This Day in History: Feb. 6

In 1895, baseball legend George Herman “Babe” Ruth was born at 216 Emory Street in Baltimore. On what would have been the Bambino’s 73rd birthday in 1968, the city bought the house along with three other houses and lots on its street. The Mayor’s Committee for the Preservation of Babe Ruth’s Birthplace originally considered demolishing the houses and rebuilding them near Memorial Stadium, but eventually decided to restore the buildings at their original location. Today, the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum still stands on Emory Street. (Leroy Merriken, Baltimore Sun photo, 1931) 1778: The United States won official recognition from France with the signing of treaties in Paris. 1924: President Woodrow Wilson was buried at the Washington National Cathedral. 1933: The Constitution’s 20th Amendment took effect, designating Jan. 20 as the date of presidential inaugurations. 1946: The Baltimore Youth Advisory Board recommended that a school be established in the city to train and educate parents of juvenile delinquents. Compiled by Laura Lefavor and Paul McCardell. Continue Reading

Family tradition turns Connecticut boy into Yankee fan

For Thomas Speiser, rooting for the Yankees is a family tradition. The kid from Sandy Hook, Conn., attended his first big-league game in the Bronx at age 10 — the same as his dad and his granduncle. And the aspiring third baseman started rooting for the Pinstripers when he was just 5. “I knew my dad really liked the Yankees,” Thomas explained. “And everybody in our family watches the Yankees.” Thomas was actually out playing baseball when his father received a phone call with word that his son’s essay was a winner in the Daily News’ Field of Dreams contest. “He was driving in his car,” recalled Thomas. “I was out on the field.” Dad quickly passed the message along to his surprised, thankful and happy son. “I feel like this is going to be really special, a once-in-a-lifetime thing,” Thomas said. Thomas and eight other contest winners will take the field at Yankee Stadium — with a Yankee starter — before the team’s Aug. 26 game against the Houston Astros. The contestants, ages 8 to 14, were judged on essays they wrote about what Yankees tradition means to them. “I think I’m gonna have a great time on the field,” Thomas said. The 11-year-old’s memories of his first Yankee Stadium visit were included in his winning submission. Four years of Cal Ripken League baseball, he recalled, were no preparation for what awaited in the House That Ruth Built. “Seeing Yankee Stadium, hearing the crowd and standing up to see a great play was a little different than playing on our town field,” Thomas wrote with great understatement. His two favorite Yankees of all time — Derek Jeter and Babe Ruth — played generations apart. But his current favorite is third baseman Chase Headley. Thomas’ teammates and friends were a little jealous to discover he was going to take the field at the Stadium. Continue Reading

Babe Ruth’s Yankees jersey sells for record-setting $4.4M  at auction; Lawrence Taylor’s Super Bowl ring fetches $230K

Babe Ruth is still setting records. A New York Yankees road jersey worn by the Sultan of Swat in the 1920s sold for a whopping $4.4 million, setting a world record for any sports memorabilia item. California-based SCP Auctions handled the sale of George Herman “Babe” Ruth’s jersey, which officially came in at $4,415,658. “We are honored to, once again, be a part of history," David Kohler, president of SCP Auctions, said in a statement. "This proves again that Babe Ruth is ‘king’ in the sports memorabilia world.” The Bambino’s gray jersey features “NEW YORK” across the chest in blue lettering, with Ruth’s name and initials written inside the collar in faded pink script — “Ruth, G.H.” SCP Auctions press release The circa-1920 Babe Ruth road Yankees jersey brings in $4.4M at auction. It’s the highest sale price for a piece of sports memorabilia since 2010 when the original rules of basketball — written by Dr. James Naismith, who created the game at a Springfield, Mass., YMCA in 1891 — was sold by Soetheby’s for a then-record $4,338,500. The person behind the winning bid for the Ruth jersey is choosing to remain anonymous, SCP said. The famous T-206 Honus Wagner tobacco baseball card — which until Saturday was the most expensive piece of baseball memorabilia — sold at auction for $2.8M in 2007. There were 36 bids placed on the Ruth jersey, which hit the auction block on April 30, according to SCP. It was loaned by a private collector to the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum in Baltimore (where it was on display from 2004-09) before it was put up for auction. Ruth was sold by the Boston Red Sox to the Yankees on Jan. 5, 1920 and hit 54 home runs in his first season with New York — more than every team in the major leagues that year save for Philadelphia. After selling Ruth in 1920, Boston went 84 years without another Continue Reading