PAM SHRIVER, an athlete who richly deserves honors, will receive a nice one tomorrow night when she goes in the Mid-Atlantic Hall of Fame at a dinner at the Sheraton-Towson. She will be introduced by Elise Burgin. Also being enshrined are Pauline Betz Addie, Ray Bender, Wellington Gillis, Ed Griepenkerl, George Stewart and Don Strong.
Shriver performed yet another service to our community this week when she attracted 10,254 spectators -- the largest crowd ever to watch tennis in Maryland -- to the Arena for an exhibition that raised more than $200,000 for Children's Hospital, Cystic Fibrosis and the Greater Baltimore Tennis Patrons. Were it not for Shriver, there's no chance we'd have had Monica Seles and Jennifer Capriati here. She even persuaded Oriole Cal Ripken, a tennis neophyte, to participate in a celebrity doubles match. Cal, it should be added, proved what a good sport he is.
In addition to the positions Shriver holds in tennis (VP, Women's Tennis Association; VP, International Tennis Hall of Fame; executive committee, U.S. Tennis Association), she is the national spokeswoman for CF, a member of the March of Dimes advisory board, member of the Maryland State Commission on Sports and member of the board of trustees at her alma mater, McDonogh School. At 28, Shriver has a lot of things she can turn to after tennis.
* You have to love Towson State basketball coach Terry Truax for his ability to laugh at himself. He tells this one about a conversation with his 3-year-old daughter, Annie, and her imaginary friend, Leo, Tuesday morning after Towson had been blown out, 93-69, by Maryland. Terry: "We played Maryland last night." Annie: "I know. Leo went to the game." Terry: "Did he enjoy it?" Annie: "I don't know. He left at halftime."
* One reason for the collapse of the Virginia football team, which has lost three of its last four games and dropped from No. 1 to unranked, was the loss of Bruce McGonnigal. That becomes more evident with each passing week.
With McGonnigal, a Loyola High grad, at tight end, the Cavaliers TC were rolling along with a 6-0 record. Then, before game No. 7 against Wake Forest, he injured his spleen in a fluke accident off the field. He missed the rest of the season.
"Bruce is coming along slowly but he has no long-term problem," says his mother, Kate, from the family's home in Glen Arm. "When the doctors decided not to take out the spleen, that meant a long recovery period. Bruce is working out every day and every part of his body except his abdominal area is in good condition. We'll know in three weeks if he'll be able to play in the Sugar Bowl."
McGonnigal has been invited to play in the Japan Bowl, the Hula Bowl and the East-West Shrine game. If he continues to heal, he could have a very active postseason. He's planning to play in the NFL next year.
Meanwhile, Brett McGonnigal, Bruce's younger brother, has blossomed as a baseball player at Maryland. Brett played football briefly for the Terps but has since found himself on the diamond. He's a redshirt junior centerfielder who hit .331 last spring. It's conceivable that the McGonnigals will both wind up professional athletes.
* If you don't think genes have anything to do with athletic ability, consider the makeup of the football squad at Bruce McGonnigal's alma mater, Loyola.
The Dons' star halfback, Brad Hoag, is the son of Phil Hoag, who was center and captain of the 1966 Michigan State team that starred Bubba Smith. Kicker Chris Ginter's dad, Jon, was a halfback at Indiana in the same period. Tackle Grant Pivec is the son of Dave Pivec, who played for Notre Dame and the Los Angeles Rams. And end Colin Brune is the son of Loyola head coach Joe Brune, who was a tackle at Bucknell when Harry Lawrence was coaching. With pedigrees like that, it's a wonder Loyola didn't win it all in the MSA instead of finishing 7-2 behind co-champs Poly and Gilman.