Big League Stew - MLB

It's still only early July, but I think a Delaware man named Glenn Davis has already sealed the award for the most unselfish act in baseball this year.

Let's give him the best quote of 2010, too.  

"There's no one sick in our family, no one starving in our family," Davis tells the Baltimore Sun. "So I enjoy seeing the card displayed at the museum." 

OK, maybe that snippet doesn't mean as much without knowing what I or Davis are talking about. 

So the story goes like this: Back in 1998, Richard Davis — Glenn's father — agreed to let the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum in Baltimore display a rare set of baseball cards that were produced by the Baltimore News in 1914.

The crown jewel of the 15-card set was a card of a 19-year-old Babe Ruth from his rookie season with the Baltimore Orioles of the International League. That's the card over on the right, and you can see Ruth had yet to give up pitching to become the nation's full-time home run king.

Richard Davis died in 2001 and left ownership of the cards to his son, who also agreed that the Babe Ruth Museum could keep them in its exhibit. End of story, right?

Not quite. During a recent appraisal, the museum officials learned that the card was worth a lot more than suspected. Maybe even as much as $500,000. They figured Davis might want to know he was sitting on a fortune. Only problem was they couldn't find him.

That led to a story in the Baltimore Sun last week in hopes that it'd shake Glenn Davis from the bushes after a fruitless year-long search. Sure enough, he caught wind of the story, gave the museum a ring and soon learned his inheritance was worth half a million bucks.

Davis is not a tycoon, nor is he a big-time collector. He's a 56-year-old systems manager for a paint company. Surely it would not have been an inconsequential happening to see $500K added to his family's bank account.

But Davis decided he didn't want any of that. He decided his life was fine just the way it was and that the card was already home. He told the museum to keep it.

"I vacillated between (keeping it at) the Babe Ruth Museum (or) Cooperstown," Davis told the Sun. "But I kept coming back to the Babe Ruth Museum, and I think that's the proper place for it. They've done a great job taking care of the card all these years."

Look, no one would have begrudged Davis if he had taken the card back, put it up for auction and received the price of a new home for it. With bills, loans and tuition to pay, many of us would have gone the same route without a second thought.

But in an age where the chase for riches never ends, Davis took a look around and did what he thought was the right thing to do. And now visitors to what would still be an excellent historical site without the item get to walk away from their trip from the house where Ruth was born with an added bonus of seeing the rare card.

The Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum — which is located just a few steps from Camden Yards — says it'll repay Davis' generosity by building a special baseball card exhibit once it secures the funds. Maybe a deep-pocketed baseball lover will read of Davis' decision and make sure his "thank you" comes sooner rather than later.

Big BLS H/N: Mister Irrelevant

Related: Remember the time a Nolan Ryan rookie mistakenly sold for $12?

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