On February 6, 1895, the child who would grow to become the “Great Bambino” was born to Katherine and George Herman Ruth, Sr. The row house on Baltimore’s Emory Street where the Babe was born was leased by his paternal grandfather.
After a tumultuous childhood that involved a stint in St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys, Ruth signed his first professional contract with the hometown Orioles in 1914. Ruth was soon traded to the Boston Red Sox, who later sold him to the New York Yankees, much to their 86-year chagrin. He would go on to play for the Yankees for 15 years, a period where he solidified himself as one of the greatest ballplayers and personalities in the history of the game.
After falling into disrepair during the mid-1900s, Ruth’s birthplace was slated for destruction. A campaign to save the property was successfully undertaken by the press secretary for the mayor of Baltimore, Hirsh Goldberg. In July 1974, the site opened as a national shrine.
Today, the house boasts an impressive museum featuring exhibits on the history of the home and the legend of Babe Ruth. Unique memorabilia and artifacts such as, a catcher’s mitt owned by a young Ruth, and his kimono are all on display. Many of the exhibits were crafted with the help of Ruth’s widow, sister, and daughters.
Know Before You Go
The Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum is located a short three blocks from Oriole Park at Camden Yards. It’s easy to find, thanks to some creative planning: just follow the trail of baseballs painted on the sidewalk, stretching from the Babe Ruth statue at the ballpark to the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum.