A weekend for baseball, memories


October 04, 1991|By Steve McKerrow


* Isn't it nice that Chuck Thompson is scheduled to be in the WBAL-AM 1090 booth Sunday to broadcast the radio play-by-play (with Ken Levine) of the Orioles' final game in Memorial Stadium? Let's hope he says "ain't the beer cold!"

It is pretty much wall-to-wall baseball on the Orioles' local radio carrier this weekend. At 10 a.m. tomorrow, a special edition of "The Dan Rodricks Show" will be broadcast live from the stadium, including reporter John Patti's report on the history of the park and a rebroadcast of Rodricks' "What Is Baseball?" radio essay. Jon Miller and Levine broadcast the Birds/Tigers game at 1:05 p.m. tomorrow.

And on Sunday, a special pre-game broadcast begins at noon, anchored by Dave Durian and Jim West. The station will also cover post-game festivities, followed by "900 East 33rd," a special reminiscence by Rodricks.

* It is also nice to see that early Orioles announcer Ernie Harwell is included (in addition to Thompson) in Maryland Public Television's remembrance special, "Baseball, The Birds on 33rd," airing at 8 p.m. tomorrow.

Harwell, since 1960 the voice of the Detroit Tigers, was the Orioles announcer from 1954 to 1959. And with his announced termination by the Tigers as of season's end, he has been rumored as a possible addition to the Orioles radio team next season.

In the MPT special, Harwell describes the 1954 street parade that welcomed the major league Orioles to town.

* Baltimore viewers and listeners benefit from the acute memories of an unusual stable of broadcasters who were around in 1954 when Memorial Stadium became a major league park. In addition to Thompson are WMAR-Channel 2's Jack Dawson (as seen Wednesday in the station's "Magic Moments at Memorial Stadium") and WBAL-Channel 11's sports "dean," Vince Bagli.

In fact, Bagli -- who can be seen at noon on Sunday in Channel 11's Memorial memorial, "Memories From 33rd Street" -- is said to carry in his pocket the ticket stub from the April 15, 1954, first home game.

* Note that WJZ-Channel 13's ode to the ballpark, "Diamonds Aren't Forever" (at 8 p.m. tomorrow), will also be repeated at 7 p.m. Sunday on cable's Home Team Sports service. The cable carrier is corporately affiliated with Channel 13 owner Group W Broadcasting.

* Finally, program director/morning man Russ Mottla of WIYY-FM 97.9 says that despite a "phenomenal" response, 98 Rock's new "M'orial Days" song parody is not available for sale.

The Twisted Tune is set to the melody of Bruce Springsteen's "Glory Days," and recounts the final days of Memorial Stadium. Copyright restrictions prevent its sale, says Mottla.

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