A group of Patterson Park Little Leaguers were on hand yesterday as three Maryland baseball players were among those honored by The United States Postal Service with 20 new stamps commemorating the "Legends of Baseball."
In front of about 50 people at the Baltimore Main Post Office, postal officials and local sports historians celebrated the achievements of Maryland-born stars George Herman "Babe" Ruth, Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Grove. The three Maryland inductees were a part of a group that boasts some of baseball's most historic names, including Lou Gehrig, Cy Young, Jackie Robinson, Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, Roberto Clemente and Satchel Paige.
The ceremony also marked the introduction of a new memorabilia exhibit at the post office's downtown location at 900 East Fayette St. The display includes three engraved bats, a glove and a replica of Ruth's New York Yankee's jersey. The Babe Ruth Museum and private stamp and baseball memorabilia collector Phil Gunter provided these items, as well as numerous photographs, historic stamps and other mementos used in the display.
Sun sports columnist John Steadman, who was named honorary postmaster of "Legends of Baltimore" Station during the ceremony, pointed out to the crowd that each player represented a different part of Maryland. Foxx came from the Sudlersville on the Eastern Shore, Grove was from Lonaconing in Western Maryland, and Ruth grew up in downtown Baltimore.
"It's certainly a testimonial to the kind of athletes Maryland produces," Steadman said after hailing Ruth as the greatest baseball player of all time. Steadman added that the fact that such a "geographically small" state had three players on the list was "indicative of the kind of baseball that is played here [in Maryland]."
Retired Orioles announcer Chuck Thompson also spoke during the ceremony. The stamps were originally issued on July 6 in Atlanta as part of Major League Baseball's 2000 All-Star Game festivities.