Before Thursday’s game in Baltimore, I had the opportunity to visit the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum, which is something I’ve wanted to do for years while on the Yankees beat. I’m so glad I finally made it over there.
Just a short walk from Camden Yards at 295 Emory Street, the museum is built on the site of the row house where The Babe joined us on Feb. 6, 1895, at the time the rented home of Ruth’s grandparents. The history of the building alone is a neat tale – by the 1960s, it had fallen into disrepair and was scheduled to be razed before public outcry saved it.
The sections of the home where the Babe would have taken his first breaths have been restored with period decorations, including the upstairs bedroom
where Ruth was born.
The rest of the museum is a tribute to Ruth’s life, including many artifacts donated by his family over the years, like a pair of bats he used during the 1927 season, original seats from the reserved section at Yankee Stadium and even a radio Ruth treasured in his New York apartment until his passing in 1948.
There are some amazing artifacts that somehow survived over the years, like the tattered gloves Ruth wore playing ball as a youth (in addition to his fielder’s glove, he also got behind the plate with a right-handed catcher’s mitt, which he used Jim Abbott-style) and what may be his first-known autograph – “George H. Ruth, World’s Worse (sic) Singer, World’s Best Pitcher,” scribbled on the inside cover of a hymnal book found under a floorboard at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys in Baltimore.
Special thanks are in order for Mike Gibbons, the museum’s executive director, who took a few minutes out of his busy day to help show me around. If you’re planning on heading down to Baltimore the next time the Yankees are in town, you’ll definitely want to set aside some time to drop by the Ruth birthplace, as well as the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards