How Babe Got His Nickname

How Babe Got His Nickname

Almost every kid has a nickname. Sometimes they are nice. Other times they are not so nice. But a lot of times, they are just plain fun. Do you have a nickname?

There are some pretty famous nicknames out there and the ballplayer whose real name is George Herman Ruth Jr. had one of the most famous – Babe.

So how did Babe get his nickname? At the age of 7, Babe began living at St. Mary’s Industrial School in Baltimore. This orphanage was run by Catholic monks who were very strict. So, St. Mary’s surely couldn’t be WHERE Babe got his nickname.

In fact, St. Mary’s is probably a big reason WHY Babe did get his nickname. That’s because, not only was St. Mary’s a very strict and disciplined place, but the boys who lived there didn’t get to see a lot of Baltimore, let alone the country, as they typically didn’t get outside the school grounds that much.

Well, one day in 1914, young George had a visitor by the name of Jack Dunn, who owned the local professional baseball team – the Baltimore Orioles (at that time, the Orioles were only a semi-professional baseball team). He had heard about Babe’s playing abilities and came to see for himself just how good he was.

Mr. Dunn was impressed — so impressed that he signed George to a contract shortly after seeing him play. George had just turned 19 and, due to the laws at that time, Mr. Dunn needed to sign papers which made him Babe’s legal guardian.

When George joined the Orioles, he was very excited, but also very nervous because he hadn’t really lived outside of St. Mary’s School since he was 7. After all, he was now back out in the “real world” after nearly 12 years at St. Mary’s. Can you imagine what Babe must have felt like? And, playing for a professional baseball team, no less!

In the first weeks in the real world, Babe didn’t know what to do with himself besides play baseball. He also didn’t really know how to act with people. He had been used to always following the orders that were given to him by the monks at St. Mary’s. And, his only friends had been some of the other boys at St. Mary’s.

So, George looked to his manager and legal guardian, Jack Dunn, for his new “orders” and George followed him around everywhere. The other players thought this was very funny and they’d say, “There’s Jack with his newest babe.”

The name “Babe” stuck, and over time as a baseball player, he became known as “Babe Ruth,” a name that everyone would recognize all over the world. And, Babe quickly became comfortable with his new life and didn’t need to follow Mr. Dunn around anymore. Babe would soon become a baseball superstar, as we all know today. Check out his Records to see just how good he was.

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