The House that Built Ruth

When Cardinal Gibbons School opened in September, 1962, it was not totally unfamiliar to Baltimore as some new institutions are to their community. On the corner of Wilkens and Caton Avenues, where the school now stands, another Catholic institution, St. Mary’s Industrial School had performed almost a century of service for the community.

St. Mary’s was an orphanage, a foster home, a reformatory, and a vocational school. Between 1866 and 1950, it guided some 20,423 problem boys, including baseball’s immortal Babe Ruth. However, it was closed after World War II when state support was withdrawn in favor of public reformatories.

The grounds that currently house Babe Ruth Field is the same surface, though realigned, that a young Ruth was first taught the game by the  Brothers that also taught him to make T-shirts. Below are some rare photos from the Cardinal Gibbons archives including some of a teenage George Herman Ruth during his days at St. Mary’s Industrial School and shots of the present day Babe Ruth Field.