Five seized at stadium on ticket-scalping charges

April 09, 1991|By Rafael Alvarezand Roger Twigg

The Orioles weren't the only ones to wind up losers at Memorial Stadium yesterday.

Five men with tickets to the last home opener at the 33rd Street ballpark were arrested when they allegedly tried to resell them for more than their face value, a violation of city law.

The police, working undercover in the huge crowd that gathered outside the stadium before the 2:05 p.m. game, said the tickets were being sold for prices ranging from $10 for a $7.50 ticket to as much as $34 for a single $4.75 ticket.

And there were many more people looking for tickets yesterday than scalpers able to provide them.

One woman walked around with a big sign attached to her head: "I need a ticket, please."

Another held up a poster of Bart Simpson asking for two tickets.

And Jean Barron of Greenbelt stood on the south side of 33rd Street near Ellerslie Avenue with a finger in the air as a friend did the same on the north side of the road -- both wanting to get into the park whether they sat together or not.

It is a crime in Baltimore to sell a ticket for more than it originally cost,but not to buy.

Sellers were generally cautious -- most of them wandering along the fringe of the ballpark -- for fear of drawing too large a crowd and the attention of city police.

It took one sports fan less than 15 minutes after arriving on 36th Street behind the stadium to find someone willing to sell a pair of lower reserved tickets behind home plate for $30 each.

The buyer was approached from behind. "Yo, yo, yo. I got you over here," said the seller, gesturing toward the back of a small souvenir truck.

"You want home plate, I got home plate," said the seller before shooing the customer away.

The scalper's prices were probably about normal for a home opener, according to the police, who said a conviction on the misdemeanor can result in a fine between $5 and $500.

Charged with reselling tickets to yesterday's game and held at the Northern District police station were Brendan Coakley, 24, of Springfield, Va.; and Steven Rowe, 35, of Gloucester, Va.; Randy Halsey, 32, of Mount Airy; Britt Orrison, 33, of Germantown; and Joseph Ney, 20, of the 2900 block of North Calvert Street in Baltimore.

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