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Treasures From the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum Archives

I recently received a communiqué from a woman named Katie Dick, who’s the director of external affairs at the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum. She wrote:

Our museum is the birthplace of Babe Ruth, but we are also the official museum of the Baltimore Orioles, official archives of the Baltimore Colts, and our mission covers all of Maryland sports (athletes who are either from Maryland or who have played for Maryland teams).  We have an extensive archive and a ton of really cool jerseys. We’re celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2024 and we are looking for ways to get our name out there, share our collection, and hopefully encourage people to support our institution so we can be around for the next 50 years!

Did you know that this museum had lots of non-Babe stuff? I didn’t! I didn’t have time for a field trip to Baltimore, but Katie said I could send a local correspondent in my stead, and she also mentioned that she’s friends with Uni Watch’s most Baltimore-obsessive reader, Andrew Cosentino, so we arranged for Katie to show Andrew some cool items from the museum’s archives.

So with no further ado, here’s Andrew’s report — all photos and text by him.

Johnny Unitas Colts Jersey

Unitas wore this jersey — which really looks more like a long-sleeve T-shirt or a crewneck sweatshirt than a jersey — from 1958 through 1960. The best part was seeing the hand-mended areas:

Jonathan Ogden Ravens Jersey

This jersey was worn in 2005 (hence the patch). I wanted to photograph it because this one of the few black alternate designs that Paul likes. [True. — PL] Look how long the jersey is! Ogden is a large human, but seeing his jersey really reinforced that point. He modified his jersey to remove the purple stripe on the sleeve, and there was a green spot on the left sleeve that looked like a piece of turf that adhered itself to the fabric.

Jonathan Ogden Ravens Draft Cap

This was one of my favorite items! In 1996, when the Ravens conducted their first draft, they had yet to establish a color scheme or a logo, so they used a generic cap that just had the team name on the front. You can see Ogden wearing the cap — and holding a similarly generic-looking jacket — here.

Ray Lewis Ravens Jersey

This jersey is from 1997, prior to the Ravens’ logo lawsuit fiasco.  I love how the flying Raven looked as a sleeve patch:

Earl Weaver Orioles Jersey

A beautiful jersey. And as Uni Watch readers know, Earl’s uniforms had a little secret: a cigarette pocket sewn into the inside of the jersey!

Len Bias Maryland Warm-Up Jacket and Gym Bag

Honestly, the jacket itself isn’t that remarkable, but I love the gym bag, which has an old Maryland logo, some beautiful typography, and an old Delta Airlines luggage tag!

University of Maryland Basketball

This basketball celebrated the University of Maryland’s 1931 Southern Conference Championship. Check out those laces!

Baltimore Bullets Jersey and Basketball

The Bullets originally played in Baltimore before they moved to Washington. Katie says the museum isn’t sure which year this jersey is from, but the Bullets wore this road jersey design from 1966 through 1969, and No. 35 was worn by Ed Manning in all but one of those seasons, so this was probably his jersey.

Fun fact: They were named after the Phoenix Shot Tower, which still stands in Baltimore.

Brooks Robinson Orioles Jersey

This beautiful jersey is from 1975.  I love the old Orioles script with the open “O.”

Chuck Estrada Orioles Jersey

This jersey is from 1962 and has a few fun details. First, I love the felt script and numbers. Second, the zipper is such a great uniform detail. Third, the chain-stitched Oriole Bird sleeve patch is gorgeous.

Frank Robinson Orioles Jersey (1966)

I’m a sucker for jerseys that have the number and NOB in contrasting colors. Because of the way the fabric was draping when I took this photo, you can’t see the period after the “F,” but don’t worry — it was there.

Frank Robinson Orioles Jersey (1977)

This jersey was made for Frank Robinson’s 1977 induction into the Orioles Hall of Fame.  It was great to be able to compare its radially arched lettering to the vertically arched lettering of the previous jersey.

Don Kelly 1932 Olympics Lacrosse Jersey

Lacrosse was an exhibition sport at the 1932 Olympics held in Los Angeles.  The Johns Hopkins lacrosse team represented the USA.  Note how the chest logo compresses the Olympic rings into a nearly horizontal line, instead of the usual bi-level treatment!

1927 Ed Carroll Gear

So much stuff here! Ed Carroll was a native Baltimorean who attended Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. He was signed out of high school to play for the minor league Orioles and later, as a member of the Red Sox, pitched against Babe Ruth! Some fun items here include his hat, his protective cup, his bag, and various gloves.

Brooks Robinson 1950s Cap Insert

The plaque pretty much tells the story. You can see a video about this item here.

Thank you so much to both Katie and Paul for giving me this opportunity! I really enjoyed being able to nerd out about uniforms.


Paul here. I’m super-grateful to both Katie and Andrew for making this post possible. Here are some shots of them attending Orioles games together:


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A post shared by Andrew Cosentino (@andrew_cosentino)


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A post shared by Andrew Cosentino (@andrew_cosentino)

The museum’s website is here, plus you can follow the museum and Andrew on Instagram. Thanks again, K&A!


ITEM! Old Patch Raffle

Reader Caleb Bentz was doing some New Year’s cleaning and came across this Uni Watch 20th-anniversary patch from 2019. He’s offering to let me raffle it off, so that’s what we’re going to do today.

This will be a one-day raffle. No entry restrictions. To enter, send an email with your mailing address to the raffle in-box by 9pm Eastern tonight. I’ll announce the winner tomorrow. Big thanks to Caleb for doing this!

Meanwhile, I’m still selling the new 25th-anniversary patch, which looks like this:

Full details on how to order that one are available here.



