Run by The Xaverian Brothers, St. Mary’s was chartered in 1866 and operated as an orphanage and boarding school. It’s also where Ruth learned the game of baseball.
The school closed in 1950 and it’s believed to have served over 20,000 kids during its run. The building that Ruth attended was destroyed by a fire in 1919. All that remains is a multi-purpose playing field known as Babe Ruth Field at Gibbons Commons.
The field was created through a partnership with Saint Agnes Hospital and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation in 2016. Other than a cheerful sign at the entrance of the field, there are no historical markers that indicate this was once the home of Babe Ruth.