Schaefer thought better of stadium visit

October 11, 1991|By Marina Sarris | Marina Sarris,Evening Sun Staff

It seemed odd that Gov. William Donald Schaefer would miss the final Orioles' game in Memorial Stadium and ceremonies at the new stadium he had championed.

His press secretary, Frank Traynor, initially said Schaefer decided not to go after he learned about the death of a friend shortly before the game Sunday and became saddened.

Yesterday, Schaefer offered a different reason for his absence.

"It was just suggested I not come. I reluctantly complied," the governor said during his weekly radio show on WBAL.

He reminisced about the all the times he had spent in Memorial Stadium. "Can you imagine not going out on the last day? . . . I was asked not to go. You can figure it out."

"I think he felt if he went he would probably detract from the festivities," Traynor said yesterday.

Traynor said he did not know who asked the governor to skip the game, but, he told WBAL, it was not the Orioles.

Just days before, Schaefer had announced $450 million worth of budget cuts that would gut social programs and leave 1,766 government employees without jobs next month.

The cuts, which he made to balance the budget, prompted angry protests and denunciations of Schaefer.

So which explanation for his absence at the game is correct?

Both, Traynor said. "I think it was a combination of a lot of things. He had just been through a rough week."

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