Mike Pfeiffer figured he had all his bases covered.
Sleeping overnight at Memorial Stadium all but guaranteed Pfeiffer, 32, and his friends Tim Keffer and Ron Carter, both 25, tickets to the Orioles' last home stand of the year, on Oct. 4, 5 and 6.
But just in case, Pfeiffer brought a cellular phone.
"We'll start hitting the phone lines at 9 o'clock, just to be safe," he said. The ticket windows were opening at 9 a.m.
Tickets also were available today through Ticketmaster phone charge (hence the cellular phone), at Hecht's stores, and at the three Oriole stores.
The Orioles' opponents for the series are the Detroit Tigers, but Tigers are not the attraction. The three men were among more than 600 fans who spent last night at the stadium to secure
tickets for at least one of the last three games on 33rd Street.
Fans were allowed a maximum of four tickets for each game, said Bob Miller, assistant public relations director for the Orioles. There were 12,000 tickets for Friday's game, 15,000 for Saturday's game, and 7,000 for Sunday's game, Miller said. Season ticket plan holders got an opportunity at tickets before today's general sale.
Fans who camped out last night listened to music, ate fried chicken and pizza, played catch, and reminisced about their favorite Memorial Stadium memories.
"This is the first place I ever saw baseball played," said Carter. "And it was a memorial for soldiers, and now they're tearing it down. . . . We lost the Colts, and now we're losing the stadium."
"It's a part of history," said Mitchell Golden, 27. "I'm one of the people who believe they should have renovated this stadium."
Just about the last thing anyone at the stadium wanted to talk about was the possibility of a rainout during the last homestand.
"They'll make it up," said John Diehl, 29, confidently. "The Orioles aren't going to turn away 50,000 ticket holders."
Miller said no decisions have been made about how and when games would be made up.
If games scheduled for Friday or Saturday were rained out, he said, they could be made up the next day, meaning a doubleheader Saturday or Sunday. But if Sunday's game were rained out, Miller was not quite sure what would happen.
"That following Monday is traditionally the off-day between the end of the season and the payoffs," he says. Whether the Orioles would be able to schedule a game for that day, he didn't know.
If games were made up as doubleheaders, that wouldn't help fans with tickets to the rained-out games.
About all the Orioles could do then, Miller said, is give ticket holders their money back.
The fans in line just wanted a chance to see the last games in the stadium where the Orioles have played for 38 years.
"My father used to take me to this place when I was a kid," said Tom Wintz, who was in line last night with his son, Tommy, 11. "There's a lot of history here."
"It's like moving out of a house you've been living in a long time," said Eric Snyder, 28, who was first in line with his wife, Mary Kay, and their 7-month-old daughter, Maggie.
"And Maggie wants to see where Daddy grew up," Mary Kay said.