The Babe Ruth House has been expanded to embrace three rowhouses adjacent to the one where the Sultan of Swat was born and spent the miserable childhood that ended when he was sent to a training school for incorrigible boys at the age of seven.

But though he was born poor and died ravaged by cancer, The Babe gave himself -- and baseball fans -- a hell of a ride in between. There was no one like him and there's Cooperstown. You don't have to like baseball to love the Babe Ruth House, which remains open while being completely remodeled for a grand reopening on May 26. The ceremony will be presided over by Hall-of-Famer Judy Johnson, 82, the Brooks Robinson of the old Negro League, who will also throw out the first ball at the Twins-Orioles game on May 25.

The museum's films, photos, stats, bats, balls, even a talking statue of Ruth, will fascinate every fan and any kid. BABE RUTH HOUSE -- 216 Emory Street, just south of Pratt Street. Coming into town on Russell Street, take the first left and first right. Open 10 to 6 every day. Admission $2 adults, $1 children. 301/727- 1539.