Looking ahead to all the looks back

RADIO-TV

October 05, 1991|By RAY FRAGER

Whoever said, "Nostalgia isn't what it used to be," might take it back if he saw the weekend broadcast lineup for the final Baltimore Orioles games at Memorial Stadium.

* Tonight at 8, Channel 13 telecasts "Diamonds Aren't Forever," with host John Buren and news colleagues Al Sanders, Denise Koch, Deborah Stone and Marty Bass.

* Also at 8 tonight, Maryland Public Television (channels 22, 67) presents "Baseball, the Birds on 33rd." This will be followed by "Baseball Heirlooms," a look at old ballparks, and "Hardshell Hardball: The History of Baseball in Baltimore." A preview of "Birds on 33rd" looked none too promising. Too many talking heads -- often battling background noise -- and not enough highlights. Also, flashing baseball cards to the accompaniment of "Bang the Drum Slowly" doesn't exactly rank high on the evocative scale.

* Channel 11 runs "Memories from 33rd Street," with Vince Bagli, Gerry Sandusky and Butch Alsandor, tomorrow at noon.

* WBAL Radio (1090 AM) coverage of tomorrow's game begins at noon and lasts until 8 p.m. Dave Durian, Jim West, Jeff Rimer and Jon Miller will anchor pre-game coverage. Chuck Thompson and Ken Levine will call the game, with Ernie Harwell expected to slide over from the Detroit Tigers microphone to let Baltimoreans hear him from the stadium one last time. After post-game coverage, an hour-long tribute to the ballpark by Dan Rodricks, "900 East 33rd," will air.

* Channel 2 also will begin its game broadcast at noon, repeating "Magic Moments at Memorial Stadium." A one-hour "Orioles On Deck" follows at 1 p.m., leading into the game, called by Miller, Jim Palmer and Brooks Robinson. In addition to sports guys Scott Garceau and Keith Mills, WMAR's news team will be out in force. Channel 2 will use 11 cameras to telecast the festivities, four more than usual.

Earlier this week, Miller said he hadn't planned a goodbye message from the stadium.

"I haven't made any special plans," he said.

Of course, the end of the game won't actually be the end. There is the matter of post-game ceremonies.

"From the TV standpoint, it'd be nice if we had the final out, made our closing remarks and signed off," Miller said.

"It's so difficult to know what the situation is," Miller said of trying to plan what he'll say. "To me, once the game is over, it's over."

L Not that he wants to be a killjoy about the farewell events.

E9 "I'm sure I'll love it when it happens," Miller said.

*

OK, the name of the new ballpark was botched. But maybe the Orioles and WBAL can score a public-relations triumph on the radio. Harwell is calling his last game for the Tigers tomorrow, and sentiment runs high for the return of Baltimore's first major-league baseball voice.

Though no one should worry about making room for a Hall of Fame broadcaster, the Orioles seem certain to have a spot open. Levine appears on the way out, with the announcement maybe coming within a week, but word is that Thompson would come back and do half the schedule again.

Let's not jump to conclusions, though. Harwell shouldn't lack for opportunities. CBS Radio and ESPN are just two possibilities, and WBAL doesn't have any talks scheduled with Harwell this weekend.

But, if you happen to see Harwell this weekend, it wouldn't hurt to let him know how you feel.

*

Best moment of the final weekend so far: Garceau was interviewing former Orioles announcer Tom Marr live during an early newscast last night. Orioles director of special projects Ken Nigro slowly approached in the background, eventually sticking his head between Garceau and Marr during the interview, asking Marr if he was staying for the game. Nigro then realized the camera was on and sheepishly skulked away.

*

CBS made a brilliant move in putting Terry Bradshaw on "The NFL Today." He adds real life to the program. From last weekend:

* Asked whether he marveled at Deion Sanders' playing football and baseball at the same time, Bradshaw said, "I'm not marveling," and pointed out that Sanders is just a designated runner hitting .189.

* After a report on the Buffalo Bills' Bruce Smith, Bradshaw said the All-Pro defensive lineman shouldn't be playing if he was at less than 100 percent.

* The New York Giants, he said, should start Jeff Hostetler at quarterback. The team has made him into a pocket passer, Bradshaw said, and Hostetler can't complete long passes the way Phil Simms can.

*

Everybody has a boss. I'm no exception. When the boss comes you with an idea, you listen. And, hey, it just so happens that it's a great idea. I mean, a really great idea. Possibly one of the best ideas I've ever heard. Since his last idea, that is.

Anyway, the idea is this: Things my boss wants to know. You see, he has all these neat ideas about radio and television sports, but he's too busy to write a column himself, so . . . you get the idea. Here we go:

Things my boss wants to know: Who is Dr. Jerry Punch and why is he standing on the sidelines of college football games? Is he a doctor of philosophy? (Note to boss: He's a medical doctor who's also worked the pits at the Indy 500. Sorry to interrupt.) . . . Why can't the NCAA put Brent Musburger and Dick Vermeil on probation? . . . Is there a connection between the hole in the ozone layer and Dick Vitale?

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