MARYLAND'S Lt. Gov. Mickey Steinberg and his wife Anita had a grand time at the Royal reception at the stadium Wednesday evening, but, of course, they have a good time wherever they go. They were among several hundred guests who got the nod to meet Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip and President Bush and his wife Barbara. And the Lt. Gov. said, "This is one evening we will never forget. It was exciting because the queen was not what we expected. She was very warm and attractive, and when we introduced ourselves she immediately began talking to us."
Hosting the reception, held in the Dugout Lounge, were Orioles principal owner Eli Jacobs, Orioles president and part owner Larry Lucchino and Mr. and Mrs. Sargent Shriver (he's also a part owner of the club). Others at the party were Nicole Seligman, an attorney in Washington who was with Jacobs; Mayor Kurt Schmoke; Gov. William Donald Schaefer; Speaker of the House and Mrs. Clayton Mitchell; President of the Senate and Mrs. Mike Miller; Dr. and Mrs. William Richardson, he's new president of Johns Hopkins University; former U.N. Ambassador Sol Linowitz and his wife Toni; Ann and Leslie Disharoon; Evelyn and Wally Haas, owner of the Oakland A's; Joan and Herbert Belgrad, Stadium Authority; Bruce Hoffman, Stadium Authority; H. Furlong Baldwin, CEO of the Mercantile Bank and close friend of Jacobs, with his close friend, Louise Hayman; White House correspondent Andrea Mitchell; Lillian and Willard Hackerman; Sen. and Mrs. Paul Sarbanes; White House Chief of Staff John Sununu; Commissioner of Baseball Fay Vincent; and Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney and his wife Lynne, who is the chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
It was such a great evening. One of the ladies I talked to described the queen this way: "And the queen looked lovely, sans a hat, in a good-looking dark red and navy dress below the knee, black gloves and shoes. She wore a pretty diamond and gold pin on her dress and three strands of little pearls around her neck, just like Barbara Bush, who wore an attractive black and white dress with her three strands of pearls. And, of course, the queen wore her gloves to shake hands with one and all."
And how about Prince Philip? Well, my spies noticed that he looks like a prince, very athletic, and stays a very respectful few feet behind the queen.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski was invited to the soiree but had another engagement. She did get to meet the queen, though. She attended her first English garden party at the British Embassy.
IN THE PINK: Celebrating the Preakness has taken a colorful turn at Rick Velleggia's Little Italy restaurant on High Street. Nope, it's not the black-eyed Susans that adorn the dining room that has eyes popping, it's the pink and blue ravioli they're serving in honor of Derby winner Strike the Gold, whose colors, of course, are pink and blue. Seems Rick got the idea after chatting with Strike the Gold trainer Nick Zito. However, I think I'd rather try Rick's Preakness Pasta dish, which sounds as good as it looks -- a black and gold fettuccine served with crab meat and butter sauce. Sounds yummy.
SEEN ON THE SCENE: One of the biggies in the world of entertainment was seen at Memorial Stadium this week. James Earl Jones, who came to town to make a commercial with Cal Ripken Jr., had expressed an interest in meeting Mayor Schmoke. (Seems there was a mutual admiration society here, because the mayor wanted to meet Jones, too.) Coincidentally, at the time they met, a city truck drove by with "The City That Reads" on its side and Jones was overheard to say, "Tell me about this city that reads." Needless to say, he and the mayor became instant friends.
Our Guy Friday
NAME: David Rodman
CLAIM TO FAME: Will call his first Preakness race tomorrow to
the largest audience of his career.
WORK LIFE: Track announcer, which means memorizing new names and silk colors every 22 minutes.
HOME LIFE: Listen to the radio, read the daily racing form and handicap the next day's races.
PASSIONS: Pasta, calling good races, listening to new music and bands.
HEROES: Two humans Gen. H. Norman Schwarzkopf and Chris McCarron, and four horses: John Henry, Alysheba, Secretariat and Hammer Down, a filly I once owned who still holds the track record for being slowest horse on a fast track at Jefferson Downs.