Babe's Birthday Bash
( Karen Jackson, for The Baltimore Sun / February 8, 2013 )
It may between football and baseball seasons. But some 600 area sports fans still had somewhere to go to not only see some of their heroes but mingle with them, as the Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation threw its annual Babe's Birthday Bash.
At most events, "athletes and celebrities are kept away from the fans. In this situation, we encourage them to get together, and it's really a lot of fun," said Mike Gibbons, Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation executive director, referring to a group of some two dozen sports celebrities who were there.
"I enjoy coming down here and seeing all the people. ... I love to see the looks on their faces when everyone's introduced, said Dr. Sam Havrilak, dentist and former Baltimore Colt.
"Hey, it's the Bambino's birthday: a Baltimore guy, a great baseball player, and baseball's just around the corner. Super night in Baltimore," exclaimed Fred Manfra, Baltimore Orioles broadcaster.
"The Baltimore Ravens just won the Super Bowl. The Orioles are back winning after 14 years. ... Where else would you rather be on a night like tonight?" said Bruce Laird, former Baltimore Colt.
Many of the celebs were also thrilled about seeing one hero in particular, former Ravens player O.J. Brigance, whose fight against ALS has made him a role model for many.
"We're honoring O.J. tonight. So I'm pretty excited," said Kimmie Meisner, U.S. Olympic figure skater.
"He's just a first-class person. It just really makes me happy to see this happen for this guy and his wife," said Tom Matte, former Baltimore Colt.
-- Sloane Brown