The Orioles are tightening security at Memorial Stadium so memorabilia buffs can't steal parts of the 37-year-old ballpark in its last baseball season.
Discussions were held this week between Orioles Director of Stadium Services Roy A. Sommerhof and officials of the city Department of Recreation and Parks, which owns and leases the stadium to the team, Oriole spokesman Rick Vaughn said today.
The meetings were in response to the Tuesday night theft of a section of the protective vinyl padding on the fence in center field.
Police said the culprit was an apparent souvenir hunter who climbed a chain-link fence off 35th Street and into the stadium. The thief cut out a chunk of vinyl that read "405" -- the measurement from home plate to center field.
Oriole officials plan to meet with police officers from the Northeastern District next week to discuss the security problem, Vaughn said.
Sommerhof said, "We're looking at ways in which we can improve security out here by additional manpower and tighter controls over the gates, entrances and exits at all times."