Ring stolen from Camden Yards sports museum

Item on loan from family of Walter Youse, amateur coach and scout

May 12, 2011|By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun

In the past 30 years, two items stolen from the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Sports Legends Museums were recovered.

Officials at the Camden Yards museum are hoping for similar luck after a ring was taken last week from a display case, part of a collection honoring amateur coach and Orioles scout Walter Youse.

"We've provided all the information the police have asked for, and we're hopeful that it will turn up something here. Ultimately, the most important thing is the recovery of the ring," said Michael Gibbons, the museum's executive director.

The stolen item is a championship ring for the 1996 All-American Amateur Baseball Association, presented to Youse by the local team's sponsor, according to curator Shawn M. Henne. Gibbons said it was on loan from relatives of Youse, who died in 2002.

Officials have not been able to contact the family and are concerned that a week has gone by with seemingly no breaks in the investigation. It was last seen May 4 during a tour, and was reported missing when a custodian noticed it was not in its case on the afternoon of May 5.

Gibbons noted the recovery of two other items that had been taken from the museums.

In 1995, the so-called "Matchless Ball" was taken from its secure perch at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum and later recovered under equally baffling circumstances when an anonymous tipster directed officials to a brown paper bag containing the ball, valued at the time between $500,000 and $1.5 million. It was signed by 22 members of the 1934 American League All Star team, including Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx.

A decade earlier, a trophy commemorating the Orioles' 1894 National League championship season and the 1944 International League champion was swiped and later recovered.

Gibbons said the Youse ring was contained in a heavy glass case that was not easily accessible. Museum officials have since conducted a security review and were satisfied that other items are "totally secure." But he called theft distressing.

"It just gets you so upset," Gibbons said.

Anyone with information can call the Southern District police station at 410-396-2499.


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