A new tournament in the Babe’s hometown looks to level the playing field between the city’s private and public school teams.
Three public schools: Mervo, Douglass, and Dunbar battled the historically black St. Frances Academy, as well as private schools Friends, Gilman, Boys’ Latin and Mt. St. Joseph.
The first round confirmed the gap between the publics-and-privates as four of the five private schools advanced to the tourney’s semifinal. Still, the first step in bridging any divide is gauging its measure and gaining a sense of the far side. The members of the Douglass High squad turned a nifty inning-ending double-play in their first round loss to Gilman, and also got to meet the Gilman assistant coach who partook in a fair share of twin killings during his day: Cal Ripken, Jr.
The city that spawned one of sport’s greatest figures did so from one of its more austere diamonds: The Babe spent the better part of his earliest years calling the St. Mary’s Industrial School for Orphans, Delinquent, Incorrigible and Wayward Boys home. He proved that given the opportunity, the city’s diamonds are fertile grounds for baseball talent, regardless of address.