Young Babe Ruth

His Early Life and Baseball Career, from the Memoirs of a Xaverian Brother


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About the Book

This work contains the heretofore unpublished memoirs of Brother Gilbert (a.k.a. Philip F. Cairnes), the Xaverian brother generally credited with steering the Babe to his first professional contract. Ruth was raised by the Xaverian Brothers, a Catholic religious order, at St. Mary’s Industrial School from 1902 (when he was only 7) until 1914.
These reminiscences begin with Babe Ruth’s departure from St. Mary’s and concentrate on his early playing years. An historical introduction by the editor of these memoirs, Harry Rothgerber, details the history and relationship that existed between this organization of Catholic educators and the man who was to become the most influential baseball player and greatest slugger who ever lived. Brother John Joseph Sterne, the book’s forewordist, recounts a St. Mary’s band fundraising trip in which the band accompanied the Yankees through the American League cities at the end of the 1920 season. Several previously unpublished photos from the Xaverian Order complement the text.

About the Author(s)

The late Brother Gilbert, also known as Philip F. Cairnes, wrote these memoirs not long before his death in 1947. Harry Rothgerber, an attorney in Louisville, Kentucky, is a national director of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR). He writes for the Baseball Research Journal, The National Pastime, and Louisville Baseball in the Major and Minor Leagues, along with several legal publications.

Bibliographic Details

Brother Gilbert C.F.X.
Foreword by Brother John Joseph Sterne
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: photos, tables, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 1999
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0652-4
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8353-2
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“provide[s] a discerning account of the formative years of an American hero whose legend is steeped as much in his robust personality as in his athletic achievements”—Booklist; “Ruth’s salad days in pro ball, as recalled by one of the Catholic clerics who knew him best”—USA Today Sports Weekly; “provides fresh information from a unique perspective, increasing and enriching our understanding of the much-chronicled Babe”—Nine; “an account of Ruth’s youth and early professional career”—Sports Collectors Digest; “just when you thought the subject of Babe Ruth was exhausted, here comes one of the most fascinating of all…a unique look into daily life at the grim-looking industrial school…. A very interesting book, one that all Babe Ruth fanatics will want to add to their collections”—The Diamond Angle; “a comprehensive look at Ruth’s early life and career…previously unpublished photographs of Ruth from the Xaverian Brothers’ archives”—The Voice-Tribune; “the complete story of his early life and how he started in baseball…contains many insights about a great hero of baseball”—The Courier-Journal; “a book within a book”—The Tiger; “[this] book helps to fill [a] void that has existed…a meaningful and inspiring read”—Concordia; “balanced”—Public Library Quarterly.