FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) – Mike Caldwell loves sports. He played them, watched them and now lives through their memories by collecting parts of that past.
It’s a lot of fun, until recently.
Caldwell always wanted to be the shortstop for the New York Yankees until he saw his first wicked curveball, then he decided to be a baseball collector.
He’s a Yankee collector, New York, DiMaggio, Mantle and of course Babe Ruth.
“Oh, the Babe. He was always part of the family,” said Caldwell.
The eight feet tall Babe Ruth sculpture with him for 30 years, the Holy Grail of sports memorabilia.
Boyhood treasures and cross-country shipping aren’t always handled with care.
Caldwell remembers when his wife told him Babe didn’t survive the trip. He was busted up, broken and in pieces.
“I thought it was the end, but it was the beginning,” said Caldwell.
He called the Williamson County Arts Council in from the bullpen. Franklin sculptor Alexis Colbert came in to save the Babe.
Talent, plaster and six months of work makes Caldwell a grey-haired nine-year-old.
“Oh, I love it. He looks like he walked right out of history,” said Caldwell. “It’s great. It’s better than ever.”