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This is Me Celebrating Babe Ruth’s 119th Birthday in 2014!

Dr. Bob Hieronimus Celebrating Babe Ruth’s 119th Birthday in 2014

We’ve been having a very snowy and icy winter this year, and the date of Babe Ruth’s 119th Birthday Bash at the Babe Ruth and Sports Legends Museums in downtown Baltimore was no exception. I had been looking forward for months to celebrating with a good cigar and a hot dog together with my friends from the Bert Simmons’ Negro League Baseball Museum of Maryland, and Geraldine Day, the widow of Baltimore’s Hall of Famer Leon Day, one of the fastest pitchers in the Negro Leagues. But alas, we live on a mountain, making ice storms like the one we had on February 6, 2014, a very dangerous time to venture down my driveway. I decided to play it safe and stay home, but I still wanted to raise a toast to my all-time favorite baseball player, so I donned my uniform, grabbed my replica Babe Ruth glove, and carried around my autographed Babe Ruth baseball. You can see me here posing next to my favorite Babe Ruth bobble head, stoking on one of Brazil’s finest cigars.

Even before I learned that Babe Ruth had played on the ball field that was just behind my childhood home on 29th and Greenmount, he had already become my favorite ballplayer. My family stories included those from back in the day when the Babe was still playing for the International League Orioles, and my elders would climb up to the roof of our house and watch the games for free. I recently discovered an old time radio show called The Adventures of Babe Ruth, and while it amusingly makes him out to be a saint and as wise as Solomon, it also charmingly retells some of the legends about this great athlete that made him larger than life. They all reveal a compassionate heart and a champion of the underdog, and I think that’s why we all love him so.

I was very disappointed to miss seeing Adam Jones at the Sports Legends Museum Birthday Bash for the Babe, and thanking him for all the wonderful things he’s done for Baltimore, and his continued support of the Negro Leagues museums and legacy. And also my friends at Sports Legends and Babe Ruth Museum including Mike Gibbons (Executive Director), Greg Schwalenberg (Curator), and John Ziemann (Deputy Director).

Happy 119th to the King of Swat! See you next year!

From the artwork of Gary J. Cieradkowski, a Babe Ruth card showing him as an International League Baltimore Oriole