BALTIMORE - Today, you can find most of the history tied to those icons on display, in the old Camden Station, home to the Sports Legends at Camden Yards
“We use any and everything to help us tell our stories,” said Executive Director Mike Gibbons.
While many of those stories live on in displays for you to experience, other artifacts are housed in museum’s vault.
“They’re things not in our collection or on permanent loan here that help us interpret stories when we put them out on display” Gibbons said.
And before you can lay a hand on any of the 10,000 artifacts within the museum, you must first put on white gloves because the natural oils and dust from human skin can damage the items.
Gibbons says that’s just one of the curators’ preservation measures. “This space is kept in the dark at a constant temperature except when we come in, but that’s not too much.”
Walking through the vault, Gibbons says the artifacts range from things like the 1947 Baltimore Colts’ original mascot’s saddle blanket, and yes. Their mascot was a real horse, and you may think the team’s colors were always blue and white?
“But they weren’t,” he said. “They were green and silver, and this proves it.”
The Museum also has ball cap from the old St. Louis Browns. “In 1953, the Browns stopped existing and transferred to Baltimore to become the Orioles.”
You’ll also find a wealth of items, including a number of trophy footballs, donated by Colt legend Johnny Unitas.
It’s enough to make any sports fan’s head spin. But before we left, Gibbons had to show off two of the Museum’s crown jewels. This first are a pair of the museum’s oldest artifacts, a pair of lacrosse sticks. “These sticks date back to 18 th century and were used by American Indians.”
The other artifact, a 1927 bat used by Babe Ruth, was enough to leave any history buff speechless. “It was a bat Ruth used on his way to hitting 60 home runs.”
So when looking for the story in this improbable Orioles run to the American League Playoffs, where does Gibbons see the story?
“I think it was Sunday, when the team was watching the (Texas Rangers and Los Angeles of Anaheim Angels) game on the field with fans,” he said. “That’s the defining moment, so far.”
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