Schaefer's 'Great Compromise' gives new stadium two names

October 04, 1991|By Melody Simmons | Melody Simmons,Evening Sun Staff Thomas W. Waldron and Michael A. Fletcher contributed to this story.

Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

"I guess you could call it the Great Compromise," Gov. William Donald Schaefer said yesterday of the name game he has played with Oriole owner Eli S. Jacobs for months.

Hmmm. Maybe the Great Cop-Out.

"It's two of them? Two different names? Wow. It sounds kind of ridiculous," said Todd McCleaf, who was tending bar at Pickles Pub an hour after the governor announced the stadium name on his weekly radio show.

Chatter commenced at the pub across the street from the new stadium downtown and Herbert Schubert declared that Schaefer and Jacobs had struck out.

"I'm very surprised that they named it two names in one," Schubert said. "It's a beautiful stadium. It just has the wrong name."

Meanwhile, at Memorial Stadium, which has the right name and the wrong structure, the final baseball game Sunday faces a forecast of rain. Oriole officials have not announced any contingency plans in case the game cannot be played.

Officials of the Maryland Stadium Authority were happy that the stalemate is over. Signs can now be painted and erected at the ballpark that is estimated to cost $105.4 million and will seat 47,000 fans when it opens next April.

"I'm glad it's over," said Bruce Hoffman, executive director of the authority, who will immediately direct subcontractors to post the new name. "It's got a nice ring to it. This is kind of a win-win situation. It's basically Oriole Park in the Camden Yards Sports Complex."

"That's too long," said Dave Crawley, a restaurant worker. "I can't tell anybody to meet me at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Cut that down! We need a nickname."

L Ira Glass said, "Both? I like it. Oh, yes, most definitely."

Stadium authority officials will continue their U.S. District Court lawsuit against Roy Becker, an Arnold entrepreneur who has applied for a trademark to sell clothing that says "Camden Yards," said attorney Jeffrey S. Weingrow.

The stadium name has no bearing on the suit, and the sports complex will continue to be known as Camden Yards, he said.

At the Babe Ruth Museum, executive director Michael Gibbons had a sentimental reaction to the name. Fans of the Bambino unsuccessfully lobbied to have the stadium named after the slugger from Baltimore who later starred for the Yankees, the Birds' American League rivals.

Gibbons hopes that the authority will name a part of the stadium for Ruth, whose father once owned a tavern that stood where the new stadium's outfield will be.

"I think that if it could not be Babe Ruth Ballpark, then their choice is good," Gibbons said. "I'm glad the stadium name controversy is behind us. It's a good name, given we couldn't get ours up there."

The governor -- who preferred "Camden Yards" and deadlocked with Jacobs, who favored "Oriole Park" -- announced the name while taking hostile telephone calls on his afternoon WBAL radio show, "Stateline with Gov. Schaefer."

Callers were criticizing Schaefer about the $450 million in state budget cuts he made on Monday when the talk show host called a timeout.

"I just went to breakfast with him [Jacobs] or lunch, whatever, and sat down and I said, 'This is getting to be ridiculous' and we named it Oriole Park at Camden Yards," Schaefer announced at 3:45 p.m.

"We're finished now. It's Oriole Park at Camden Yards. That's it. It's just that simple."

After the radio show, Schaefer said, "He said or I said to him, 'It's time we got over this.' It's not the most important thing in the world. No one blinked. I said one part. He said one part. We said, that's a good combination."

On the air, Schaefer informed Alvin "Buster" Earll that he could at last come down from the roof of Steeltown, a sports bar on North Point Boulevard. Earll, a self-proclaimed die-hard Oriole fan who was dubbed "Goof on the Roof," set up camp in early September, vowing not to leave the roof until the stadium was named.

"Maybe it would be better to stay on the roof," the governor said, in reference to a potential hiding place from his budget woes. "Maybe he's not so goofy after all."

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