President Donald Trump has announced his first recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom and they include two athletes with strong ties to Maryland — Babe Ruth and Roger Staubach.
Ruth, one of baseball’s all-time greats, was born in Baltimore. Staubach, who is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, won the Heisman Trophy playing for Navy.
Also named to receive the award on Nov. 16 was the wife of a major Republican Party donor, the longest-serving Republican senator in U.S. history and Elvis Presley.
Trump will also posthumously recognize the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Medals are going to Miriam Adelson, a doctor and wife of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a Republican donor; Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who is retiring after more than 41 years in the U.S. Senate; and Alan Page, who began a legal career after leaving the NFL.
Born on Emory Street in Pigtown in 1895, Ruth played 22 years with the Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees and Boston Braves, and batted .342, hit 714 home runs and had 2,213 RBI. He played on seven World Series champions and was a charter member of the Hall of Fame in 1936. Ruth died in 1948.
Staubach was a first-team All-American and recipient of both the Heisman Trophy and Maxwell Trophy in 1963 for the Mids. He led Navy to a 21-15 win over Army that year in the annual rivalry game that was delayed a week because of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. After serving in Vietnam, Staubach went on to a Hall of Fame career with the Dallas Cowboys.
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the nation's highest honor for a civilian. According to a White House statement Saturday, the medal is awarded to those who have "made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
Trump did not name any Medal of Freedom winners in 2017.