Australian Bruce Crampton made a lot of friends here yesterday just by coming to Baltimore for a golf tournament to raise money for the Henry Ciccarone Preventive Cardiology Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Crampton, 56, who has won 15 PGA Tour titles and 19 more on the Senior Tour, played a hole with each foursome at the Towson Golf and Country Club's Eagles Nest course. Participants found him a delightful golfing companion.
Crampton told Tom Myers, Ward Woods, Bill Kelly and Hopkins lacrosse coach Tony Seaman: "My parents' timing was impeccable. They had me when I could play tour golf in the television age and then play in the Senior Tour when that came along. I've won more money in six years on the Senior Tour than I won in I don't know how many years on the regular tour."
Crampton said his trip here from Lexington, Ky., Sunday night was hectic with his luggage getting lost at BWI, but it was well worth it.
"The people here asked me to come and it sounded right," Crampton said. "After visiting the hospital in the morning and meeting the doctors on the staff at the Ciccarone Center, I know it's right."
Dr. John D. Stobo, physician-in-chief at Hopkins, explained that 7 million Americans have heart disease, which took the life of Hopkins lacrosse great Henry Ciccarone at age 50 in 1988. Dr. Stobo said with $150 billion spent annually to treat people with heart disease it's more important than ever to prevent it.
* Irving Kaufman, the Merry-Go-Round executive who's been working the last two weeks preparing owner Boogie Weinglass' NFL application, is bemused by stories about prospective NFL owners here, particularly those about the Glazer family of VTC Rochester, N.Y., who reportedly could write the check for $200 million.
"We could come up with the money, too," said Kaufman. "The net worth of our partners [who include native Baltimoreans Barry Levinson, Richard Pearlstone and David Bernstein] is around $350 million. We [Merry-Go-Round] are a publicly held company. Anybody can look at our books. Nobody has seen the books of these other people."
While Boogie and his partners are well known here, the Glazers are unknowns -- even among many New Yorkers apparently.
"I'm from Rochester," said Bill Nelson, the Johns Hopkins basketball coach, "and I never heard of them."
* As the Towson State football players filed into their dressing room after the Tigers' 45-25 loss to Rhode Island Saturday, linebacker Joe Kreisher looked up at coach Phil Albert and said sheepishly: "Sorry, coach."
This was Towson's third straight loss against no victories. Unlike the first two, which could have gone either way, this one was a clear-cut victory for Rhode Island and a major disappointment for the local team.
"I thought we had a real good chance to win that game," said senior fullback John O'Neill, who scored the first touchdown of his college career. "I know we're a better football team than that. We just played a bad game."
"We've got to regroup and get that game behind us," said Albert. "The schedule doesn't get any easier. Indiana [of Pennsylvania] is here Saturday. They're ranked No. 1 in Division II.
"Three games don't make a season. We have eight left. You have to look ahead. You can't dwell on your mistakes. That's probably why I shoot 120 in golf. I'm still upset over the last shot and it ruins my next one."
Towson suffered a tough personnel loss against Rhode Island when 6-foot-4, 252-pound junior defensive tackle Bob Meehan went out with a knee injury in the first quarter. Meehan, a Loyola High product, will be sidelined six weeks after arthroscopic surgery.
* People told Rick Bloom he might draw 30 to 50 coaches to his Athletic Affairs basketball coaches' clinic last weekend at Goucher College, even though his faculty included name basketball coaches such as Princeton's Pete Carril and Providence College's Rick Barnes. He drew 140.
"We're unbelievably pleased," said Bloom, "so much so that we're coming back next year -- same time, same place."
Although nearly all the attendees were high school coaches, there was one NBA coach in the audience -- the Bullets' Wes Unseld. His son, Wes Jr., a junior at Loyola High, was one of the demonstrators.
* I echo the thoughts expressed on these pages by high school editor Mike Farabaugh about the impending retirement of Baltimore County school superintendent Robert Y. Dubel. Sports will, indeed, be losing a good friend.
Said Dubel, 66, who confessed he was only "a journeyman athlete" at Catonsville High and Western Maryland College:
"I firmly believe that participation in athletics teaches many valuable lessons to our students that remain throughout life."
* The kids who hang outside Memorial Stadium after ballgames, waiting to get players' autographs, are down on the Orioles' Glenn Davis. They say he won't sign for them. They're quick to add that all the Ripkens are very nice about signing.