Mascot Watch

Uni Watch boy mascot Waffles does this thing where he spreads his hind legs and makes himself very flat. I’ve started referring to it as spatchcocking, after the poultry-flattening technique.



Can of the Day

I’m not sure how many liquid fish glues there are, but it says here that this one’s the best! Sending this beauty out to longtime reader/pal R. Scott Rogers.

Comments (30)

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Paul! Katie and I had such a fun time. It was a please to be able to showcase the Babe Ruth Museum for Uni Watch!

    Great job Andrew!!! Following him on social media is a MUST. Not only for his uni and sports content, but also for his food content and his overall love for our city!

    I was at the 1996 NFL Draft and I remember the Ravens graphics on banners &c. being generic wordmarks in navy and white, sans-serif all-caps:


    It’s possible one of these words was navy-on-white and the other was white-on-navy in a rectangular field. Also, IIRC their draft-table helmet-phone was basically a Penn State helmet, white shell with a single navy stripe and navy facemask. I remember a training-camp photo of Vinny Testaverde wearing a plain navy and white practice jersey and a Penn State helmet, before the uniforms and logos were revealed.

    Thank you Andrew! I visited the museum on my first visit to Baltimore in 1992. I fell in love with the city that week. Thank you for sharing!

    Similarly, I was wondering if there was anything from the original green-and-silver Colts?

    Howza bout Baltimore Stars (USFL)?
    Granted, they were Baltimore in name only (home was College Park)…loce to know where this jersey currently resides:

    Love seeing my hometown featured here on UW, thanks to Katie, Andrew, and Paul for this great post! I’ve not been back to Baltimore in nine years. That trip’s highlight was my first and only visit to the Ruth Museum. It’s been far too long and I’m inspired to get back there this summer if possible. Oh, and the bird head on the sleeve of Chuck Estrada’s jersey is my favorite Orioles uni detail ever.

    I visited the Babe Ruth Museum and I knew its place as an area hall of fame…they have a notation of Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr, Ray Lewis, Babe Ruth, and Michael Phelps as the official greatest of the city. I did NOT know however that they had such a great collection of artifacts! Wow! Thanks for sharing! I’ll have to find an excuse to flavor my dinner with Old Bay tonight

    Interesting, that Olympic uniform. Was the red up-pointed triangle always part of the AAU’s representation of the U.S. shield? Lots of U.S. uniforms from 1932 had the diagonal red-white-blue striping, including track and men’s field hockey.

    I’m fascinated by how the ’62 Orioles jersey is yellowing at different rates in the body vs. the sleeves! Different fabric type? Weight?

    Waffles’ position looks similar to splooting (I always called it “sploofing” until I looked it up). link

    Very meta can from R. Scotty

    Keep the Biscuit/Waffles pics coming!

    Great stuff from Andrew & Katie!!

    Love the museum photos! The old Orioles script is so much classier than what they wear today. The 1966 Frank Robinson looks like it was possibly restored. The name and number fonts do not pass my eye test and are off from the photo of Frank playing.

    Love the Unitas and Frank Robinson jerseys, and the old-timey Maryland hoops memoribilia. Nice work.

    I wonder if the museum displays the knife that Art Modell used to stab us in the back. Probably not. :-)

    It’s a great little museum just down the road from Camden Yards. Haven’t been there since they expanded beyond Babe, looks even better.

    Re: the patch raffle.

    I never really noticed how much Uni Watch’s green has changed over the years. I don’t know if this is true across all merch or if it was ever a conscious decision to lighten the green. I also realize this could very well just be a case of using a different manufacturer but it’s still interesting to see the visual history of Uni Watch.

    Are there any non-Ruth artifacts on display in the museum, or is that stuff all behind-the-scenes?

    Great post. I will definitely visit next time I’m in the area.
    So many great items pictured. My personal favorites are the 2 bird sleeve patches. The “flying Raven” is a wonderful logo & that 1962 cartoon/mascot type Oriole is perfection. I would like to see both teams bring these back as alternate logos.

    Wow! What a treasure trove of uni goodness! Thanks, Andrew, for this great report! And thanks to Katie for getting the word out! The next time I’m in the Baltimore/Washington area, the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum will be a must-see for me. Heck, I may make an excuse to head to Baltimore just to see it!

    Re: NBA
    The Baltimore Bullets were born as the Chicago Packers around 1960, then became the Chicago Zephyrs for a couple of years before moving to Baltimore. The Bulls were born a few years later.

    The Packers/Zephyrs played in the International Ampitheater (south side Stock Yards area) and a couple of other small venues during their stay on Chicago. Never played at old Chicago Stadium, which was controlled by the NHL hockey team named after Chief Blackhawk.

    Fun seeing those final scores on the Maryland basketball. You’d think it was commemorating a football season.

    Possibly the most Baltimore-centric photo ever: The view down Eutaw Street with the Bromo-Seltzer tower at the end.

    I really dug the font on that “Maryland Basketball”. I don’t think I’ve ever seen L’s like that before though.

    Have we ever seen any photos of Brooks wearing that helmet/cap insert? It’s shown here in an online auction:

    I’ve never heard of a shot tower before. Uni Watch is educational in so many ways.

    I went to school outside of Baltimore (Towson) long ago, before Inner Harbor and some of the other efforts to revitalize the city. Having grown up near DC, I never thought much of Baltimore. I’ve been to several O’s games over the years, but now I feel like I need to make a road trip up to Baltimore to see the museum, the shot tower and the salt boxes, all things I learned about here on Uni Watch. link

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