Baltimore is a very proud sports city and I enjoy soaking up that rich history through learning about the greats of Charm City and making frequent visits Sports Legends Museum. Though I never was able to watch the Colts play in Memorial Stadium, I understand the importance of their history here in Baltimore. Jim Palmer is my favorite Oriole of all time, though I never saw him take the mound. One thing that confuses me about this great city, is our tie and connection to George Herman Ruth, Jr. or the “Babe.”
Babe Ruth was born in Baltimore Maryland and even played minor league baseball for the Baltimore Orioles. He is thought of by a number of experts as one of the best baseball players of all time, but his place is history is with two of Baltimore’s most hated rivals.
On Sunday, the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation and Museum celebrated what would have been the Bambino’s 116th birthday. They offered fans a chance to hold a bat used by Ruth during his history season in 1927. Friday, the Sports Legends Museum is holding Babe Ruth’s Birthday Bash, a big event for the museum that features local sports celebrities Andy MacPhail and Josh Wilson.
While thats well and good, a neat opportunity, I just don’t understand why Baltimore celebrates a man who did all of his good in New York. Sure he was born here, but do we celebrate every time every time Bill Belichick wins a Super Bowl? He went to Annapolis High School. Rosey Brown, a Hall of Famer and former New York Giant, was from Baltimore. Should we take credit for his career?
Maybe I’m being nit-picky with this analysis, but it’s tough for me to celebrate a man that did all of his good in pinstripes. To me, it’s like when I see North Carolina and Ohio’s license plates. Both try to take credit for the Wright Brothers’ accomplishment in the field of aviation. North Carolina’s plates read “First in Flight” while Ohio’s read “Birthplace of Aviation.” The Wright brothers were born in Ohio, but everything they accomplished was in North Carolina. Ruth’s history is very much the same.
I can see how this issue could make me appear too young to understand the history of Ruth. Baltimore did not have a professional franchise during Ruth’s playing days so playing in Boston in New York was a viable option and not the hated franchises that they are today. But after over 50 years of history with the Red Sox and Yankees, I can’t accept celebrating Babe, especially when I see Yankee fans today wearing his jersey on Eutaw Street at Camden Yards.
I’m sure people will differ from me on this one, but celebrating anyone who wore pinstripes, even if they are from Baltimore just doesn’t make sense to me.
Do you celebrate the Bambino for being from Baltimore?