Tickets for the Orioles' final weekend at Memorial Stadium Oct. 4-6 will go on sale to the general public a week from tomorrow.
The club announced yesterday that approximately 12,000 tickets remain for the Friday night game, 15,000 for Saturday afternoon and 7,000 for the 2:05 game on Sunday that will phase major-league baseball out of Memorial Stadium.
The relatively low number of tickets available, and the lateness of the sale, is attributable to the fact that season and plan holders have options for the last three games and the final deadline for exercising those options is Aug. 1.
The Orioles have elaborate plans to turn the entire series against the Detroit Tigers into a weekend celebration. Most of the festivities will remain secret until that weekend, but it is known that a gala fireworks display, billed as the biggest ever at Memorial Stadium, will follow the Friday night game, Oct. 4.
Also, many players have already accepted invitations to return and participate in the closing ceremonies.
There will be a limit of four tickets per customer for each of the last three games on the first day of the sale only. Tickets will be available at all regular outlets beginning at 9 a.m. Aug. 2.
* MELVIN RUMOR MILL: Doug Melvin, the Orioles' director of player personnel, has surfaced as expected as a general manager candidate for one of the National League's expansion franchises.
In a story published yesterday in the Miami Herald, Melvin was named as one of six candidates for the GM job with the Florida Marlins. Among the others mentioned was Lee Thomas, the Phillies' general manager who just recently signed a contract extension through 1994.
Melvin was in London, Ontario, last night with the Orioles' Double A Hagerstown team and unavailable for comment. However, general manager Roland Hemond said he had not been contacted by the Florida team asking for permission to talk to Melvin.
"I'm sure there's going to be a lot of speculation and rumors," said Hemond. "I haven't talked to anybody, but it's good to see Doug's name mentioned. You never want to lose good people, but it's nice to see them recognized."
* SPINNING WHEELS: John Oates had his managerial wheels spinning when he let Mike Flanagan face Dave Winfield in the eighth inning last night. The lefthander replaced Bob Milacki after Luis Polonia's one-out single and struck out Wally Joyner for the second out.
With Gregg Olson ready in the bullpen he seemed the logical choice to face Winfield, who has had some success against Flanagan. "I didn't want Polonia stealing second base," said Oates, "and I didn't think Flanny would let him [Winfield] hit the ball out of the park in that situation.
"We had our outfield back and the infield guarding the lines, but if Polonia had stolen second base, then Olson was in the game."
As it turned out, Winfield looped a single off the end of his bat and Flanagan stayed around to get the lefthanded-hitting Dave Parker (who hasn't had any luck against Olson) to ground out.
Olson then came on in the ninth to record his 21st save of the year.