Expanding Babe Ruth's Museum

April 27, 1991

When the new Orioles stadium at Camden Yards is inaugurated next year, Babe Ruth's birthplace will be only a fly-ball away. A museum consisting of four row houses has operated at 212-218 Emory Street since 1974, commemorating the great slugger's roots in Baltimore and his career with the New York Yankees.

As exhibits have increased and word has gotten around about the museum, the number of visitors has zoomed. Close to 35,000 fans paid homage to the Babe last year. That number is likely to triple at the very least when the Orioles move to the new downtown ballpark.

In anticipation, the non-profit organization operating the Babe Ruth Birthplace Shrine has embarked on an ambitious $3.3 million expansion drive. The leasing of two nearby buildings will enable the museum to add 12,600 square feet of exhibit space -- five times the current capacity -- and reserve 6,000 square feet for meeting and catering facilities. The entry lobby is guaranteed to be a conversation piece: it will be a two-story replica of Memorial Stadium!

The additional space will accommodate the Baltimore Orioles Museum and permanent exhibits on the Negro Leagues in Maryland, the Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame, a Sports Media Hall of Fame as well as exhibits on amateur and semi-pro baseball in Maryland. All should be ready by July 1993, when Baltimore will host the 60th annual All Star game at the new ballpark.

Especially because of its timing, the Babe Ruth Museum expansion is a winning idea. It deserves the enthusiastic support of local and state governments as well as Baltimoreans and baseball fans throughout the country. An expanded museum will turn a trip to the ballpark into an educational experience for the whole family.

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