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The Babe's privy found under stadium

The "House that Ruth Built" is in New York. The outhouse that Ruth used is in his hometown, underneath centerfield at Camden Yards, site of the Orioles' new stadium.

The privy used by Ruth and his family was among the artifacts found by archaeologists working with construction crews at Oriole Park.

"This is, in my opinion, (the) premier collection of urban artifacts ever excavated in our entire region," said R. Christopher Goodwin, whose archaeological firm conducted the dig for the Maryland Stadium Authority.

Privies are historical time capsules because they were used for trash disposal before communities had municipal trash service, said Martha Williams, a researcher for Goodwin's firm.

One of the area's former residents was the Babe's father, George Herman Ruth Sr., who operated a saloon from 1906 to 1912 in what is now centerfield. The Ruths lived above the saloon and their privy was directly behind it.

The dig on the Ruth property yielded two privies, one dug for the Ruths and one made 100 years earlier and used by Frances Whiddington, an upper-class woman whose status is reflected in the broken porcelain and pottery she discarded. Items taken from the later privy included old pipes, glassware, china, old cherry pits, watermelon seeds and a coconut, Williams said.

Elsewhere

Dodgers: Former Pirates general manager Larry Doughty was hired as a major-league scout. Doughty, 52, was the senior vice president/general manager for the Pirates from Nov. 7, 1988, through Jan. 6, when he was fired by Pirates president Mark Sauers.

Arbitration roundup: Shortstop Jay Bell and the Pirates went before an arbitrator, while Yankees pitcher Melido Perez and infielder Alvaro Espinoza and Brewers shortstop Bill Spiers agreed to one-year contracts. Perez, traded from the White Sox to New York last month, settled at $1,165,000, a raise of $707,000. Espinoza settled at $1-million, a raise of $350,000. Spiers, the last Brewers player in arbitration, tripled his salary, to $750,000. Bell, who lives in Valrico, made $360,000 in 1991. He is seeking $1.45-million and the Pirates are offering $875,000.

Obituary: Arthur E. "Red" Patterson, one of baseball's most innovative public relations men and an executive with both the Dodgers and Angels, died in Los Angeles of cancer at 83. During a career that began with the Yankees in 1946 and spanned 45 years, Patterson was credited with introducing old-timers' games, yearbooks and concession souvenirs.

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