Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Where else to begin? Babe Ruth

George Herman Ruth Jr. (Babe Ruth) (6 Feb 1895-16 Aug 1948)

I first discovered George Herman Ruth Jr in the 1901 census. On the 8th June 1901, he lived with his parents George and Kate in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was born. His father was a lightning rod agent, who owned his own house without a mortgage. His mother by the age of 25 had already given birth to three children but George was the only one currently alive.

In the 1910 census, Babe Ruth was counted twice. Once at home with his parents, and once at the St Mary's Industrial School, where he lived for twelve years between the age of 7 and 19.

Babe Ruth top left centre at St. Mary's Industrial School in 1912.

According to stories, Babe Ruth very infrequently returned home and would not have been residing with his parents in 1910. Residing in his parents house was his sister and uncle William. By 1910, his mother had given birth to seven children and two were living (Mary -aged nine, and George Jr aged 15). His father was now a Saloon proprietor.  While the family had lived in a house free and clear in 1900, they now rented. Insinuating that the family had fallen on hard times. This would be the last census his mother appeared in, as she died of tuberculosis.

Unfortunately, WW1 registration cards are reproduced very poorly. If anybody knows of a place to find higher quality options please let me know! Most ball players that I looked up so far registered for WW1. In 1917, the Babe is listed as 6'2, with a medium build, brown eyes and dark hair. He lists his profession as "Baseball" in the American league and lists his place of employment as "Fenway Park."

Babe Ruth is nowhere to be found in the 1920 census. The census was taken on 9 January 1920, a mere few weeks after he had been traded to New York from Boston. 

In 1925, Babe Ruth was enumerated as a part of the 1925 New York State Census (1 June). On this day, the Yankees lost to the Washington Senators 5-3. Babe Ruth went 0-2 with a walk. Future HOF Walter Johnson got the W. He pitched 7.2 innings for the Senators allowing one run on five hits, five walks and four strikeouts.

Babe Ruth listed his profession as "baseball player." His first wife Helen and his (adopted) daughter Dorothy resided with him at 900 Grand Concourse Avenue, which was conveniently across the street from Yankee Stadium.

Copyright Emilio Guerro, undated.
By 1930, Babe Ruth was living with his second wife Claire (she was enumerated incorrectly as Clara), with daughters Dorothy and Julia (step daughter, whom he later adopted), as well as his parents in laws and brother-in-law at 345 West 88th St.
Copyright City Realty. Undated.
One June 20, 1930 - the day of the census - the Yankees lost to the Detroit Tigers at home 11-6. Babe Ruth played RF and went 1-5. Vic Sorrell pitched a complete game for the Tigers. Starting Yankee pitcher George Pipgras allowed 4 runs on 2 hits without recording an out.

L-R: Dorothy, Babe, Julia and Claire. This picture is undated, but is likely taken around 1930.
In 1935, Babe Ruth retired on May 27th after playing less than half a season with the Boston Braves and in 1936, he was one of the first five inductees into the Baseball hall of fame.

His last census appearance is 1940. He resided at 173 Riverside Dr, NY. He lived with his wife and daughters, and lists himself as "retired." He reported his income as $5000 per year.

173 Riverside Dr, NY. Copyright City Realty.

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