Posts tagged Boston Red Sox

The Goddess “Gentlemen’s Club” – The Bar That Ruth Bought

Chances are most baseball fans who park north of Camden Yards in the garages on Eutaw Street do not know the historical significance of the building they pass just before crossing Lombard Street on the way towards Camden Yards. That building, which currently houses The Goddess, a self-proclaimed “Gentlemen’s Club,” was once owned by Babe Ruth, and the sidewalk outside the building is where Ruth’s father died after injuries he sustained while trying to break up a brawl.

The Goddess Gentleman's Club

The Goddess Gentlemen’s Club

“The past exists all around us, you just have to know where to look.” This has been my motto for years and is one of the themes running through my book Deadball, A Metaphysical Baseball Novel. Babe Ruth’s ties to Maryland are a good example of this theme, from the house where he was born, to the orphanage and baseball field where he grew up, to the Catholic church where he was married. Other places tied to the Babe, while equally notable, are a little more difficult to detect, such as the home field where he played for the International League Baltimore Orioles, which is now a McDonald’s restaurant.

Goddess Gentleman's Club With Camden Yards Scoreboard in Background

Goddess Gentlemen’s Club With Camden Yards Scoreboard in Background

The same is true for the three-story building located at  38 South Eutaw Street. In 1915, Ruth’s Boston Red Sox won the World Series and legend has it that Ruth took part of his World Series earnings and purchased the building as a bar for his father, which became known as “Ruth’s Cafe.” Babe Ruth and his wife Helen lived above the bar on the second floor of the building during that following winter.

The Goddess, Located Across the Street from the Bromo Seltzer Tower

The only known photograph of the Babe and his father was taken inside the building in December 1915. Babe is seen standing behind the bar in the center of the photograph while his father, dressed in the same bartenders attire, is standing to the right. It being the Christmas season, the bar is decorated with ornaments and tinsel.

Ruth and His Father (Photograph by Vincent Velzis)

Just two plus years after Ruth purchased the building, tragedy struck as Ruth’s father died in the street outside the building. The brawl he tried to break up is said to have involved one of his relatives.

The Mean Streets of Baltimore – Where Babe Ruth’s Father Died

Ruth’s Cafe on Eutaw Street should not be confused with another establishment of the same name which Ruth’s father ran on West Conway Street.   Prior to the construction of Camden Yards, Conway Street street ran northeast across what is now home plate, through the pitcher’s mound and second base, and across center field towards the green batters eye behind center field.

The memory of Ruth’s Cafe is honored at Oriole Park’s Budweiser Patio on Eutaw Street.

Budweiser Patio on Eutaw Street, with Plaque Honoring Babe Ruth

A plaque on the side of the Budweiser Patio honors Babe Ruth. It was erected by the “Old Timer’s Baseball Association of Maryland” although its age and appearance suggest it was relocated from another venue.

Babe Ruth Plaque at Camden Yards

The sign next to the Babe Ruth plaque relates a short history of the Ruth’s Cafe on Conway Street.

Camden Yard Sign Noting History of Conway Street Pub

A section of West Conway Street remains just southwest of Oriole Park and a sign for the street is located on Russell Street across from the main ballpark entrance at  Schaefer Circle.

Intersection of West Conway Street and Russell Street

When the State of Maryland excavated the area during construction of Camden Yards, bricks from the building at 406 West Conway Street were unearthed and one is now on display at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum.

Center Field at Camden Yards, Former Location of Babe’s Cafe

Yes, the past is all around us. We just need to know where to look. Should you find yourself making your way down Eutaw Street on the way to Camden Yards, be sure to stop at the Goddess and take a moment to appreciate it’s historical significance. Of course, it being a strip club, I will leave it to you to decide whether the building is better appreciated from the outside, as opposed to from inside the establishment.

Cy Young and the Temperance Tavern Museum

In my book Deadball, A Metaphysical Baseball Novel, one of the many baseball-related places Byron Bennett visits is Newcomerstown, Ohio, the adopted home town of Cy Young (Young actually lived with his friends the Bendum’s in nearby Peoli, Ohio).  The Temperance Tavern Museum, located in Newcomerstown, boasts an impressive collection of Cy Young souvenirs and memorabilia.

The Temperance Tavern Museum, Newcomerstown, Ohio

First and foremost is Young’s complete 1908 Boston Red Sox uniform.  The uniform was donated to the museum by a woman who lived in Newcomerstown.  Her father was one of Young’s closest friends. The woman discovered the uniform in one of her father’s trunks years after her father died.

Cy Young's 1908 Red Sox Uniform

The glass display case that lines the right side of the Cy Young room includes numerous mementos from Young’s baseball career, as well as artifacts from his life in Peoli after retirement.

Cy Young Display Case, Temperance Tavern Museum

Perhaps most impressive of the post-baseball items is Young’s rocking chair.  According to local legend, in his later years, Young could often be found sitting in that chair on the front porch of the house where he lived.

Cy Young's Rocking Chair

The museum’s display includes the last hat and shoes Young ever wore.  The grey fedora and black high button shoes are sandwiched between a Boston Redsox penant and a replica of Young’s Hall of Fame plaque.

Cy Young's Last Hat and Shoes

Newcomerstown also has a little league field named in Young’s honor.  The house where he lived still stands (barely) in Peoli (see Cy Young Home).  The cemetery where he is buried is less than a mile from his former home.