By Mike Schuh

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Babe Ruth went on from a Baltimore orphanage to become one of the world’s greatest athletes. A new documentary for the Smithsonian was partially filmed here in town, WJZ’s Mike Schuh reports.

He became the most famous man in the world, both for his achievements on the baseball diamond, but also, at the dawn of mass media, for his exploits off the field.

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So much of what the world knows about Ruth comes from his years in New York. Yet in the beginning, he was a brash bully from Southwest Baltimore. It’s an often overlooked part of Ruth’s life now laid out by those who made the film, American Hercules.

“Babe Ruth in Baltimore is a facet of his life that tends to get minimized, whereas in American Hercules, a significant portion of the film was shot locally in these neighborhoods of Southwest Baltimore,” said Nick Trotta, director.

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“He learned how to play baseball here, and of course, he makes his debut with the Baltimore Orioles, which most people don’t know. And I think that’s something for everyone to be proud of,” said Shawn Herne, Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation.

That version of his story will soon air nationally, but the filmmakers aired it in Baltimore first, as a fundraiser for the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum.

“It’s a completely different look at Babe Ruth. It’s a fresh new look, which is something that hasn’t been done in many, many years,” said Herne.

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The show on Ruth, American Hercules, will air on the Smithsonian Channel on September 25.