I found this book when I was four. I was exploring around my dad's office. He worked for a construction company and there was a room of stuff—furniture, art, books, etc.—that they used to stage houses.
I wasn't into sports, but I was hooked by this story—written for kids—about a 7-year-old boy from a rough background who ran wild through the streets of Baltimore until his parents made the tough call to send him to an all boys residential school.
I probably shouldn't admit to taking the book home. (I didn't realize I was stealing from my dad's employer.) But I stayed glued to the pages and probably no one thought to ask where I'd picked up the book.
At St. Mary's school, George (Babe Ruth's real name) found a mentor who helped him focus. I loved the life
Ultimately, it was a story of triumph. I read this book over and over again, and I never failed to be excited when Jack Dunn recruited George for the Baltimore Orioles, and when George set the world home run record for a season, beat his own record a few years later, then beat it again with a record that stood for 34 years.
After this, I read biographies of Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and others. I started rooting for the Yankees, collecting baseball cards, and going to games whenever I could. But at least once a year, until I was twelve or thirteen, I cracked open Babe Ruth, Baseball Boy and read it again from cover to cover.