History? This Ruth Just Wants to Make the Yankees

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Eric Ruth, pitching for the Class A Tampa Yankees in 2014, hopes to become the first Ruth to make the major leagues since Babe.

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Mike Janes/Four Seam Images via Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — Some new fathers celebrate the birth of a child by handing out cigars. “We handed out Baby Ruth bars,” said Dan Ruth, recalling how he and his wife, Elaine, celebrated the arrival of their only child, Eric.

If Eric Ruth is destined to be defined by his last name, then he could not be in a better place: trying to forge a career in baseball — and with the Yankees, of all teams, the franchise made famous by Babe Ruth.

“It’s kind of cool to have the same last name,” Ruth, a 26-year-old undrafted pitcher said on Wednesday, his second day in major league camp.

In fact, Ruth said he might be a distant relative of the Bambino, who grew up in Baltimore, not so far away from Eric Ruth’s hometown, Harleysville, Pa. But Eric’s father, Dan, was more dubious. Dan Ruth said that years ago, his parents gave him a genealogy book, which traced his family history and included an…

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